Paul Frank paulfrank at POST.HARVARD.EDU
Tue Nov 16 17:30:20 UTC 2010

I did promise to shut my gob after Ron Butters' rebuke . But three
people encouraged me offlist not to fade away altogether, so I've
changed my fickle mind and decided to post occasionally (though I will
try to keep my personal opinions and chitchat to a minimum).

Speaking of chitchat, a word I have not seen in any of my
dictionaries, including the OED, is "chatter," meaning electronic
chatter, specifically email, mailing list, online forum, and cellphone
communication among people who are suspected having ties to terrorists
or terrorism and who're being monitored by intelligence agencies.
Here's an example from yesterday's Washington Post:

"As the plot took shape in 2008, the FBI and CIA began hearing chatter
about Lashkar. The agencies warned India at least three times about
threats to Mumbai."


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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