Date: Tue, 21 Apr 1998 13:12:22 -0600
From: "Donald M. Lance"
Subject: un- & -ate

The User's Manual for UULite 3.0 says "One of UULite's main objectives is
to simplify the process of undecoding files on the Mac." Passim, one finds
"uuencoding" alongside "uuundecoding." Some time ago I remember seeing
"unencoding." Geek grammar rules?

On the front page of the Fri, Apr 17, issue of USA Today, there was a story
referring to some members of a group doing certain tasks and others
administrating the program under discussion. I failed to save the paper,
and my memory has failed to resurrect details of the story other than the
bare facts focusing on the word to which I'm drawing your attention.

Tom Creswell's comments on prescriptivism were good. Prescriptivism isn't
all bad; it's actually what we all operate with much of the time, in
language as well as in other activities.

I was away for three weeks and have some comments on topics no longer being
discussed on ads-l. Freshman (and even sophomore) comp courses are
interesting cultural phenomena. A substantial part of comp courses is
acculturation, with writing being a secondary vehicle in the education
process. Note the kinds of readings that English departments tend to
require for these courses -- not what the students would have chosen, but
what the literature and rhetoric professors think our young SHOULD read.
And they are asked to write papers that aren't like anything else the
students will encounter in their working lives, though these essay
assignments serve as a check for the instructor to see whether the student
has dealt the assignment appropriately. Not always, of course, and not
always so cut-n-dried. In research universities with big English
departments, TAships also have an acculturation function for graduate
students who are learning how to be English professors. (I went to a Jim
Sledd session at CCCC, so some may think my brain got infected with some
Sleddian nonsense that is reflected in this posting.)