... Butter's Comments

RonButters at AOL.COM RonButters at AOL.COM
Tue Jul 30 15:23:46 UTC 2002

In a message dated 7/30/2002 6:39:02 AM, Bapopik at AOL.COM writes:

<<    Yes, I'm deeply offended by Ron's comments.  It's no secret at all that
there are many lawyers on this list.  An off-topic legal comment is intended
for them and a few other people.  I don't have to explain that, but I guess
that I do. >>

I am sorry that Mr. Popik was offended. I do not take offense at the fact (if
it is a fact) that many of my postings may be of no interest whatever to him
(or some others who subscribe to ADS-L) I mentioned the fact that I
personally find little of interest in Mr. Popik's lexicographical postings
ONLY as a way of emphasizing that I nonetheless firmly support his posting
them. I am told by people I respect that Popik's work is extremely useful to
the many lexicographers who participate in ADS-L, and it has always been
clear that they are very interesting to many of the subscribers. I
occasionally read them myself when the particular word is of interest to me.
I am grateful that he generates so much interest in ADS-L and thereby in the
study of American English, which is the central purpose of this list.

What I do object to is when he uses the list for irrelevant personal
purposes. This includes venting about off-topic legal issues, which was what
brought my initial criticism. Comments addressed only to lawyers are outside
the scope of this list and should be posted elsewhere. There are in fact many
special interests represented on this list that normal users would not think
of mentioning. Do we really want an ADS-L where the feminists address remarks
only to the other feminists, where the gay folk address comments only to the
other gay folk, where the engineers speak about topics of primary interest
only to other engineers?

More importantly, do we really want a list in which we babble on about the
intimate details of our private lives, details that have nothing whatever to
do with language? Someone wrote me (privately, I think) that such
conversation is a way of building a sense of community among ADS-Lers. As I
see it, ADS-L is a community devoted to the topic of the English language,
especially in America. Why we need to stray very far from that topic is not
clear to me. ADS-L is not a support group or a place for venting personal
frustrations or complaining about the details of our private lives.

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