Proposal: A separate antedatings list

Barry A. Popik Bapopik at AOL.COM
Sun Nov 4 19:21:06 UTC 2007

>From Lynne:
"I receive ADS-L in digest form, and usually skip a whole day's digest if  I
see that the titles are mostly about antedatings and local food  terms."
"Sorority sauce" was for her (and the next HDAS). It appears that the
term"sorority sauce" (for "ranch dressing") is used at Baylor, where Lynne  taught.
Maybe she had nothing to add?
>From Ron:
"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
Yes, I am worried about the losses. I don't like the loss of Larry Urdang,
either. Neither Shuy nor Montgomery posted here much to use this resource. I
could have helped Montgomery on many terms, kicking butt on every food term,
but  he never or rarely asked the list. (When his Dictionary of Smoky Mountain
English came out in 2004, I realized that electronic resources even then could
 easily antedate nearly every single term in the dictionary.) Urdang had quit
and  rejoined the list before. He complained about too many posts (and topics
"not to  his liking"), but we pointed out the Daily Digests. He was against
combining  subjects on posts, but then he and others complained about the
number of posts!  Urdang seemed a little out of touch. When I pointed out a new
online Nebraska  resource and then antedated "reuben sandwich," and Urdang made
an  uniformed post in reply, not at all knowledgeable of the subject  or the
ADS-L archives.
You see these same arguments in every field. Austin, Texas is growing to be
a major city, largely because of people fleeing from California. How can we
"Keep Austin Weird" if we let them build their McMansions/Dallas palaces/Texas
tuscans in the beautiful hill country? Look at what they're doing to the
traffic! The development of computerized databases in the last few years (and on
a daily basis) has changed the face of lexicography. We should welcome  these
new discussions.
>From Jesse:
"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."
I disagree. Perhaps "fried pickles" isn't "even remotely lexicographical,"
but  "frickles" surely is. Maybe "cheese fries" isn't "even remotely
lexicographical," but "poutine" is in the OED and "disco fries" and "hobo fries"
(didn't post that yet!) surely are lexicographical. Yes, maybe I got away  with
giving a historical treatment of "fried green tomatoes," but posts on
"hamburger" (OED) and "french fries" (OED) and "reuben sandwich" (OED) and  "nacho"
(OED) and "iced tea" (OED) and "hot dog" (OED) almost all of  the others most
certainly are lexicographical. Maybe I post one or two regional  food terms a day
here, and ADS-L/OED/DARE/HDAS should consider themselves  extremely lucky for

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