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

Jesse Sheidlower jester at PANIX.COM
Mon Nov 17 18:18:28 UTC 2008

On Mon, Nov 17, 2008 at 10:15:09AM -0800, Arnold Zwicky wrote:
> 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".

I should note that Roy Blount wrote the Foreword to _The
F-Word_ in 1995, and spent quite a bit of space therein
humorously discussing ideas of sound symbolism. So this isn't
some new fetish he's landed upon.

Jesse Sheidlower

The American Dialect Society -

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