Date: Mon, 13 May 1996 15:02:15 -0400

From: "Bethany K. Dumas" dumasb[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]UTKUX.UTCC.UTK.EDU

Subject: Dictionary-Thumping

---------- Forwarded message ----------

Date: Mon, 13 May 1996 08:46:26 PDT

From: Brian Reid reid[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]


3. My opinion was that he was engaging in dictionary-thumping. This

is like bible-thumping, but instead of saying "it says here in

the bible that you are a bad person" he was saying "it says here

in the dictionary that you are a bad person." Book thumpers are,

in my opinion, too cowardly to stand up for their own beliefs, so

they brandish the book instead. This technique is the rhetorical

equivalent of Edgar Bergen's use of Charlie McCarthy to speak for


-----end forwarded message-----

Until I read the post from which the paragraph above comes, I had never

heard the phrase "dictionary-thumping." I like it. Are others familiar

with it?


Bethany K. Dumas, J.D., Ph.D. | Applied Linguistics, Language & Law

Dep't of English, UT, Knoxville | EMAIL: dumasb[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]

415 McClung Tower | (423) 974-6965 | FAX (423) 974-6926

Knoxville, TN 37996-0430 | See Webpage at