"Unring" Not in OED

Jesse Sheidlower jester at PANIX.COM
Wed Nov 28 15:15:17 UTC 2007

On Wed, Nov 28, 2007 at 09:49:57AM -0000, Michael Quinion wrote:
> Jesse Sheidlower wrote:
> > Perhaps something like 'of or relating to the work of a
> > paremiologist', the last word being one that is in your OED.
> It may be appropriate, in view of comments about the OED's rules for
> including words, to wonder about the absence of "paremiological" (or
> "paroemiological") from the recent revision of the letter "P". It's easy
> to find examples in scholarly books and papers. Since "paroemiology" is
> there, it would be little effort, surely, to add the adjective? This
> thread alone shows it would be useful.

I can only assume that when the entries were drafted, the
evidence for _paremiological_ was too slight to merit
inclusion. It's always possible to hypothesize, and sometimes
even find, rare words made even rarer by the application of
predictable affixes. For example, Google returns six hits for
"paremiologically" (of which the first three are for
"Paremiologically oriented folklorists and cultural historians
have assembled collections of such invectives," from different
version of an essay by paremiologist Wolfgang Mieder on "the
only good Indian is a dead Indian", originally in the _Journal
of American Folklore_ in 1993). This doesn't mean that
_paremiologically_ should be included in OED, however--it's
extremely narrowly focused, and transparent to its intended

With that said, it does seem as though _paremiological_ should
be considered, and I've passed it along to those to whom one
passes such things.

Jesse Sheidlower

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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