Date: Tue, 26 May 1998 20:44:20 -0500
From: Mike Salovesh
Subject: Re: Queries

Grant Barrett wrote:

> 1. What is your primary dictionary of choice? Why? If you want to, you can
list more than one, but list them in the order you use or trust them most.
Please include author, publisher, title and date published, if you can.

My wife and I keep lots of Merriam-Webster Collegiates (various
editions) handy near our computers and our favorite sitting-around
places. We use them for easy reference because we both were reared on
the Collegiate back in grade and high school. When we have serious
questions, we usually check OED against the MW 3rd International . . .
We give the edge to OED for the usefulness of its citations, but we also
have lots of faith in the 3rd International. From time to time we throw
in the Random House for good measure, and it's good, but we tend to rely
much more on OED and the 3rd. It's only when we aren't fully satisfied
with OED, the 3rd, and Random House combined that we go to more
specialized stuff (ranging from Partrdige to Maurer to anything else
that we think of that might help).
> 2. What style guide would you recommend most? Why? Please include author,
publisher, title and date published, if you can.

I usually revert to the U of Chicago __Manual of Style__ for all-round
guidance. For the kinds of writing and editing I do, it's reasonably
comprehensive and authoritative. I've recently taken a good look at the
Merriam-Webster guide, and I've recommended it to students, but there
are several others eqully good.

> 3. What textbooks do you currently use or recommend? Out of print suggestions
welcome. Please include author, publisher, title and date published, if you

I routinely recommend Kate Turabian's classic __Manual for Writers of
Term Papers, Theses, and Dissertations__ because it seems to help
students with varying levels of problems. (That's U of Chicago Press,
various editions -- the most recent of which have a coauthor, but I
don't remember who it is.) Beyond that, my teaching is not in areas
that are directly relevant.

> 4. What video, audio, academically-published, or other supporting materials do
you use or recommend for study, classwork or as general reference resources?
This list might include journals, dissertations, dictionaries, phrase books,
studies, speech transcripts, or anything else that is clearly not a textbook.
Please include author, publisher, title and date published, if you can. Out of
print suggestions welcome.

Aside from the video "American Tongues", I'll pass on this one.

> 5. Are there any linguistic or dialectic resources that you visit on the
Internet weekly, or more frequently? Please give the full URL. (I already have
a huge list of these, but as I am not a linguist or dialectician by trade, I
might have missed some obvious ones).

I have no suggestions -- but I'd love to see your huge list!

> 6. Would you be interested in seeing the revised site before everyone else to
check for spelling, grammar, bad links or other errors? Please send me an email
to that effect, and include the names of anyone you know who has traveled the
length of the Pan-American Highway, and how I might contact them.

I'll let those more qualified pick up on the "pre-pub" review. As for
the Pan-Am Highway, I've not gone the whole length but I am very
familiar with the Mexican and Guatemalan stretches, if that's any help.

> 7. Would you describe your behavior as largely prescriptivist or descriptivist
when it comes to classifying the speech or usage of others?

Depends. If I'm trying to represent what an individual says, I'm
strongly descriptive. If I'm talking about language as she is spoke, I
remain descriptivist. When I'm grading student writing or editing
things prepared for publication I get more prescriptive -- but certainly
not obsessively so.

-- mike salovesh
anthropology department
northern illinois university PEACE !!!