Fw: "esquivalience" is out

Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Sat Oct 8 03:49:22 UTC 2005

At 9:39 PM -0400 10/7/05, Thomas Paikeday wrote:
>Re: esquivalience and such ghost entriesHi Erin,
>Good to hear you will delete "esquivalience" from NOAD. I am taking
>the liberty of posting this friendly exchange to the List in case it
>interests others.
>On the other points, however, we have to agree to disagree. I view
>lexicography not as a creative effort (as in "creative accounting")
>but as an effort to describe what exists, based on solid evidence,
>similar to anatomy and cartography. An anatomist cannot presume to
>create organs and structures that don't exist, not even plausible
>ones. A route to India by sailing west was quite plausible, but they
>couldn't put out a map of the world based on theories. The route had
>to be discovered first.
>Thanks for your comments.
Interesting you mention cartography.  Wasn't it precisely the
practice of (some?) traditional map-makers to deliberately invent an
error in the form of (for example) a fictitious island that would be
included on their maps so that anyone else reproducing that same
island on their map could be exposed as a plagiarist?  Nobody is
talking about creating new continents or sublexicons, but the
occasional small island or word seems harmless enough.  (And
occasionally piquant--cf. "The Island of the Map-Maker's Wife" by
Marilyn Sides, a story in her eponymous collection from ten or so
years ago.)


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