more seat-of-the-pants etymology for our delectation

Arnold Zwicky zwicky at STANFORD.EDU
Mon Nov 17 18:15:09 UTC 2008

On Nov 17, 2008, at 8:23 AM, Larry Horn wrote, in response to Ben
Zimmer's defense of Roy Blount, Jr.:

>> OK, maybe it's Mr. Shafer for whom I should reserve my animus, for
> his gratuitous insults of those who make a business and not just a
> hobby of this stuff.  The methodology used for deriving "nausea" and
> "quirky" cited in the review do strike me as a bit discouraging,
> though.

yes, Shafer shows a fair amount of contempt for professional
scholars.  but Blount doesn't.

Blount does, however, fall into the trap of thinking that words he's
fond of -- "queasy", "rickety", "zest", "sluggish", "vim" -- "somehow
sensuously evoke the essence of the word".


The American Dialect Society -

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