The American Diatribe Society?

RonButters at AOL.COM RonButters at AOL.COM
Wed Jun 18 15:11:55 UTC 2003

Hee-hee. Talk about vituperative (and ad hominem attacks)! 

I agree with Gerald, it is time we stop wasting our lives and energies 
responding to this man's complaints about how stujpid we are and how unfair we all 
are to him. Notice--again--that there is no attempt at intellectual engagement 
with the reasoned arguments of "the linguists," only unsubstantiated ex 
catherdra pronouncements about how wrong we are and self-righteous indignation at 
the TONE of the responses (and vague ridiculous threats of lawsuits).

On another list to which I subscribe, a member was banned from further 
postings because she insisted on writing messages that were clearly off topic. I do 
NOT advocate that we do that here, but I do suggest that if Mr. Fiske 
continues to post messages that say nothing about LANGUAGE (but which merely complain 
about how putatively ill he has been treated), he be politely warned by the 
List officials that this is the American Dialect Society List, not the American 
Diatribe Society List.

In a message dated 6/17/03 8:44:45 PM, gcohen at UMR.EDU writes:

> At 7:10 PM -0400 6/17/03, Robert Hartwell Fiske wrote:
> >
> >...I imagine, though, that the principal reason for the vituperative (and 
> ad
> >hominem) attacks against me is that people who have spent their lives 
> studying
> >linguistics are infuriated when someone dares say, in effect, that
> >how they see things is largely nonsense. No one likes to be told,
> >even implicitly, that
> >they have wasted their lives. ...
>    Uh oh.  Maybe it's time to put an end to this ads-l discussion, or
> at least to put it on hold.  The linguists on this list have devoted
> themselves to many aspects of language, not just the
> descriptivist/prescriptivist issue.  For someone outside the field,
> unfamiliar with the work that many ADS linguists have done, to
> declare that they have wasted their lives is a bit much. A
> backing-off  seems in order.
> Gerald Cohen

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