Pragmatics of authors-name order

Arnold M. Zwicky zwicky at CSLI.STANFORD.EDU
Tue Feb 24 19:23:06 UTC 2004

On Feb 24, 2004, at 8:20 AM, RonButters at AOL.COM wrote:

> I certainly agree with Arnold that it is too simple merely to assume
> that a
> multiply-authored article or book is "really" the work of the first
> author and
> that the others "just helped" a bit. However, it does seem more than a
> little
> PRESCRIPTIVE of Dr. Zwicky to call the practice a "vulgar error" that
> requires
> "correction"--especially given the common practice of citing works
> with "et
> al."

i have no problem with "N et al." (taking a plural verb form when it's
a subject).  i objected to references to the first author's name only
(taking a singular verb form when it's a subject).  this is simply

there are plenty of places in life where prescriptions are entirely
appropriate.  i'm going to object if you refer to "the Linguistics
Society of America" (or, for that matter, to "the Berkeley Linguistic
Society"), for example, and i'm going to insist on standard spelling
(and capitalization, even!) in academic publications.

arnold (zwicky at, who objects when addressed as
   "Alfred" or "Dr. Zwinky", as has happened during the past week

More information about the Ads-l mailing list