Date: Wed, 10 Dec 1997 13:56:26 -0500

From: "Dennis R. Preston" preston[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]PILOT.MSU.EDU

Subject: Re: Posts and Getting Along

Well, Fred, you ought to come sit at some of the bars I go to. Lexicography

(and lexicology) rarely come up. How them critters talk funny over there

(construed broadly, it goes without saying) does pretty often.


PS: There has been a Dicionary Society (DSNA) for some time; surely it is

the 'right' place for those principally concerned with these matters

(although I agree that lexicon should hardly be excluded from ADS or for

that matter its publications or general concerns of dialectology and/or


On a testier note (though accepting full reponsibility for our need to make

what we do known and make how it is relevant better known), I would not

like to see any scientific field's principal work defined (or redefined) by

resetting (or abandoning) its goals to meet popular notions.

On Wed, 10 Dec 1997, Timothy C. Frazer wrote:

Maybe what we need is a not a new ADS-L list, but one that addresses the

needs of many of the non-professionals--something lke "words and phrase

queries." I would like to see such queries elsewhere, and ADS-L confined

to a discussion of reserach issues in dialectology and soicolinguistics.

Speaking as someone who is not a professional linguist, but who has a

strong interest in certain aspects of linguistics, I would like to make

the following observation: Historically, the American Dialect Society and

the journal American Speech have included lexicology and lexicography

among their areas of interest. Today, the interests of ADS members are

predominantly dialectology and sociolinguistics, but, to me at least, it

would be a shame if lexicology and lexicography were excluded altogether

from the American Dialect Society, American Speech, and ADS-L.

It is worth noting that, if the American Dialect Society wishes to

maintain its links to sources of publicity and funding such as the popular

press, excluding lexicology and lexicography would be shooting itself in

the foot, since these areas are of greater interest to the public than

are dialectology and sociolinguistics.