George Mason University has bought a Vocabula Review site license

Paul Frank paulfrank at POST.HARVARD.EDU
Fri Nov 5 17:29:39 UTC 2010

On Fri, Nov 5, 2010 at 5:28 PM, Jesse Sheidlower <jester at> wrote:

> Actually, I believe we have agreed in the past that an
> occasional message announcing language-related things for sale
> (whether books, online sources, etc.), especially those
> produced by a listmember, was acceptable for this list. The
> fact that Mr. Fiske does not otherwise contribute to the list,
> and that his views are opposed to those of most list members,
> might be the main issue here.

The use of "Mr." in this thread is fascinating, in the Spockian sense.
Correct me if I'm wrong, but Robert Fiske is the only person in this
list who has earned the title "Mr.." (and here's a question for Mr.
Fiske, who knows about these things: in American English, am I
supposed put a period after a period before a quotation mark when the
last word in the sentence is "Mr."?) Neither the OED nor my trusty
desk dictionary takes account of the ostracizing and distancing
semantic nuance of this courtesy title. It's the sort of thing that a
comprehensive dictionary should not ignore. And builders of future
tardises, babel fishes, and universal translators will need this sort
of information in black and white.

But I digress.


Paul Frank
Chinese, German, French, Italian > English
Espace de l'Europe 16
Neuch√Ętel, Switzerland
paulfrank at
paulfrank at

The American Dialect Society -

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