Word of the Day : October 10, 2018

Luddite

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noun LUH-dyte

Definition

: one of a group of early 19th-century English workmen destroying laborsaving machinery as a protest; broadly : one who is opposed to especially technological change

Did You Know?

Luddites could be considered the first victims of corporate downsizing. The Luddite movement began in the vicinity of Nottingham, England, toward the end of 1811 when textile mill workers rioted for the destruction of the new machinery that was slowly replacing them. Their name is of uncertain origin, but it may be connected to a (probably mythical) person known as Ned Ludd. According to an unsubstantiated account in George Pellew's Life of Lord Sidmouth (1847), Ned Ludd was a Leicestershire villager of the late 1700s who, in a fit of insane rage, rushed into a stocking weaver's house and destroyed his equipment; subsequently, his name was proverbially connected with machinery destruction. With the onset of the information age, Luddite gained a broader sense describing anyone who shuns new technology.


Examples

Responding to an interview question in Parade, July 2008, actress/screenwriter Emma Thompson jested, "I'm a Luddite, and I write longhand with an old fountain pen."

"It's not that firefighters are Luddites. But in life-and-death situations, they can't afford to rely on solutions that haven't been thoroughly field-tested." — Carolyn Said, The San Francisco Chronicle, 5 Aug. 2018



Test Your Vocabulary

What is the two-word term (the second element being shock) for the physical and psychological distress suffered by one who is unable to cope with the rapidity of social and technological changes?

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