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  • Writer's pictureMel

Word of the Year for 2022?

Given the current state of the world and all the misinformation that's out there, I can't say I'm surprised!

However, let's take a look at the history of the word. The meaning is above in the news article. It's a cool word.

When I first encountered the word, I was a teen and was getting familiar with Alfred Hitcock's works. That led me to a movie called Gaslight that starred Charles Boyer, Ingrid Bergman, Joseph Cotton, and Angela Lansbury. The film came out in 1944 was adapted from a 1940 British film, but the original source material was a 1938 stage play called Gas Light that was written by Patrick Hamilton.

In the film, a husband tries to manipulate his wife into believing she's going insane. There's a lot of backstory and twists and turns which dial up the suspense for viewers.

In World War II, there was a special projects division of the US Army that was tasked with fooling the German army. The 23rd Headquarters Special Groups, called the "Ghost Army," used radio, visual props, and audio to lay out elaborate schemes. All told, the twenty missions were successful.

You can read an article about the Ghost Army here. There's even a book that you can find here.

I'm surprised the word is only now getting so much recognition. That could be because the gerund form (-ing) wasn't used until 1974 in the Six Million Dollar Man episode, "The Seven Million Dollar Man." Monte Markham starred in that one. The extra million went into replacing both arms instead of only one. Steve Austin told Oscar Goldman that he was "gaslighting" him (and he was).

I guess the thing that amazes me is how long it took to catch on. Now it's an everyday part of our lives.

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