hw gray hwgray at GMAIL.COM
Sat Nov 16 06:18:05 UTC 2013

On Fri, Nov 15, 2013 at 7:48 AM, Jonathan Lighter <wuxxmupp2000 at gmail.com>wrote:

> if I'd thrown together one more half-baked, half-assed, half-careful slang
> dictionary it would be finished and I could've included anything I felt
> like, real or quasi.

Coulda pulled a Clarence Major and just published your 3X5 cards. Instead
of making a major contribution to the history of the use of language in
Black America that would have kicked serious ass and put my beloved alma
mater, UC Davis, on the dialectology map, he half-assed it. And I thought
that *before* I had the magisterial HDAS for contrast.

I'm  a major <har! har!> supporter of Affirmative Action, but, in cases
like Major's, I really wonder whether he could have gotten his work on
black slang published in the crappy form that it is, if black-on-black
hadn't had his back. Not only is the format poor, but some words and
expressions and regional variants have been left out and some of the terms
and their definitions are on the
fuck-it-I'll-pull-something-out-of-my-ass-who's-gonna-know? level of the UD.

Naturally, there isn't a whole lot that he could have found a published
cite for, but the book's look of "I'll just trash these cards. No, wait!
I'll bet that I can get them published somewhere!" just "grinds my gears,"
in the words of The Family Guy.

All say, "How hard it is that we have to die!"---a strange complaint to
come from the mouths of people who have had to live.
-Mark Twain

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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