Tortilla Soup/Aztec Soup

RonButters at AOL.COM RonButters at AOL.COM
Mon Dec 3 16:57:37 UTC 2007

I should not have to explain this, but I will try.

Mr. Popick writes, re: OED, "We stink on food!"--because OED does not have 
entries for "tortilla soup" or "Aztec soup." My (admittedly somewhat sardonic) 
responses were intended to suggest that "tortilla soup" is pretty much 
(lexicographically) a transparent compound needing no dictionary entry (at any rate, 
its absence is not justification for the childish insult to the OED). Mr. P 
responds that there are recipes for tortilla soup that distinguish it from, e.g., 
won-ton soup. So what?

If one removes won tons from won ton soup and replaces them with tortilla 
chips, is the result now tortilla soup? This is not a lexicographical question. 
(Is it even an encyclopedic question? or, instead, a philosophical one?) A 
dictionary--even the magnificent OED--is not a place that one looks for recipes. 
It may be that the editors will add "tortilla soup" (as they have won ton soup) 
but the absence of "tortilla soup" scarcely is legitimate justification for 
saying that the OED "stinks" with respect to food terms. 

Beyond that, I also suggest that a mere 2,000 or so Google hits for Aztec 
Soup is not justification for saying that the "OED stinks" for not including 
Aztec soup. Why should OED be so preoccupied with the minutia of US menu items and 
recipes? Must the OED be equally busy recording 2000-hit Google items from 
South Africa? New Zealand? Australia? Hong Kong? The Shetland Islands? 
English-speaking India? I found 15,000 hits for "mutton biryani"--does the OED "stink" 
because it does not have "mutton biryani"?

Mr. Popik, who feels free to dispense genuine insults, has had difficulty 
here distinguishing between (1) disagreement with his ideas, principles, and 
work, and (2) insults to him (and lack of "compassion" for the anguish that his 
work brings upon him). I have written on ADS-L many times that I welcome his 
tireless efforts--they are on the whole a genuine contribution to lexicography. I 
think that it is splendid that his genuine contributions are recorded in the 
ADS-L archives. If I suggest that some of his postings err on the trivial 
side, and if I find some of his gratuitous insults puerile, that certainly does 
not indicate for a moment that any sort of censorship--except 
self-censorship--might be called for. 

And the last thing that I would want, believe me, is to be "king" of any 
realm wherein it was my job to try to control Mr. Popik's communications to the 
outside world. Who could possibly control a New Yorker turned Texan?

In a message dated 12/3/07 10:59:08 AM, Bapopik at AOL.COM writes:

> In a message dated 12/3/2007 10:33:53 A.M. Eastern Standard Time,
> ronbutters at AOL.COM writes:
> Bean  soup is not merely soup with beans in it, either.

> ...
> No mention of the "won ton" thing, eh, Ron? Want to write to OED saying
> you're outraged that it's in there?
> ...
> Ron, we've been through this over and over and over again. You're not king;
> posts do not have to be pre-approved through you. I'm a member of this
> society.  What I submitted was clearly on topic for the American Dialect 
> Society.
> ...
> You insult me here, in public. No ADS member should have to go through what
> I've gone through, for so long.

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