LSSU Banished Words list, 2008

Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Wed Jan 2 21:02:40 UTC 2008

At 3:56 PM -0500 1/2/08, Dennis Preston wrote:
>Couldn't they (pretty-please) be "peevies"; diminution would so suit them.

--almost as much as decimation would.


>>---------------------- 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 -

The American Dialect Society -

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