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Good point! But it seems we are both wrong - perhaps I should have said 'A
load of Balls!'  It seems not even a baseball but spin is derived from 
spinning a yarn' see below
 
Instead of writing all this nonsense I should have looked it up!  Although I
m forced to abandon my cricketing metaphor - spin still, as used, represents
taking facts and 'spinning' a favourable interpretation of them.
 
Kevin flude
 
 
 
http://www.phrases.org.uk/meanings/spin-doctor.html
 
'Spin doctor
Meaning
A political press agent or publicist employed to promote a favourable
interpretation of events to journalists.
Origin
This is of American origin and came about during the 1980s, when the need
for 'sound bites' became pressing enough to require a new class of publicist
to provide them. The earliest printed references are from that period ......
So, why 'spin'? For the derivation of that we need to go back to yarn. We
know that sailors and other storytellers have a reputation for spinning
yarns. Given a phrase in the language like 'spin a yarn', we might expect to
assume that a yarn was a tall tale and that the tellers spun it out. That's
not quite right though. Until the phrase was coined, yarn was just thread.
The phrase was coined as an entity, just meaning 'tell a tale'. That came
about in the early 19th century and was first written down in James Hardy
Vaux's 'A new and comprehensive vocabulary of the flash language', in 1812:
"Yarning or spinning a yarn, signifying to relate their various adventures,
exploits, and escapes to each other."
So, spin became associated with telling a story. It began to be used in a
political and promotional context in the late 1980s. For example, in the
Guardian Weekly, Jan. 1978:
"The CIA can be an excellent source [of information], though, like every
other, its offerings must be weighed for factuality and spin."
From there it is a small step for the people employed to weave reports of
factual events into palatable stories to be called 'spin doctors'.
In the UK, the two best-known exponents of the spin doctor's two functions,
I.e. Political press agent and publicist are, respectively, Alistair
Campbell, until 2003 Tony Blair's Director of Communications and Strategy,
and the publicist Max Clifford.'
 


 
 
-------Original Message-------
 
From: John Briggs
Date: 11/03/06 13:03:39
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: [BRITARCH] spin and the past
 
Kevin Flude wrote:
>
> It is called 'spin' because like a cricket ball the flight is
> deliberately affected to bamboozle the batsman
 
Actually, I think you will find that it is a baseball, er, ball :-)
 
(Most instances of 'dumbing down' - like the expression itself - are of
American origin.)
 
John Briggs
 
 
 
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