call waiting and away message

Thomas Paikeday thomaspaikeday at SPRINT.CA
Fri Feb 6 23:07:48 UTC 2004

The 2002 Shorter Oxford cites "away game, goal, match, win" as examples, but
the definition is too narrow (referring to "play" and "opponent"); same
problem with the M-W (2002) def. There seems no doubt the earliest uses
would have been in the game context, but contemporary usage  as seen in
"away team" (def. "away from home" in my UWD, 2000) and "away message"
should,  IMO,  be defined more broadly and outside the play context.


----- Original Message -----
From: "Dennis Baron" <debaron at UIUC.EDU>
Sent: Friday, February 06, 2004 2:16 PM
Subject: call waiting and away message

> ---------------------- Information from the mail
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> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       Dennis Baron <debaron at UIUC.EDU>
> Subject:      call waiting and away message
> --------------------------------------------------------------------------
> Hey, all,
> I'm trying to discover early uses of "away message." just checked the
> oed and merriam webster on line and didn't find the term under away
> (they have away game) or message. any input greatly appreciated.
> Dennis
> Dennis Baron                                                office:
> Professor of English and Linguistics              mobile: 217-840-0776
> Department of English                                           fax:
> University of Illinois   
> 608 S. Wright St.
> Urbana, IL 61801
> debaron at

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