RR173 Word of the Week: Notoriety vs. Publicity
I went over this word back in 2017 before the show was broken down into three segments. I want to go over it again only because I have heard folks using it again presumably thinking it is the same as publicity.
Cambridge: the state of being famous for doing something, esp. something immoral or bad (Also infamy)
Oxford English: The state of being famous or well known for some bad quality or deed.
Cambridge: the activity of making certain that someone or something attracts a lot of interest or attention from many people, or the attention received as a result of this activity
Oxford English: Notice or attention given to someone or something by the media. (first definition)
Notorious Etymology: 1590s, from Middle French notoriété or directly from Medieval Latin notorietatem (nominative notorietas), from notorius “well-known” (see notorious).
Notorious 1540s, “publicly known,” from Medieval Latin notorius “well-known, commonly known,” from Latin notus “known,” past participle of noscere “come to know,” from PIE root *gno- “to know.” Negative connotation arose 17c. from frequent association with derogatory nouns. Related: Notoriously.
Publicity Etymology: 1791, “condition of being public,” from French publicité (1690s), from Medieval Latin publicitatem (nominative publicitas), from Latin publicus (see public (adj.)). Sense of “a making (something) known, an exposure to the public” is from 1826, shading by c. 1900 into “advertising, business of promotion.” Publicity stunt first recorded 1908.
It seems that another creator has the same disconnect that I have with the present day use of this word. This writer covers more of the origins and usage than I do here. My hope is to spread the word that notoriety is not a word that is interchangeable with publicity.
Synonyms: celebrity, fame, flak, infamy, opprobrium, renown, spotlight, ballyhoo (extravagant publicity), dishonor, disrepute
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