"Like" abuse redivivus/ to "be all"
Arnold M. Zwicky
zwicky at CSLI.STANFORD.EDU
Mon Apr 14 18:26:44 UTC 2008
On Apr 13, 2008, at 9:44 PM, Benjamin Lukoff wrote:
> On Sun, Apr 13, 2008 at 9:37 PM, Arnold M. Zwicky
> <zwicky at csli.stanford.edu> wrote:
>> ... i begin to despair of talking about phenomena here. apparently
>> all history disappears once the week is over, so that people start a
>> discussion of a phenomenon as if no one had ever talked about it
>> before (here or anywhere), so i too am apparently supposed to start
>> again from zero and say everything i said before all over again. i'm
>> not sure i can function as a scholar and expositor in such an
> I'm sure I'm not alone in thinking that, while this does seem to be a
> slight bit of overreaction, your presence on the ADS list would be
> missed, and I do hope you continue to read and post.
the obvious solution is just for me to let this stuff go by without
comment (even when the phenomena in question are those that i've
published on and have often posted about on ADS-L). the alternative
would seem to be acting as everybody's research assistant.
Also, it seems preferable to post a message that may contain new
information than to search the archives of various sites for previous
discussion. This is particularly true when one is watching several
threads at once.
preferable -- that is to say, easier -- for *you*, of course. i'm the
one who ends up searching the ecdb, Brians, the ADS-L archives, the
Language Log archives, etc.; googling for bibliography and sources to
quote; extracting stuff from Wikipedia and from the OED and other
dictionaries; and so on. (one of my friends tells me i have an
overdeveloped sense of scholarly responsibility.)
there is a middle way for me: just let the re-discoveries of quotative
"all", "is is", exceptional degree modification with "of", and so on
pass by unremarked; ditto with questions that could be answered by
reference to sources like Wikipedia, the ecdb, and the OED (look it up
yourself, dammit); post material that i believe (after some checking
around) to be genuinely new; and respond to postings that i believe
(after some checking around) to be about genuinely new topics.
The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org
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