OED news

Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Fri Jul 13 05:52:45 UTC 2001

At 10:08 AM -0400 7/13/01, Mark_Mandel at dragonsys.com wrote:
>Larry wrote, rather hard-to-read-ly:

[sorry about that]

>Somehow, I predict that one of the cited texters' abbreviations will
>not survive as an acronym, despite its obvious pronounceability.
>Know what I mean?
>                                Oxford Dictionary adds tech jargon
>                                - - - - - - - - - - - -
>                                Associated Press
>      [...]
>                                "KWIM" is short for "Know what I mean?"
>I assume you're talking about the phonological equivalence "KWIM" = /kwIm/
>= "quim" 'vulva'. "Quim" is obsolete; I'd bet not one American in a
>thousand knows it. (Obviously the logophilous readership of ADS-L is not a
>representative sample.) AAMOF, I kind of doubt that the AP writer or
>his/her editors know it.
One in a thousand!  I thought I was one in a million!

Yes [sigh], I fear Mark is right; not everyone grew up on Victorian
erotica.  But still, "quim" is such a wonderful term of art, and if
it's not quite familiar enough to block the acronymization of KWIM <
'Know What I Mean?', *we* can have our private chuckles and guffaws.
I did try checking google, but was overwhelmed by the Catalan web
sites.  If not AHD4, at least it's in the OED, with cites from Joyce
and Henry Miller (not to mention the immortal Philo Cunnus).

(By the way, that story about the "texting" lexical items making it
into the Concise OED made it onto last night's ABC World News


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