Judy Prince jbalizsprince at GOOGLEMAIL.COM
Tue Feb 23 14:59:55 UTC 2010

Wonderfully clear, succinct recommend, Amy.  I've bitten and ordered.

A question for you and Arnold---the most clear, succinct answer will get a
reward:  Why do we need to get a Hacker, if she so desperately needs
"balancing out"?  What, in short, does she have that MWDEU does not?



On 23 February 2010 09:12, Amy West <medievalist at> wrote:

> ---------------------- Information from the mail header
> -----------------------
> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       Amy West <medievalist at W-STS.COM>
> Subject:      Re: MWDEU
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> Here's what I like about MWDEU:
> It will explain what the ruckus is about. It will describe the
> prescriptive rule, explain what the prescriptivists are complaining
> about, give background on the rule/what the prescriptivists have
> said, and then give actual printed examples of the use, describe
> what's going on, and then will close with advice/guidance to the user.
> That's in the big version. There is a pocket version which leaves out
> the quotes and extended discussion, but still explains the
> prescriptivist stance and describes what people actually do.
> It really is quite fabulous. And I'm always thrilled when Arnold says
> "use it!" because I knew the editor was smart: Arnold's seal of
> approval confirms it. (Because Arnold's smart, too. My logic is
> impeccable.) (I like to think of it as the ADS version of the Good
> Housekeeping Seal of Approval.)
> Having said that, I think I'm going to make the pocket version a
> required purchase for my next comp. class to balance out the
> "glossary of usage" in Diana Hacker's _A Writer's Reference_ that we
> require of all the comp. classes on our campus. She toes an even more
> conservative line on some things than the AHD Usage Panel.
> ---Amy West
> >Date:    Sun, 21 Feb 2010 16:25:23 -0800
> >From:    Arnold Zwicky <zwicky at STANFORD.EDU>
> >Subject: MWDEU
> >
> >some people have wondered about the status of MWDEU, in particular how
> >it relates to "prescriptive grammar".
> >
> >in my experience, people who identify themselves as prescriptive
> >grammarians deplore MWDEU, dismissing it as the work of "permissive",
> >"anything-goes" linguists, who fail to excoriate usages that the
> >prescriptive grammarians in question do.  (i simplify somewhat; i am
> >in a somewhat dark mood.)
> >
> >arnold
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