Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Word of the Day: Luddite


noun LUH-dyte
: 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.


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