Track(ed) record

Ronald Butters ronbutters at AOL.COM
Fri Nov 19 17:47:18 UTC 2010

Well, no, darn it. Be fair.

Yes, there is a lot of "chatter" on ADS-L, but I certainly have never been so arrogant as to maintain that the criterion is not whether it is "my introspection" or "somebody else's introspection," and it is unfair to reduce my comments to that absurdity.

Of course, I certainly hope that, when I do contribute to the list, I am making contributions that others will find useful, and I of course am may be wrong from time to time, like anybody else. If you go back and fish through the archives, I am sure you can find postings that I have made that I would now agree would have been better unsaid. But I do try to keep the number of my postings limited to what seems to me to be genuinely of some importance, rather than posting several times a day on whatever happens to cross my eyes and ears. I try to keep my responses intellectual and not social, realizing that I can chat with friends offline. Most people do the same.

I have complained from time to time about the level of triviality on the list--and obviously I am not alone in my view that the level of "chatter" reaches annoying proportions, and if my occasional complaints have served to cause even a little courteous restraint among some posters, then I'm happy with that. I also agree with those who point out to me that it is easy enough to delete postings, and that there may be some virtue to having even the most inane observation filed away forever in the archives.

On Nov 19, 2010, at 12:07 PM, Paul Frank wrote:

> My me too was serious: like you, I had always wrongly assumed that
> track record was a record that people had kept track of. My lame
> little post-scriptum joke was also serious: I thought you were
> breaking your own rule. But it turns out that your rule is more
> discriminating (in the best sense of the word) than I had assumed:
> your introspection generates and explicates linguistic data; other
> folks' introspection is so much chatter, to borrow a word. So I sit
> corrected again.

The American Dialect Society -

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