YBQ Review in American Speech

Charles Doyle cdoyle at UGA.EDU
Fri Dec 28 13:37:06 UTC 2007

Regarding the abbreviation "YBC" for "Yale Book of Cwotations":

It's not hard to imagine that, at a late stage of things, a decision was made to replace the title (subsequent to its first occurrence) with initials--then the typo "YBC" was entered and a "replace all" command given. And no further proofreading was undertaken . . . .


---- Original message ----
>Date: Thu, 27 Dec 2007 22:38:58 -0500
>From: "Shapiro, Fred" <Fred.Shapiro at YALE.EDU>
>Subject: YBQ Review in American Speech
>First of all, it's a pleasure for me to note that I have the highest personal and professional regard for Dick Bailey.  He is probably completely unaware that I would never have gotten into the quotation dictionary biz were it not for him.  (In the late 1980s, Oxford University Press-New York advertised for a director of a "Center for North American English" -- an abortive precursor, obviously, of Jesse Sheidlower's position.  Dick recommended my name to OUP and I interviewed for the position.  The interviewer and I quickly concluded that I was not really qualified for that job, but he asked me whether I was interested in doing some kind of legal reference work for them.  This led to the Oxford Dictionary of American Legal Quotations, which in turn led to the Yale Book of Quotations.  Dick also was extremely helpful to me on another important project, but that's a story for another time.)
>Dick's review is a good one, but the repeated use of the YBC abbreviation is bizarre, to say the least.  There are also some other errors in the review.  One of these, incorrectly saying that I left out "That's all folks" from Looney Tunes, is probably attributable to the reviewer, but with regard to "YBC" and other typos I wonder whether Dick was victimized by some really poor copyediting on the part of American Speech.
>Fred Shapiro
>At 2:05 PM -0500 12/27/07, Charles Doyle wrote:
>>Here's my question: Why does Richard Bailey's review of the _Yale Book of Quotations_ in _American Speech_ abbreviate the title as "YBC"?
>It's a puzzler, even more so than the fact that Johnnie Cochrane has been turned into Johnnie Cockran without anyone noticing. "Cuotations?"

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