Where's HDAS III? (was: Re: "the apocryphal HDAS III")

Jonathan Lighter wuxxmupp2000 at GMAIL.COM
Sat Aug 14 21:39:13 UTC 2010

Thanks for the prayers, Pat, and I share your frustration with what I call
"real life."

I can only repeat here what I've said to a number of people individually.

OUP now owns the rights to the slang dictionary and has in its possession my
partially edited files from P through Z. The last I saw of them, a good many
terms remained incompletely defined or awaited antedating; except for new
words and senses from the past few years, there are no vocabulary gaps.
There is enough material in the HDAS files for at least one more volume,
with both new and updated entries for Vols. I and II. Beyond that, and the
fact that some of the material has already been intercalated into the online
OED, I know not.


On Fri, Aug 13, 2010 at 1:40 PM, Mailbox <mailbox at grammarphobia.com> wrote:

> ---------------------- Information from the mail header
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> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       Mailbox <mailbox at GRAMMARPHOBIA.COM>
> Subject:      Re: Where's HDAS III? (was: Re:  "the apocryphal HDAS III")
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> The divagations have been fascinating, but I would hate to see George =
> Thompson's original point lost.=20
> On Monday, Aug. 2, 2010, he [george.thompson at NYU.EDU] wrote, in part =
> (I'm compressing a bit):=20
> "... [H]ow long do we have to wait for Oxford University Press to bring =
> out the final volumes of HDAS? ... The OUP needs to stop sitting on the =
> material for HDAS III & IV and produce them, or I will start remembering =
> it in my bed-time curses, along with the despised Bertelsmann House. =
> What can the collective might of ADS-L do to bring this about?"
> I too want to see this gaping hole in my bookshelves filled! Perhaps the =
> remaining volume or volumes could be brought out as ebooks.
> Presumably there is a contract between OUP and someone else (Random =
> House? Jonathan Lighter?) for the publication of this material. If that =
> contract does not specifically mention ebook rights, then those rights =
> belong to the author.=20
> It's been established by the courts that authors retain ebook rights in =
> standard publishing contracts unless they expressly grant those rights =
> to the publisher. (This was established in a federal court in 2001 in =
> Random House v. Rosetta Books. An appellate court affirmed the =
> decision.)
> And contracts usually provide that if the publisher fails to produce the =
> material, the rights revert to the author.
> I'm sure Rosetta (or some other ebook house) would snap up the remaining =
> HDAS in an instant. Besides answering our collective prayers, this could =
> mean a substantial bit of change for Jonathan Lighter--perhaps 50 =
> percent or more of net proceeds on ebook sales.
> I'm taking a lot for granted here. Perhaps JL could enlighten us as to =
> the exact status of the project and whether he has a contractual =
> agreement with OUP.
> Pat O'Conner=20
> ------------------------------------------------------------
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