athletic shoes (and home furnishings)

Paul Johnson paulzjoh at MTNHOME.COM
Sat Sep 23 17:46:25 UTC 2006

I've always wondered where they went wrong?  Back in the 50's I was
doing a lot of industrial purchasing, the yellow pages were a great
source of information!  There may not have been an index but look up
nuts and bolts and you might be referred to screws and fasteners.  Cars
to autos, the only heading I see close to that today is clubs, where you
may see a suggestion to look at fraternal organizations, charities,
night clubs etc.  I guess this all came about with the split of AT&T ,
the phone companies lost their monopoly on the "yellow Pages"  and every
other clown got into the business with concurrent cost cutting.

Arnold M. Zwicky wrote:

> it occurred to me yesterday to look in the yellow pages of my phone
> book to see what heading(s) athletic shoes (sneakers, whatever) are
> listed under.  the yellow pages present a taxonomy of people and
> organizations providing goods and services, and a vocabulary to go
> along with this taxonomy.  it's a specialized vocabulary, supplying a
> single high-register term for each taxon; every so often i've had to
> explain to a foreign student that if you're looking for a doctor, you
> have to look under Physicians, for cars under Automobiles, for drug
> stores under Pharmacies, etc.
> most yellow pages these days also have an index, supplying pointers
> to the main headers. (snip)

The American Dialect Society -

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