Truespel Spam

Mark Mandel thnidu at GMAIL.COM
Tue Feb 5 03:44:10 UTC 2008

Thanks for posting the clarification, Ben. I suspected that anyone reading
that sentence -- except perhaps the referent individual -- would understand
it, or would at worst be able to parse it and look up the term. (I had to
rewrite the preceding sentence three times to make the scope of negation
clear without too much awkwardness.)

On Feb 4, 2008 10:08 PM, Benjamin Zimmer <bgzimmer at>

> On Feb 4, 2008 3:48 PM, Tom Zurinskas <truespel at> wrote:
> >
> [Larry Horn wrote:]
> > > I don't recall anyone calling you non-theological.
> >
> > It was in the last MAM-ogram where he also wishes to stigmatize anyone
> responding to my posts.

Ah, a telling slash against my initials. I resolved many years ago to avoid
making jokes on people's names, because they'd already heard them all and
didn't consider them funny -- and that's just with well-meaning ones. I
thought I'd seen the worst T.Z. could do, but he's surprised me yet again: I
don't think I've heard this one before. ... But I don't consider it funny,
so that part still holds.

And, as I think and hope Ron recognized, I was not trying to stigmatize him
-- look that up, Tom, I do not think it means what you think it means --
when I wrote:

Ron, don't waste your time trying to talk sense to Tom Zurinskas.

m a m (unashamed of my initials)

> Hate to wade into this, but it's worth correcting the record: Mark M.
> never called Tom Z. non-theological. He called him "a perfect example
> of non-theological invincible ignorance." Parsing this requires
> knowing what the theological variety of "invincible ignorance" is.
> Easily Googled for non-initiates, first hit being from the Catholic
> Encyclopedia: "Ignorance is said to be invincible when a person is
> unable to rid himself of it notwithstanding the employment of moral
> diligence, that is, such as under the circumstances is, morally
> speaking, possible and obligatory." Tom Z., invincibly, took this to
> mean that he himself is non-theological. (Outside the theology of
> ADS-L? If only we had the powers of excommunication...)
> --Ben Zimmer
Mark Mandel

The American Dialect Society -

More information about the Ads-l mailing list