Date: Mon, 27 Oct 1997 17:25:46 -0500

From: Jesse T Sheidlower jester[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]PANIX.COM

Subject: Re: PC Dictionaries?

Because bullying tactics work better against single victims. If NAACP

attacked all dictionary publishers at the same time, there'd be a chorus of

protests, instead of a single "little" voice of a single publisher. The

tactic presumes that all other publishers will keep quiet in hopes that

their names won't come up. But if NAACP is successful with M-W, RH, AHD,

and NW will be next in line.

But the NAACP seems unaware that there even _are_ other dictionaries.

The folklore of this recent controversy has it that a woman opened

a dictionary to prove that "nigger" wasn't a word, was stunned to

discover that it was in, and hence the Merriam boycott. Also, unlike

other objects of boycotts, there are only four dictionaries and they

are, for the NAACP's purposes, interchangable.

For what it's worth I've spoken to everyone who's asked, including

the Today show, in support of Merriam, and I encourage my colleagues

at the other houses to do the same.

Jesse Sheidlower