[Ads-l] Geoffrey Nunberg R.I.P.

Cohen, Gerald Leonard gcohen at MST.EDU
Fri Nov 27 20:18:03 UTC 2020

Hi all,

As anyone who has done research on American slang is well aware,

HDAS is an enormous achievement and an indispensable resource.

Jon, is there  a chance of getting permission from Geoff's family

to print his riposte posthumously? If they'd say yes,  I'd be happy to

put the letter in Comments on Etymology so it would not be lost to posterity,

and it could then be shared online.

Gerald Cohen

Original message: Jonathan Lighter <wuxxmupp2000 at GMAIL.COM>
Sent: Friday, Novmber 27, 2020 8:05 AM
Subject: Re: Geoffrey Nunberg R.I.P.

After NYRB blasted HDAS for rank ineptitude, Geoff unexpectedly took it
upon himself to write a feisty riposte. He sent me a copy of his letter,
which they never published.

We weren't in contact much, but this is sad news for me.


On Wed, Nov 25, 2020 at 7:39 PM Laurence Horn <laurence.horn at yale.edu>

> Thanks, Fred. Yes, Geoff was an exemplary linguist, public intellectual,
> and human being (and, in my case, third-grade classmate), with a
> publication record extending from books on political language and
> punctuation to one on assholism (well, OK, that one is not unpolitical).
> Here=E2=80=99s Richard Sandomir=E2=80=99s obit for him in the Times:
> https://www.nytimes.com/2020/08/22/books/geoffrey-nunberg-dead.html
> And one on Language Log by Mark Liberman, with fond memories and thoughts
> from Ben Z. and others:
> https://languagelog.ldc.upenn.edu/nll/?p=3D48087
> LH
> > On Nov 25, 2020, at 7:04 PM, Shapiro, Fred <fred.shapiro at YALE.EDU>
> wrote:
> >
> > I think it has not yet been noted on this list that Geoffrey Nunberg
> passed away in August.  Geoff was a participant on this list and a
> semanticist and author.  He was best known to the public as a contributor
> to National Public Radio's "Fresh Air" show.
> >
> > Fred Shapiro
> >

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

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