Fw: "esquivalience" is out

Thomas Paikeday thomaspaikeday at SPRINT.CA
Sat Oct 8 12:17:43 UTC 2005

----- Original Message -----
From: "Laurence Horn" <laurence.horn at YALE.EDU>
Sent: Friday, October 07, 2005 11:49 PM
Subject: Re: Fw: "esquivalience" is out

> ---------------------- Information from the mail
> header -----------------------
> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       Laurence Horn <laurence.horn at YALE.EDU>
> Subject:      Re: Fw: "esquivalience" is out
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> 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.)
> Larry

I think the idea is good, but the practice is wrong.

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