Date: Tue, 12 Sep 1995 12:45:53 PDT From: tom creswell 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 cited. 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 Only." 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