SI Cover Jinx; Ants on a Log

Fred Shapiro fred.shapiro at YALE.EDU
Thu Jan 17 15:35:08 UTC 2002

On Thu, 17 Jan 2002 Bapopik at AOL.COM wrote:

>    Oh c'mon Fred, stop arguing the ridiculous.  The revised OED entry is
> bad.  They didn't "pick and choose" to lead with 1904 rather than 1858
> or 1880 or 1893.

I think your point boils down to the fact that the basic searches in the
OED Online point to the second edition, with new material as a somewhat
hidden "add-on". I agree that that is confusing to the user.

>    And I never said that every word from everywhere in the world must be
> in the OED.

When you seem to criticize the OED for omitting uncommon, unnaturalized
words from other languages, it is hard for the reader of your postings not
to conclude that you think all words from all languages should be in the
OED (all food words, at least!).

>    And yes, I know that AMERICAN SPEECH note on "86" was prepared before
> I posted on "86" in December.  But it's a bad note anytime.

Agreed.  But I think your valid points would be more credible if they were
not so mixed with seemingly invalid points.  (I mean this in a friendly
spirit -- your valid points deserve more publicity than they get, and I am
trying to suggest how you might get more of a hearing.)

Fred Shapiro

Fred R. Shapiro                             Editor
Associate Librarian for Public Services     YALE DICTIONARY OF QUOTATIONS
  and Lecturer in Legal Research            Yale University Press,
Yale Law School                             forthcoming
e-mail: fred.shapiro at     

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