[Ads-l] Slang a la the NYT

Jonathan Lighter wuxxmupp2000 at GMAIL.COM
Tue Nov 11 19:55:15 UTC 2014

Prescriptivists now prefer "Mexican-American War."

Because the old version *could be interpreted,* by those inclined to do so,
to mean that Mexico started it. Or could suggest that to innocent minds.

Cf. the diehard insistence on "The War Between the States."

Which isn't accurate anyway because separate states weren't at war in a
free-for-all:  two nations were at war, one internationally recognized and
established, the other unrecognized but de facto.

The diehards reject "Civil War" because, see, a "civil war" takes place
*within* a nation.

There's may be no limit to semantic paranoia.


On Tue, Nov 11, 2014 at 12:09 PM, Mark Mandel <thnidu at gmail.com> wrote:

> ---------------------- Information from the mail header
> -----------------------
> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       Mark Mandel <thnidu at GMAIL.COM>
> Subject:      Re: Slang a la the NYT
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> At least your nitpick is substantive.
> On Mon, Oct 6, 2014 at 9:33 AM, Amy West <medievalist at w-sts.com> wrote:
> ...
> > Kory is a bright light from what I have seen and heard of her work at
> > M-W (for whom I still freelance).
> >
> > I would not dismiss her or her work based on this common use.
> >
> > Dave Wilton is spot on re: the editorial review: It was my senior editor
> > at M-W who reviewed my letters to correspondents, pointed out my uses of
> > things like "lay" for "lie" and "hopefully" that would set off
> > prescriptivists, and recommended that I should avoid them lest they have
> > the reaction that y'all are demonstrating here.
> >
> > Yep, the lay/lie distinction is fading in the dialect. Deal with it.
> >
> > (And I just yesterday gave a local organization grief for a "during the
> > Mexican War in 1945" typo on a poster. [Twice on the same poster, 1945
> > for 1845.] So I can be just as nitpicky as another.)
> >
> > ---Amy West
> >
> ------------------------------------------------------------
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