Ot: Re: Re:Re: Re: What does BWA-HAHAHAHAHA! mean?

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Can you still buy "Spangles"?

unread,
Jan 8, 2004, 1:52:28 AM1/8/04
to
> Never thought I'd be replying to a nom de net, but what the hey ...
>
> *Spangle* by Gary Jennings is available from most large sellers of
> used books on the Net. Half.com offers several hardback copies in
> the US$3.00 range (plus S&H, of course). The complete text is in
> that single hardback volume. The book was not released in paperback
> until several years after initial publication, and then in a series
> of three mass-market volumes. So you need to buy three different
> paperbacks to get the complete text.
>
> Or were you asking about something else?


Hi Bob,

Yes, I was asking about something else. In the 60's you could buy a fruity
sweet, something like a tube of "Trebor mints", but they were square and had
fruit flavours instead of mint.In the late 60's / early 70's they introduced
whole packets (tubes) with a single flavour, such as Cola. I have never
heard of them since then. My days of growing and learning have changed for
the worse:

- Cadbury's "Bar Six" has dissapeared.

- I can't find Bassetts sherbet tube, the one with the licorice straw
sticking out of the end for you to suck up the fizzy, throat searing powder.

- I used to buy a sort of loose fruity-flavoured powder called "kayli" (not
sure how it is spelled) from the local tuckshop, but I have not seen that
since about 1962.

- Sweet cigarettes also died a death. This is probably the government were
frightened the kids would set light to them! I have managed find chocolate
cigars, here in Stockholm. Unfortunately thay are very small and cost about
$5 each!

Not only is the English language dying, but so is the entire stock of our
old English tuck shop. Instead we are seeing little cardboard boxes with
flip-top lids containing a few coloured bits sugar. These insults they call
"Nerds", presumably named after the marketing target group. (Is there such a
word as "nerd"?). Now you can even buy tiny bits of flavoured paper to place
on the tongue! The object today seems to be to milk our children of their
pocket money, and give as little in return as possible.

BWA-HAHAHAHAHA


Laura F Spira

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Jan 8, 2004, 3:56:46 AM1/8/04
to

I remember Spangles with affection, too. We've indulged before in
confectionery nostalgia here in aue. Sometimes you can be lucky: when I
regretted the passing of Flying Saucers I was directed to Woolworths
where they still lurk among the loose sweets. Sherbet fountains are
still about I think but the liquorice tubes are very unsatisfactory:
last time I had one I found it impossible to suck through it and the
powder had no fizz. Gobstoppers and aniseed balls seem to have vanished.

--
Laura
(emulate St. George for email)

Can you still buy "Spangles"?

unread,
Jan 8, 2004, 4:42:07 AM1/8/04
to
> ... Sherbet fountains are

> still about I think but the liquorice tubes are very unsatisfactory:
> last time I had one I found it impossible to suck through it and the
> powder had no fizz.

"Sherbet fountains", that's the fella! i was racking my brains to remember
the name. Thank you Laura.

> Gobstoppers and aniseed balls seem to have vanished.

Ah! now I can say that they have not totally dissapeared. I managed to get
some from a large supermarket chain in Stockholm (Coop / Konsum) but they
were very dissapointing pre-packaged things.

But you have made my day; Someone remembers "proper sweets". It's funny, one
remembers them the most when one is not allowed or unable to have them.

Have a nice day, H

Raymond S. Wise

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Jan 8, 2004, 6:22:58 AM1/8/04
to
"Can you still buy "Spangles"?" <john.smith@micro$oft.com> wrote in message
news:btj25r$ds1$1...@newstree.wise.edt.ericsson.se...


[...]


> Not only is the English language dying, but so is the entire stock of our


I was tempted to paraphase Mark Twain, but no, I'll leave it be.


> old English tuck shop. Instead we are seeing little cardboard boxes with
> flip-top lids containing a few coloured bits sugar. These insults they
call
> "Nerds", presumably named after the marketing target group. (Is there such
a
> word as "nerd"?). Now you can even buy tiny bits of flavoured paper to
place


There is indeed such a word as "nerd." See what Onelook.com found at

http://www.onelook.com/?w=nerd&ls=a


Besides that, *Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary,* 11th ed., dates it
to 1951, and gives the etymology as "perhaps from _nerd,_ a creature in the
children's book _If I Ran the Zoo_ (1950) by Dr. Seuss (Theodor Geisel)."

