0

What is the etymology of this phrase, and might the meaning change due to cloud storage?

1 Answer 1

5

The phrase "Get off of my cloud" comes from the Rolling Stones song of the same name.

Cloud Computing will not change the etymology of this phrase, because etymologies do not change; they are historical.

It is possible that a new meaning for "get off of my cloud" could be coined with regards to cloud computing, but the phrase is not automatically affected by the existence of new meaning of the word cloud.

7
  • Really? I thought it was what Verizon said to AT&T ...
    – Robusto
    Commented Mar 13, 2011 at 15:21
  • Don't etymologies change in the sense that the histories of words continue to evolve? For example, couldn't you say the etymologies of twit and tweet have changed without implying their original meanings have changed? Commented Mar 13, 2011 at 15:38
  • 1
    @Callithumpian: I guess it depends on what you mean by "changing" an etymology. The word tweet meaning "to post a message on Twitter" has an etymology that includes the etymology of the word tweet meaning "bird sound", but the etymology of the word tweet meaning "bird sound" was not changed by the new word tweet.
    – Kosmonaut
    Commented Mar 13, 2011 at 16:20
  • 3
    @Robusto: I would regard that as a meaning that has become obsolete; the new meaning of gay did not go back in time and alter the etymology of "happy" gay, it just hastened its obsolescence. That etymology is still there. Most polysemous words have now-obsolete meanings, but the etymology of each meaning of the word remains the same. I would consider "changing" an etymology to be discovering new evidence that a word's origin or evolutionary path is different from originally thought.
    – Kosmonaut
    Commented Mar 13, 2011 at 19:21
  • 2
    @Callithumpian: In terms of etymology and meaning, these two tweets would have separate sections and separate citations. While the original word tweet would be cited starting from the mid-19th century, the citations for Twitter-message tweet would begin in 2007 (or whichever year it was first coined). That is what I meant in my comment. Yes, tweet would be regarded as a polyseme. Whether you want to regard a polyseme as literally one "word", or the unification of polysemous words, depends on your theoretical framework.
    – Kosmonaut
    Commented Mar 14, 2011 at 0:50

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.