[Ads-l] _catchier_ "more contagious, more 'catching'"

Bill Mullins amcombill at HOTMAIL.COM
Fri Feb 12 10:30:30 EST 2021

>  Please give your personal appreciation of this headline. When you simply
>  "drop" it to the list things stop making sense. Thank you!
>  Tomas

It's pretty obvious from Wilson's original subject line that he finds the use of "catchier" to be novel and potentially of interest to the group.

Or, at least, it's obvious to _me_.  That's because I've seen him make dozens of similarly formatted posts over the last fifteen years that I've been a part of this list (Wilson goes back even farther).  And the majority of them were in fact of interest.  He reads widely and carefully, and has a good eye/ear for usage that stands out in some way.

You're history here is much shorter.  I don't know how long you've lurked, but I don't find any posts from you before last week.  Since then, you've show that you didn't like how the members here have interrogated "wyte" or "Jezebel".  You did mention that your age group is 18-25, so some of the folks whom you are criticizing have been contributing (substantially) to lexical and linguistic scholarship longer than you've been alive.

Again, if you had a longer history with the list, you'd know that way these questions developed was par for the course; a legitimate interest in how words are being used and how they are changing in discourse.  And that the people asking these questions are doing so seriously, and that there's no reason to assume or suspect that they might be doing it from a position of anything other than good will.

The questions are not, however, necessarily respectful of those for whom any use (particularly a nominative use) implies racism, and particularly on the part of whoever is bringing the subject up.  Terms that are typically used in a racist way are and have been often discussed here on the list simply as terms, and not with any racist animus or intent.  (One of my own primary interest is slang, and I appreciate very much that when I first joined and provided antedatings and other cites of phrases like "African golf" [=craps] and the like that they were accepted as offered -- documentation of [racist] language -- without assumption of anything other than serious motives in posting it.  I look back at some of what I've posted, though, and realize that I will never be employed by the New York Times, nor should I ever bother to run for office at the national level.  C'est la vie.  As I live in Alabama, though, I can still hold out hope for a position at the state level.)

All this is to say, then, that if you are in fact as new to the list as you appear, then perhaps it would be a good idea to get more used to the norms of the list before you start saying how it ought to operate.  That's generally good etiquette for all online communities, and works well here.

From: American Dialect Society [ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU] on behalf of Tomas Alvarez [tomasalvarez95 at GMAIL.COM]
Sent: Thursday, February 11, 2021 11:00 AM
Subject: [Non-DoD Source] Re: _catchier_ "more contagious, more 'catching'"


Please give your personal appreciation of this headline. When you simply
"drop" it to the list things stop making sense. Thank you!


On Thu, Feb 11, 2021 at 08:35 Wilson Gray <hwgray at gmail.com> wrote:

> Harvard Gazette sub-head:
> "Experts urge upgrading to an N95 or doubling up as _catchier_ COVID
> strains surge in the U.S."
> --
> - Wilson
> -----
> All say, "How hard it is that we have to die!"---a strange complaint to
> come from the mouths of people who have had to live.
> -Mark Twain
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

The American Dialect Society - Caution-http://www.americandialect.org

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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