Proposal: A separate antedatings list

ronbutters at AOL.COM ronbutters at AOL.COM
Sun Nov 4 17:48:42 UTC 2007

I don't understand how an eminent lexicographer can with a straight face write, "culinary postings seem to me to be not even remotely lexicographical"--culinary terms are still WORDS (does Oxford not publish a fine dictionary of food & drink?)! Regional lexis is still lexis, and the Dictionary of American Regional English is still, "uh," a dictionary. Moreover, many of the food terms that have been placed in the archives over the years by our most peripatetic menu reader are not strictly regional, or even "American."

That said, I'm totally willing to try to deal with this on my own. The technical problem is more with how to deal with this on Blackberry, where I have to open the items before deleting them. Deleting them on aol doesn't delete them from Blackberry. I can go to another server for ADSL, but then they won't appear on Blackberry at all.

Again, my frustration is not just with antedatings or food terms or eggcorns (which together make up maybe 60% of the postings) but with all the inane off topic cross-talk.

I started this thread because it troubled me to be losing the likes of Roger Shuy & Michael Montgomery, two of the most important dialectologists in America. I'm satisfied that this loss is not important to the members of the list--that most people seem to like it the way it is--a list serve devoted largely to antedatings, updating the lexicographical record by listing every variant on every food and drink term current in the world, posting every might-be-a-eggcorn (even though Zwicky maintains a separate online list) and every thought that comes into the heads of two or three of our more gabby contributors.  I'm cool with that, if that is what those who are in the majority want (especially if this is the best way to get the important data into an archive), but it seems pretty marginal (to me) to the central interests of American dialectology--and, on a daily basis, even 10-15 messages of that sort is tedious and annoying.

Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

-----Original Message-----
From: Jesse Sheidlower <jester at PANIX.COM>

Date:         Sun, 4 Nov 2007 10:29:54
Subject:      Re: [ADS-L] Proposal: A separate antedatings list

On Sun, Nov 04, 2007 at 02:52:10PM +0000, ronbutters at AOL.COM wrote:
> It is ironic that all these strictly lexicographical matters
> are posted to the "dialect" list & not the DSNA. It is largely
> just a matter of history, but also: does DSNA archive its
> entries? And if so, & if we posted antedatings and culinary
> terms there, archive searchers would have to enter their
> searches 3 times instead of 2 (which Jesse S thinks somehow
> would be more inconvenient than having to delete numerous
> unwanted messages every day).

Uh, the culinary postings seem to me to be not even remotely
lexicographical--these are entirely about regional variation
in American English, but are not things that would go into
most dictionaries, and are thus suited for ADS-L but not DSNA,
all other considerations aside.

Ron, if the problem is that you don't like this one category
of postings, can I suggest that you just set a filter on the
poster who generates the vast majority of them? This seems to
be possible in AOL (thanks to Grant for finding the link):

And it's widely possible in most other e-mail clients. I'd
think this one-time effort would be more convenient than
either deleting numerous unwanted messages or compelling
various people to perform multiple searches, etc.

Jesse Sheidlower

The American Dialect Society -

The American Dialect Society -

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