The ANC (was: Using the BNC)

Mark A Mandel mam at THEWORLD.COM
Sat Dec 21 01:33:45 UTC 2002

On Fri, 20 Dec 2002, Michael Quinion wrote:

#Interesting point. Though the Web could well be described in the
#OED's definition as "in an initial or early stage; hence elementary,
#imperfect, undeveloped, immature", I used the word in the sense of a
#disorganised mass of material. This sense has appeared in a number
#of recent dictionaries, always as subsidiary senses:

#The Merriam-Webster's Dictionary of English Usage says:
#                       But the
#extended use is natural and probably inevitable: what is just begun
#is also unfinished, incomplete, and often also disorganized or
#incoherent. There is no need to bring forward a putative confusion
#with chaotic to explain the development. And unfortunately for the
#complainers, the extension of meaning was already three decades old
#or more when Brown noticed it."
#In confirmation of this last point, the editors cite material from
#works that date back as far as 1916, written by the likes of T E
#Lawrence, Thomas Wolfe, John Updike, and Norman Mailer.

Mmmm!! Thank you for the survey and history. I guess I'll have to
suppress my curmudgeonly impulses on this one from now on.

-- Mark A. Mandel

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