[Ads-l] Definition of "saying"

Jonathan Lighter wuxxmupp2000 at GMAIL.COM
Sat May 2 12:01:56 UTC 2015


I agree, but I think the def. is trying to include such examples as "in the
saying of Jesus" and "in the saying of the poem."

The def. awkwardly telescopes two or three related senses.

JL

On Sat, May 2, 2015 at 7:16 AM, Shapiro, Fred <fred.shapiro at yale.edu> wrote:

> ---------------------- Information from the mail header
> -----------------------
> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       "Shapiro, Fred" <fred.shapiro at YALE.EDU>
> Subject:      Re: Definition of "saying"
>
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
>
> I don't disagree with what Mark says about this definition being
> excessivel=
> y broad and weak.  But, FWIW, I use "saying" in my articles as a broad and
> =
> weak synonym for "quotation" (to avoid my constantly repeating the word
> "qu=
> otation" -- I don't know of any other alternative word useful for that
> purp=
> ose besides "quote").  I also used "saying" in the Yale Book of Quotations
> =
> as a broad and weak residual category for anonymous expressions of unknown
> =
> origins that didn't fit into other categories such as proverbs or
> political=
>  slogans or advertising slogans or nursery rhymes or television
> catchphrase=
> s.  Subsequently Charlie Doyle pointed out to me that my definition of
> "pro=
> verb" in the YBQ was confused and not in accord with the definition used
> by=
>  proverb scholars, but my point is that "saying" is a convenient term to
> us=
> e broadly in contrast to other more specific terms.=0A=
> =0A=
> While writing the above, it occurs to me that the way I use the word
> "quota=
> tion" itself is actually different from the traditional definition.
> Tradit=
> ionally the word is used to mean "something that is quoted," whereas I use
> =
> it to mean "a notable expression or passage, regardless of whether it is
> qu=
> oted by others."=0A=
> =0A=
> Fred Shapiro=0A=
> =0A=
> =0A=
> =0A=
> ________________________________________=0A=
> From: American Dialect Society [ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU] on behalf of Mark
> M=
> andel [thnidu at GMAIL.COM]=0A=
> Sent: Friday, May 01, 2015 11:46 PM=0A=
> To: ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU=0A=
> Subject: Fwd: Definition of "saying"=0A=
> =0A=
> I just sent this to Houghton Mifflin, re their online version of the=0A=
> American Heritage, 5 edn., via the only electronic contact I could find on=
> =0A=
> their website that seemed even remotely hopeful.=0A=
> =0A=
> Mark=0A=
> ---------- Forwarded message ----------=0A=
> From: "Mark Mandel" <thnidu at gmail.com>=0A=
> Date: May 1, 2015 11:39 PM=0A=
> Subject: Definition of "saying"=0A=
> To: <trade.webmaster at hmhco.com>=0A=
> Cc:=0A=
> =0A=
> Please pass this along to the editorial board of the A.H.Dictionary:=0A=
> =0A=
> Your online definition of "saying" (=0A=
>
> https://urldefense.proofpoint.com/v2/url?u=3Dhttps-3A__www.ahdictionary.com=
>
> _word_search.html-3Fq-3Dsaying&d=3DAwIFaQ&c=3D-dg2m7zWuuDZ0MUcV7Sdqw&r=3DsR=
>
> khHMQo6W5Ird1lkQFqb23bCfSHAR2XjUSUG53db5M&m=3DeOohnA9Ri-nTJ_rU6rbGAAVeVKPne=
> 2KosKD0fO6lgno&s=3DNPpgS69fRsHhNpBlv1V75BnvaQjmuLFBHQ_1SlLexmI&e=3D ) is
> un=
> acceptably=0A=
> broad and weak:=0A=
> =0A=
> Something, such as an adage or maxim, that is said.=0A=
> =0A=
> Though immediately followed by a list of synonyms with amplified=0A=
> definitions -  saying, maxim, adage, saw=B2, aphorism - it does nothing to=
> =0A=
> specify what distinguishes a saying, or one of these synonyms, from=0A=
> anything else "that is said", such as=0A=
> =95 Bring me a hamburger, medium rare.=0A=
> =95 Ouch!=0A=
> =95 We hold these truths to be self-evident.=0A=
> =95 The keeper would a-hunting go.=0A=
> =0A=
> Inadequate! and unworthy of your dictionary and its heritage.=0A=
> =0A=
> Sincerely,=0A=
> Mark A. Mandel=0A=
> =0A=
> ------------------------------------------------------------=0A=
> The American Dialect Society - https://urldefense.proofpoint.com/v2/url?u=
>
> =3Dhttp-3A__www.americandialect.org&d=3DAwIFaQ&c=3D-dg2m7zWuuDZ0MUcV7Sdqw&r=
>
> =3DsRkhHMQo6W5Ird1lkQFqb23bCfSHAR2XjUSUG53db5M&m=3DeOohnA9Ri-nTJ_rU6rbGAAVe=
>
> VKPne2KosKD0fO6lgno&s=3DtFRvN1b6G4ZqmCkAVW8-pDpRzzCQUcxNiioGXZbkxZg&e=3D=0A=
>
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