Previousliest-esque December 17, 2013 6:38 PM   Subscribe

Somewhat related to this, when did the terms "previouslier" and "previousliest" come into usage? The Mefi Wiki is providing no answers.
posted by computech_apolloniajames to MetaFilter-Related at 6:38 PM (16 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

The earliest I've seen it in FPPs is by flapjax at midnite in 2007. Previouslier didn't get to AskMe posts until 2010 but we saw it in the comments as early as 2006.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 6:42 PM on December 17, 2013

What she said! The site search itself is actually pretty darned good for this sort of thing; toss in "previouslier" or "previousliest", hit go, and then make sure you've got the dropdown set to "All Sites" and search again if you want to be sure to not hit just one subsite.
posted by cortex (staff) at 6:43 PM on December 17, 2013

I did, and it returned a very small number of hits. Much smaller than I believe would be the case. Hence my question.
posted by computech_apolloniajames at 6:48 PM on December 17, 2013

Just to be sure we're looking at the same thing, I'm getting 121 posts and 116 comments for "previouslier" and 21 and 11 for "previousliest".

Which, small numbers for sure! But I think not actually weirdly small; both words are sort of jokey nonsense-formations with a pretty narrow window of application: someone basically needs to be in a position where (a) they're accustomed to the use of "previously" on mefi to refer to a prior bit of content (usually a post/thread), and (b) they're referring to more than one previous things, and (c) they're choosing whether by invention or by imitation to refer to those additional links by a nonce word playing off of point a. Constrain a usage that much and it's not surprising when it gets used only sparingly, and it makes sense under that rubric that "previousliest" would be used even less than "previouslier" since the higher number of past references required for relevance reduces the chances of the conditions for use being right.
posted by cortex (staff) at 7:12 PM on December 17, 2013 [1 favorite]

That makes sense, cortex. Thank you. computech and I were talking about this earlier. We both thought the convention was cute and were curious about the history. We did search, but thought we might have missed a Meta thread where it was discussed.
posted by mlis at 7:23 PM on December 17, 2013

Previouser. Previousest.
posted by mbrubeck at 7:39 PM on December 17, 2013

Looking forward to someone finding a use for propreantepenultimately.
posted by benito.strauss at 9:38 PM on December 17, 2013 [6 favorites]


It would make a great user name or sock puppet...hmmm
posted by a humble nudibranch at 11:29 PM on December 17, 2013

I've used it myself, and at the time I thought I was just being clever rather than following a site convention of any sort.
posted by DoctorFedora at 1:59 AM on December 18, 2013

Whereas "previousliar" is an accusation that sometimes gets thrown about in contentious MeTas. No one has, to my knowledge, been judged the "priviousliariest," however.
posted by GenjiandProust at 5:47 AM on December 18, 2013

I have a question I'd rather not open a MeTa for. What the heck does (TW, obv) mean?
posted by heyho at 8:28 AM on December 18, 2013

Trigger warning, obviously (abbreviation also not obvious to me, but that's what I get from context)
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 8:30 AM on December 18, 2013

Ohhhhh, textspeak. Got it. Thanks.

posted by heyho at 8:39 AM on December 18, 2013

For fun, I just did a quick grep "previousl" of the big canonical "allsites" file from the Mefi Frequency Tables to see what other variants folks have used. Highlights (I didn't vet these to establish that each was being used in this site-jargon context, but it seems likely almost all were):

previouslies and previouslys
previously-er, previouslyer and previousler
previously-ish and previouslyish

previously'd and previously-ed

posted by cortex (staff) at 12:57 PM on December 18, 2013 [5 favorites]

posted by scrump at 4:45 PM on December 19, 2013 [1 favorite]

No one has, to my knowledge, been judged the "priviousliariest," however.

To have been around long enough to have gotten an account before sign ups were closed and to have had the time to read enough posts to be able to beat people about the head with priviousliariest knowledge would be grievous previous privilege.
posted by ActingTheGoat at 10:52 AM on December 21, 2013

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