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.

Tom Creswell