Date: Mon, 27 Oct 1997 17:00:57 -0500

From: Gregory {Greg} Downing downingg[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]IS2.NYU.EDU

Subject: Re: PC Dictionaries?

At 04:52 PM 10/27/97 -0500, you wrote:

We haven't

gotten any additional mail or calls about the issue. Not

that I encourage the NAACP's reaction, but why is Merriam

getting singled out?

Jesse Sheidlower

Random House Reference


That's a political-activism question, not a lexicographic one. If you wanted

to boycott something, and be practical and effective about it, would you say

you were going to boycott every single dictionary at once? Who has that much

energy and people-hours (all the letter-writing, calling, picketing, etc.)?

And, what would schools and libraries and individuals buy if everything was

boycotted? So what you do is you single out one organization very publicly,

and by being relentless get it to admit by its actions that you the

boycotter are in the right. That precedent will then be quite likely to be

followed, without huge public pressure, by other organizations. If M-W says

OK to the boycotters, then any organization that refuses will be, a

fortiori, even more reprehensible than M-W.

I.e., do not ask for whom the bell tolls, etc. etc....

Gregory {Greg} Downing, at greg.downing[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE] or downingg[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]