Symposium on Language and Culture; Proceedings

By Viola E. Garfield; Wallace L. Chafe | Go to book overview

scholars because the central issue is not technical at all, but a matter of principle, namely, the value of history itself. Nationwide interest has been aroused because the successive editions of any responsibly edited dictionary must ultimately shatter the old dream of an absolute standard of correctness in an unchanging national language. Status labels have been so much discussed because in them linguistic change and a modification of editorial method combined in a spectacular demonstration that neither the lexicon nor the lexicography of a natural language can stand still. Constructive suggestions of more accurate labels have been lacking because the denial of history leaves no room for improvements in historiography.

Most amusingly of all, avowed conservatives have despised the customs of speech and ignored the traditions of scholarship because their conservatism is false. They do not want to live in a present continuous with the past but simply to make the past their present and so ultimately to lose both. The whole furious, spurious, laughable controversy falls into perspective when one asks the proper question, not "Do you like ain't or don't you?" but "Do you or don't you want to know your world the way it is?"

If that is the issue, neither the intelligent makers of the new dictionary nor intelligent users of it need be much disturbed by the temporary victory of the booboisie. Makers, reviewers, and users are all part of a single history, and the only way to transcend it is to understand it. The booboisie are short on understanding. The lexicographers aren't dead, they will be cut down and get a fair trial yet. When they do, the boobs will be stuck in the history they can't run away from, and Gove with his Goof will have the last laugh.

Northwestern University


NOTES
1.
The dictionary was published in October, 1961. Attacks began when a prepublication press release appeared in September, 1961.
2.
Harry R. Warfel (ed.), Letters of Noah Webster ( New York, 1953), p. 350.
3.
Ibid., p. 367.
4.
Ibid., p. 372. Probably I should protect myself and the innocent by the warning that Webster was quite capable of taking different sides of the same controversy at different times and that the interplay between description and prescription in the history of English lexicography as a whole is much too complicated for brief summary. Undoubtedly the main line of development in the last two centuries is justly represented by Dean Trench, but Trench himself thought that. a lexicographer might "do real service" by calling some words "needless, affected, pedantic, ill put together, contrary to the genius of the language." When the amateurs have quit bawling, perhaps the experts will give us a serious discussion of the real problems that the new dictionary raises.
5.
On Some Deficiencies in Our English Dictionaries ( 2d ed.; London, 1860), pp. 4f.
6.
Proposal for the Publication of a New English Dictionary ( London, 1859), p. 3.
7.
Personally communicated copy of letter to the editor of the New York Times; see the Times for November 5, 1961.
8.
Porter G. Perrin, Writer's Guide and Index to English ( 3d ed.; Chicago, 1959), p. 505.
9.
H. L. Mencken, The American Language, Supplement One ( New York, 1945), p. 124.
10.
Ibid., p. 130.
11.
Emily E. F. Ford, Notes on the Life of Noah Webster ( New York, 1912), II, 522.
12.
Warfel, Letters of Noah Webster, p. 286.

-94-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Symposium on Language and Culture; Proceedings
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page i
  • Preface iii
  • Contents v
  • Introduction vii
  • An Evolutionary Sketch of Russian Kinship 1
  • Notes 22
  • Bibliography 23
  • Culture Geography at a Distance: Some Problems in the Study of East European Jewry 27
  • Notes 36
  • Bibliography 38
  • Linguistic Evidence for Salish Prehistory 41
  • Notices to Aes Members 51
  • Notes 57
  • Bibliography 58
  • Inconsistencies in Cherokee Spelling 60
  • The Sequential Distribution of Thanking in Aymara Culture 64
  • Notes 67
  • Lynching the Lexicographers 69
  • Notes 94
  • Notices to Aes Members 96
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this book
  • Bookmarks
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
/ 96

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.