Library Catalog Information; was, Re: dirty words in dictionaries

John McChesney-Young panis at PACBELL.NET
Thu Jun 3 03:47:21 UTC 2004

I had written:

>>  Harvard's copy is unhelpfully cataloged with the date "[18-]".

and Wilson Gray quite reasonably responded:

>When an
>imprint is given in the form, [nn-] - [18-], in this case - it does not
>mean that a library is being in any way "unhelpful."

I apologize for my unfortunate choice of adjective, which I'd
intended to have the sense of "unhelpful in the matter of the
question at hand." I had not *wanted* to suggest that the Harvard
catalogers themselves were being deliberately perverse or, well,
unhelpful, but rather that the information they provided to the best
of their ability didn't clear up the question of when in the century
the book in question was published.

However, I had some qualms about my choice of term and I applaud Mr.
Gray's spirited defense and appreciate the opportunity to make
clearer what I'd meant.

>Sometimes, you eat the bear; sometimes, the bear eats you.

I will give the next bear I meet the opportunity to do the latter, in penance.


*** John McChesney-Young  **  panis at  **   Berkeley,
California, U.S.A.  ***

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