Date: Tue, 12 Sep 1995 12:45:53 PDT
From: tom creswell creswell[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]CROWN.NET
Subject: Re: nuclear
I wish to apologize for having made it seem, due to my inexperience
with email and listserv protocol, that my observation regarding the use-
fulness of MWDEU seemed to apply to Larry Horn's message, to which
it was attached. To the contary, I regarded his message as extremely
reasonable, well-informed, and thoughtful. I was reacting, instead, to
numerous messages that appear on the ADSlist which do not have
those qualities, and which might be improved by reference to the work
However, I must now express regret that, having apparently believed that
his message was the one under attack, Horn replied with an _ad linguam_
attack of a sort that has characterized numerous messages about "English
MDEU is not written with an audience made up specifically of linguists
and other academics in mind. Its use of "gravitational" rather than "analogic"
in describing the forces leading to such variant pronunciations as those
under discussion is consistent with its aim toward a larger, less specialized,
audience. It is also, moreover, indisputably "data based," being derived from
a study of the more than 14 million citations, including pronunciation records, in
the Merriam Webster citation file.
Again, my apologies to Larry Horn, but my recommendation of MWDEU stands.
It is an excellent source of thoughtful,well-informed, data-based _non -anecdotal_
information about English usage, and anyone with an interest in usage should find
it a most useful source of information.