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Gregory {Greg} Downing gd2 at IS2.NYU.EDU
Thu Aug 31 19:42:59 UTC 2000

At 02:45 PM 8/31/2000 -0400, Frank Abate wrote:
>I clearly didn't realize that this was as widely used as it seems to be.  Maybe
>this thread will help in mapping the usage.

I was an undergrad in Ann Arbor (mentioned earlier on this thread) at the
end of the 1970's; both terms (p.s./l.s.) were used there at that time, if I
recall correctly. However, there were lots of non-locals in Ann Arbor -- but
that's hardly unique in the U.S. at this late, highly mobile date, which is
of course one of the factors we have to bear in mind in making statements
about regional usage in the year 2000.

>The fact that Lieberman's usage was questioned suggests to me that term is
>unfamiliar to some, and likely is restricted in some manner.

I didn't pay particularly close attention to the politicized p.s./l.s.
debates, since they tended to run along predictably partisan lines. But the
impression I took away is that some anti-Lieberman folks seemed to be taking
the position that in saying "p.s." L. was deceptively employing a euphemism
for something that some people apparently disapprove of, on moral and/or
religious and/or economic grounds. Others argued that there was nothing
wrong with either p.s.'es or l.s.'s, though there was some disagreement as
to whether these were two different things or two different terms for the
same thing. Please note that I am reporting all this sentiment, to the best
of my rather general recollection, and not endorsing any of it.

Greg Downing, at greg.downing at or gd2 at

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