Barnhart barnhart at HIGHLANDS.COM
Fri Jun 13 16:20:39 UTC 2008

To begin with, I didn't think I was limiting all examples of duplication
to just one type.  Indeed, there are many types.  I agree with most of
what you say.  I do not see the submission of an identical quote from
"100" separate communicants with a lexicographer as 100 separate
>No, in that case the most likely reason for the duplication is that it's a
>wire service story or from a sister paper owned by the same publisher,
>Knight Ridder. It's not a case of two separate regional occurrences, but a
>single national occurrence. The next most likely reason is that the two
>papers are quoting the same person who uses the term/construction in
>question--still a single instance of use that is reported multiple times.
>(By analogy, if 100 readers submit the same citation to a dictionary, is
>that 100 uses? The same goes for multiple news reports that are quoting
>same person or multiple publications of wire service stories.)

This too is true.
>The issue is not just limited to news reports, but extends to all sorts of
>web pages. The web is rife with plagiarism.
>A bit trickier, but rarer, is the case where two papers pool resources to
>cooperate on a major investigative story. But this is only tricky if
>trying to establish if the term is a regionalism. Otherwise, it's still
>instance, published twice.

That's one way to look at it, surely.
>In considering whether or not a term is "established," the absolute number
>of instances is not enough. You also have to look at the usage over time.
>spike in news reports that use a term or phrase may just indicate a quote
>one person or a passing linguistic fad.

The foregoing is also true.  All of these issues I touched upon in my
contribution to Dictionaries 2007, recently published.
>FYI, it's the Philadelphia Inquirer, with an I.

Thanks for the correction.  I'll never forget it, I hope.  Sometimes in
hasty composition I make mistakes.
>-----Original Message-----
>From: American Dialect Society [mailto:ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU] On Behalf
>Sent: Friday, June 13, 2008 6:53 AM
>Subject: Re: linkrot
>Dear Ron,
>Yup!  It is true that Nexis has a fair share of duplicates.  This is one
>of the problems (alas yet unresolved) which bedevil interpreters of
>numbers in using that resource.  If an article in a Los Angeles Times is
>also found on the same or a subsequent day in the Philadelphia Enquirer,
>are they sufficiently separated geographically to support the
>interpretation that they are separate occurrences?  I've still to resolve
>that one.  I can see arguments on both sides.
>What do you think?
>barnhart at
>The American Dialect Society -
>The American Dialect Society -

The American Dialect Society -

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