Date: Mon, 13 May 1996 19:10:39 -0400 From: "Bethany K. Dumas" Subject: Re: Dictionary-Thumping On Mon, 13 May 1996, Tom Creswell asked that I "post the entire message from which the "dictinnary thumper" paagraph was extracted." Tom said further that he has > some doubts about the accuracy of the analogy between quoting the > bible as a source of information and doing the same with a dictionary. > Sounds to me like the writer just lost an argument and was trying to > rationalize his indefensible position. > Tom, I could do that, but I don't think it would help. The post was part of a rather long essay explaining why a listmember had been kicked off the list. One reason many listmembers (including me) had found the person in question obnoxious was that he attacked many individuals, using words that many of us found highly objectionable. When challenged, the individual quoted dictionary definitions, ostensibly to show that he was using what he called the "technical definitions" of words. He was, in other words, ignoring connotative meanings of words in favor of narrowly denotative ones. In my opinion, the poster I quoted was 100% justified in taking the stand and action that he did. It would take many postings to establish the full context, and I would have to get the permission of many posters, including someone who has been banned from the list for at least a month. And all I was interested in was whether others had heard the phrase "dictionary-thumper" in the same sense. Bethany 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