Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Word For The Day: Luddite

Luddite - luh-dyte: 1) a follower of "King Ludd", a fictional character based on Ned Ludd who some believed to have destroyed two large stocking frames in the village of Anstey, Leicestershire, in 1779, as part of an anti-mechanization movement of British textile artisans.  (King Ludd's signature appears on a "workers' manifesto" of the time.)  2) an opponent of industrialization, automation, computerization or modern technology in general.  Etymology: According to Wiki: "The movement began in 1811, when mills and pieces of factory machinery were burned by handloom weavers, and for a short time was so strong that Luddites clashed in battles with the British Army.  Measures taken by the British government to suppress the movement included a mass trial at York in 1812 that resulted in many executions and penal transportations."  Even before the Luddites there was a long tradition, especially within the British textile industry, of attacking new technology.  (Also in 1779 - Ned Ludd's prime - a man named Samuel Crompton had to hide his new mule in the roof of his house at Hall i' th' Wood to prevent it from being destroyed by a mob.  History does not record how the mule was tied to "mechanization".)  Now if I could find a word for myself; one who doesn't oppose new technology but makes a conscious effort not to get swept up in it, ie. drags his feet for as long as possible.  No flat screen TV for me until the old one dies, for example.