[Ads-l] Hip/Hep and "Crying Wolof" (for Horn & Sheidlower)

Michael Quinion michael.quinion at WORLDWIDEWORDS.ORG
Sun Mar 13 18:54:18 UTC 2016

On 13/03/2016 14:30, Z Rice wrote:
> All of this is disingenuous and diversionary.  NONE of of this addresses
> the original post and the Wolof evidence.
> Focusing on when and where a term was first published is rendering yourself
> a glorified data-entry clerk.
> I can hire a temp to perform the exact same services.

Well now, this is hardly a kindly way to refer to the work of a goodly 
proportion of the subscribers to this list. I'm a minor researcher into 
etymology compared with others here, but I know that seeking the first 
known publication of a term is an invaluable and essential first step in 
exploring its history. Finding that information requires patience, 
knowledge of language usage and change, a substantial dose of common 
sense, and an open mind. One may subsequently generate hypotheses about 
its origin that lead to further research. Without that knowledge, one is 
just shouting in the dark. As Sherlock Holmes remarked to Dr Watson, "It 
is a capital mistake to theorize before one has data."

Michael Quinion, World Wide Words

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

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