an antedating "how to"?

Clai Rice cxr1086 at LOUISIANA.EDU
Fri May 23 19:36:05 UTC 2014

I believe Bill Kretzschmar once taught a class along these lines at Georgia, maybe 8-10 years ago now. Internet tools were new, but enough was available to have some success. The method was to pick a field of interest that would provide its own jargon and was not well represented in OED already. I don't know if each student picked a different field, or if they all did the same one. I think American football or some other sport was one selected. Then research was done using both old and new methods--scouring paper/film archives for old sports pages on the one hand, and using available online sources on the other. Students were able to learn theory and traditional practice, apply theories to develop new methods, and have practical success as well. You might contact him for details or a syllabus, and I apologize to him if I have any details wrong.

This would be a fun course to teach and take, IMHO, and I think students could be excited by making real discoveries (however minor they might be). For example, I recently bought a beater truck and started consulting online forms about fixes and cures. I quickly noticed a whole world of jargon previously unknown to me, and it did not take long to compile a list of words that could bear investigation and are not in OED. Any student already knowledgeable in a specialty area like this would probably enjoy such a project, with the added bonus of becoming known as the geek among his or her car-fixing friends.

Clai Rice

The American Dialect Society -

More information about the Ads-l mailing list