OED news

Dennis R. Preston preston at PILOT.MSU.EDU
Fri Jul 13 19:20:48 UTC 2001

FWIW, one of my Brit colleagues was horrified (after I told him it
was so) that no (an obvious exaggeration) Yank (including faculty
types) would have a clue about wank (or wanking and wankers). His
study (not published of course) included about twenty or so casual
respondents cornered in the hallways. (Admittedly it was not a tweedy
Anglophile Department; one might do scads better with the entire
range of Briticisms there.)


>>"Quim" is obsolete; I'd bet not one American in a thousand knows it.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.)
>Probably more than 1/1000. But concentrated among dinosaurs (of age 40+)
>and book-readers, I guess, and who cares about these marginal groups in
>this post-literate age? Perhaps more importantly, I guess in most places
>this term is/was some way down the list of the dozens (hundreds?) of
>commonly used synonyms: if they all were avoided, one could hardly speak at
>Apparently "KWIM-FM" exists (in Arizona).
>Still, "quim" may be current among the young folks somewhere FAIK, and
>surely it's a candidate for a blooming or comeback via some popular movie
>or whatever, as with "shag" recently.
>What about the non-US "wank"? Has this penetrated the US popular
>consciousness yet? I don't see any "WANK-AM" or "-FM" at a glance, except
>as a joke.
>-- Doug Wilson

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

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