Date: Tue, 7 Oct 1997 07:46:24 -0400 From: Fred Shapiro Subject: Re: Film Noir; Hoosier; O.K. sign; Gay Life > How difficult was that?? > How long did that take us--half a minute?? > Even a computer title search would turn up Borde and Chaumenton's > PANORAMA DU FILM NOIR AMERICAIN (1955). > I like solving things and I like to take credit for the things I > genuinely solve, but beating Safire and the OED by looking at page one of a > standard reference???? Well, Barry, although the OED is the product of an immense amount of brilliant research, even they have trouble using sources from the future. What you are doing here is criticizing the OED for not using a book published in 1979 when compiling their entry for _film noir_, appearing in the first volume of the OED Supplement, published in 1972. Perhaps you will say that they should have picked up the information you refer to when they came out with the second edition in 1989, but they explicitly did not seek to antedate entries from the first edition and Supplement in the second edition. And, in any case, nothing that you mention is an antedating of the OED's 1958 citation for _film noir_ in an English-language context! You mention only a 1946 usage of _noir_ and some French-language evidence. You will probably respond to this by finding pre-1958 evidence in an English-language context, but that doesn't alter my point, which is that you are being unfair to both the OED and the RHHDAS with your bashing of them on grounds that are often irrelevant to the purposes and real achievements of those dictionaries. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------- Fred R. Shapiro Coeditor (with Jane Garry) Associate Librarian for Public Services TRIAL AND ERROR: AN OXFORD and Lecturer in Legal Research ANTHOLOGY OF LEGAL STORIES Yale Law School Oxford University Press, 1997 e-mail: fred.shapiro[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE] ISBN 0-19-509547-2 ----------------------------------------------------------------------------