Unwatering

Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Thu Nov 1 15:42:03 UTC 2012


I should have added that there's an OED entry for "unwater" ('to drain of water, carry off water from') with cites back to 1642, as well as a subentry for its specific uses in mining lingo (e.g. "un-water a lead mine").

LH

On Nov 1, 2012, at 7:37 AM, Neal Whitman wrote:

> Just heard on Today show: unwatering. The title was "The ~ of New York"; Savannah Guthrie asked a guy about it, who attributed it to the Army Corps of Engineers in the days after Katrina, with a base form: "to unwater New Orleans". Why not "dewater" or even "drain"? Don't know. Don't seem to recall it from Ben's "un" column. Haven't had time to seek earlier attestations...
>
> Neal
>
> On Nov 1, 2012, at 4:20 AM, Paul Frank <paulfrank at POST.HARVARD.EDU> wrote:
>
>> ---------------------- Information from the mail header -----------------------
>> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
>> Poster:       Paul Frank <paulfrank at POST.HARVARD.EDU>
>> Subject:      Re: Nagging Question--was: Hot new Einstein quote
>> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
>>
>> On Wed, Oct 31, 2012 at 8:30 PM, Hunter, Lynne R CIV
>> SPAWARSYSCEN-PACIFIC, 71700 <lynne.hunter at navy.mil> wrote:
>>> I've tried to keep quiet about this, but it just keeps nagging me: How
>>> do we know that Albert Einstein was "even smarter than Mark Twain"? Do
>>> we just accept that as a given? Is it because Einstein was a genius in
>>> math and science and Mark Twain was _only_ a genius in literature? Would
>>> we automatically say that Sir Isaac Newton was smarter than Shakespeare,
>>> or that any person highly accomplished in the sciences is _smarter_ than
>>> a person accomplished in other disciplines? Does math and science trump
>>> other fields even among this company (as it does among the general
>>> population, evidently contributing to the reverence for technology and
>>> its consequences)? Does anybody else feel uneasy about making these
>>> comparisons?
>>>
>>> Lynne Hunter
>>
>> Yesterday's Times answered your question with a W.H. Auden quote:
>> "When I find myself in the company of scientists, I feel like a shabby
>> curate who has strayed by mistake into a drawing room full of dukes."
>>
>> Cheers,
>> Paul
>>
>> Paul Frank
>> Translator
>> German, French, Chinese => English
>> Neuch√Ętel, Switzerland
>> paulfrank at post.harvard.edu
>>
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>
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