LSSU Banished Words list, 2008

Dennis Preston preston at MSU.EDU
Wed Jan 2 20:56:55 UTC 2008


Couldn't they (pretty-please) be "peevies"; diminution would so suit them.


>---------------------- Information from the mail header
>Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
>Poster:       "Arnold M. Zwicky" <zwicky at CSLI.STANFORD.EDU>
>Subject:      Re: LSSU Banished Words list, 2008
>On Jan 2, 2008, at 9:17 AM, John Baker wrote:
>>  ... Their complaints on "give back," "emotional," and that old stand-
>>  by, "decimate," just seem silly...
>for "decimate", note: "Word-watchers have been calling for the
>annihilation of this one for several years."
>make that "for at least 138 years", since 1870 (when Richard Grant
>White raved about it).  nice instance of the Recency Illusion, but for
>peeves rather than usages.
>i have a Language Log posting in preparation in which i nominate
>"decimate" for the Peevy Award for Lifetime Achievement among Great
>Language Peeves (peeves that are widespread, of long standing, and
>passionately advocated, in the face of solid long-time contrary
>practice by educated speakers and writers, not to mention a thoroughly
>specious rationale for the peeve).
>it's a crowded field, but "decimate" is a truly outstanding contender.
>The American Dialect Society -

Dennis R. Preston
University Distinguished Professor
Department of English
Morrill Hall 15-C
Michigan State University
East Lansing, MI 48864 USA

The American Dialect Society -

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