Tuesday, January 03, 2012

What Is a Luddite?

If you were resistant to adopt the world of social media (blogs, Facebook, Twitter, etc.) you may have been labeled a "Luddite." I've seen this word used for several years now, but I'd never seen an explanation of the origins of the term...until now. In looking for something completely unrelated I came upon an "Advertisement for the Nottingham Hosiery Company" on the British Library Online Gallery . The information accompanying the advertisement told of the revolutionary development of a machine used to make knit stockings:
The machine was also the target of some hostility from professional hand-knitters around the country. Most famously, in Leicester in 1779, a man called Ned Lud broke into a cottage and ("in a fit of insane rage," according to the Oxford English Dictionary) destroyed two stocking frames. Mr Lud unwittingly lent his name to the 18th century anarchist, anti-technology movement, the Luddites.
So that's the story behind the word!

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