boring e-mails

Dennis R. Preston preston at PILOT.MSU.EDU
Wed Jun 2 11:24:06 UTC 1999

Kudos to the lerned Barnhart. If I mocked my students for every time they
used "illicit" for "elicit," I wouldn't have no students left.

Now, before you deterioration of the language folk get ahold of this, let
me assure you that I let the student know that there are folk out there who
will mock them if they keep it up, but, as David suggests, it is best done
either humorously (acknowledging we all share in speaking and/or writing
our vernacular, some of us at a greater distance from the so-called
standard) or privately (if your own vernacular deviates not at all from the
standard and you cannot share that).

dInIs (among them who remember unkind, public words about their language
when they was little-uns)

>Why do some folks think it so important to show up the other fellow
>when he or she in haste slips in a misspelling?  I wonder if it's one
>way of saying I'm smarter than you.  Is this not supposed to be a
>learned group, theoretically above that sort of thing?  MY SUGGESTION
>is that if so moved to e-mail someone about an error in spelling do it
>quietly and directly without embarrassing anyone.  You just might get
>more good will that way.
>Sorry, but I just had to get this off my mind.
>David K. Barnhart
>barnhart at

Dennis R. Preston
Department of Linguistics and Languages
Michigan State University
East Lansing MI 48824-1027 USA
preston at
Office: (517)353-0740
Fax: (517)432-2736

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