Sunday, July 22, 2012

The meaning of "Neo" in words.

The Neo-Confederates are currently complaining (whining) about the term Neo-Confederate. This is an ongoing complaint with the Neo-Confederates. A typical example of what passes for reasoned commentary is at this blog.

The claim that the term "Neo-Confederate" is an accusation.  "Neo" merely means new. The term was first used in Southern Partisan magazine by its editor Richard Quinn. (Vol. 8 No. 1 Spring 1988).

There are terms such as neo-classical and neo-baroque for either architects or musical composers working in the style of the Classical and Baroque eras. Politically there are neo-liberals and neo-conservatives and they are simply terms. Calling something neo-Baroque isn't derogatory.

The use of "neo" would be to differentiate a new group separate or distinct from the prior group from which the new group is derived or revived.

You know with the adjective neo-classical that the building or piece of music isn't from the classical period, but is a later building or piece of music done in a style or form derived from the classical period in some later period distinct and separate from the original period. When a period is long but continuous we might say early, middle or late to further differentiate the period.

The Confederacy ceased to exist some time ago. The new movement for secession of course intently studies the Confederacy and interprets its meaning and asserts an ideological belief that they hold to be derived from the Confederacy, but they are not of the period of the Confederacy. They are a later revival. They are neo-Confederate.

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