“In praise or in the scent of a crowd?” (and 2)

(Continuation) “Other smells”. I left you last week with the idea that it is neither convenient nor reasonable to ignore the term smell for a simple and unpleasant olfactory matter, because you can also smell roses. Remember in this sense the expression “In the odor of holiness”, whose origin was probably born from a credulous belief according to which, the dead body of some other saint could come to emanate a certain perfume. A supernatural occurrence that would be interpreted as an unequivocal sign from heaven, also certifying his holiness. Be careful then, that we have come across the church. I do not say more, caution then. A frequent construction in certain environments, that of “in the smell of sanctity”, and still in force in our language, from which it is feasible to derive the following use of the word smell, collected in the Authorities Dictionary: “It is understood of the moral things, by fame, opinion and reputation”.

A meaning from which, by analogy with it and in subsequent derivatives, the expressions would arise “In the smell of crowds” and even, this is already an elevation shot gunner, the agglutinators: “In the scent of multitudes, multitudes and holiness” and the collection by the Current Spanish Dictionary (DEA) “In the smell of friendship and understanding”, which assigns to the turn “in smell of”, the physical meaning of “in atmosphere or in environment of”. No, it is neither convenient nor reasonable. My more than dispensable opinion is that, under no circumstances, should we put aside the term smell and you will see why.

Again “in the smell of a crowd”. There is no lack of exegetes of this thing, defenders that said phrase is actually the result of popular ignorance, or what is the same, of an error motivated by the lack of knowledge that, of the meaning of the word praise, the people would have, Remember ‘praise or praise’. And although by itself this word would make more sense in said phrase, people had to change it to smell, simply because they did not know its meaning while it was completely familiar, it was phonetically similar to it and, moreover, it was easier to pronounce. Neither more nor less than the universal and inexorable law of economics applied to language. A misrepresentation that, from a more cultural point of view, is known in the field of grammatical technique as popular etymology.

An expression in any case correct, although sometimes it is used by the press too often and not always properly and tightly. And it is that the media in general use it to describe the most disparate events: since in 1948 the British Alexander Fleming (1881-1955), discoverer of the penicillin (1928) and awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology and Medicine in 1945, came to Spain; even when a neighbor son returns to his homeland, after a notorious, extraordinary and internationally recognized success. It is said that they were received “in the smell of a crowd”, meaning assigned by the DRAE to this adverbial phrase and that comes to say “with the admiration of many people”, “with the popular applause, general”.

“In the smell of crowds”. It has also been used many other times, in plural grammatical number, as recorded in the dictionary KEY CODE with the sense of “acclaimed by many people”. And so, “in the smell of crowds” a soccer team returns to its city after having won, it is a place, the Champions League (excuse me, but I prefer the Spanish way to foreign English Champions League). In any of the cases, with the saying in the plural, we mean that the team was received with massive tributes from multiple fans, with cheers, applause and shouts, recognizing their worth or feat. And so far, for now, what I have to tell you about the different variants of the initiatory and inquisitive headline, “In praise or in the smell of a crowd?”

How do you say then? I think you already know, as you will always be dear reader who, with your intelligence and criteria, decides whether “in the smell of the crowd” or “in the praise of the crowd.” They say that for taste colors, and it is true, but it is no less so than for colors, flowers. Although well seen, what will I know? But in case you are interested, in my modest opinion as a wounded handwriting, it is credible that some saints died in the odor of holiness and praise of the multitude, and over time, for one reason or another, popular language would unite them into one, ” the smell of a crowd ”. Again the inviolable law of the economy, or as who says “the praiseworthy smell of crowds.”

As I finish writing these lines, a little bird that usually flutters behind me reading over my shoulders, a doubt chirps in my ear, which expression is earlier in time that of praise or that of smell? Undoubtedly an interesting chronological question to add to those that I already have noted in the moleskine that unfortunately already always accompanies me. Fringes that I left loose in the sewing of these last opinions, and that I would not want to be left without basting before the end of the year; among others the relative ones: to the term “cultérrima”; the formula “the truth that” and, naturally, why do footballers spit so much on the field while they play? Have you observed it, too?

CONTACT: [email protected]

FOUNTAIN: Science castling

We wish to say thanks to the writer of this short article for this incredible material

“In praise or in the scent of a crowd?” (and 2)