In retrospect--I'm not sure I knew the term at the time--it's quite evident
to me that when I was in high school, I was a nerd.


> on the tongue! The object today seems to be to milk our children of their
> pocket money, and give as little in return as possible.
>
> BWA-HAHAHAHAHA


--
Raymond S. Wise
Minneapolis, Minnesota USA

E-mail: mplsray @ yahoo . com


R F

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Jan 8, 2004, 11:03:59 AM1/8/04
to

On Thu, 8 Jan 2004, Raymond S. Wise wrote:

> "Can you still buy "Spangles"?" <john.smith@micro$oft.com> wrote in message
> news:btj25r$ds1$1...@newstree.wise.edt.ericsson.se...
>

> > old English tuck shop. Instead we are seeing little cardboard boxes with
> > flip-top lids containing a few coloured bits sugar. These insults they
> call
> > "Nerds", presumably named after the marketing target group. (Is there such
> a
> > word as "nerd"?). Now you can even buy tiny bits of flavoured paper to
> place
>
>
> There is indeed such a word as "nerd." See what Onelook.com found at
>
> http://www.onelook.com/?w=nerd&ls=a
>
>
> Besides that, *Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary,* 11th ed., dates it
> to 1951, and gives the etymology as "perhaps from _nerd,_ a creature in the
> children's book _If I Ran the Zoo_ (1950) by Dr. Seuss (Theodor Geisel)."
>
> In retrospect--I'm not sure I knew the term at the time--it's quite evident
> to me that when I was in high school, I was a nerd.

"Nerds" candy was around when I was in high school/middle school (1980s);
I don't know about before then. The term "nerd" = "socially inept person"
was popularized by the 1970s sitcom _Happy Days_ and the 1970s sketch
comedy show _Saturday Night Live_. _Happy Days_ is also well known for
repopularizing slang "cool" (this is known as the Fonzie Theory, and is no
longer disputed).


Donna Richoux

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Jan 8, 2004, 11:44:08 AM1/8/04
to
R F <rfon...@alumni.wesleyan.edu> wrote:

> _Happy Days_ is also well known for
> repopularizing slang "cool" (this is known as the Fonzie Theory, and is no
> longer disputed).

Disputed? Jesse Sheidlower of the OED dismissed this idea so coldly on
20 Dec that he clearly didn't feel the need to "dispute" it. I thought
maybe that that was the end of that. But, no.

--
Donna Richoux

Matti Lamprhey

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Jan 8, 2004, 12:30:02 PM1/8/04
to
"Murray Arnow" <ar...@iname.com> wrote...
> Donna, I read Richard's parenthetical remark differently; i.e., the
> Fonzie Theory is no longer disputed because it is no longer recognized
> and worthy of dispute.

And I read it in the same way as Donna -- in Britain, to say that a
thing isn't disputed can only mean that its truth is accepted.

Now if he'd said that it wasn't arguable...

Matti


R H Draney

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Jan 8, 2004, 12:30:10 PM1/8/04
to
Laura F Spira filted:

>
>I remember Spangles with affection, too. We've indulged before in
>confectionery nostalgia here in aue. Sometimes you can be lucky: when I
>regretted the passing of Flying Saucers I was directed to Woolworths
>where they still lurk among the loose sweets. Sherbet fountains are
>still about I think but the liquorice tubes are very unsatisfactory:
>last time I had one I found it impossible to suck through it and the
>powder had no fizz. Gobstoppers and aniseed balls seem to have vanished.

Incidentally, after a thread here a few months back wherein you wondered if they
still exist, I've put in an order at British Gourmet in Scottsdale for a box of
your eponymous candy bars...I'll file a report when they come in....r

Simon R. Hughes

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Jan 8, 2004, 2:51:02 PM1/8/04
to
Thus spake Murray Arnow:

> That's also true on the other side of the pond. I made my crack because
> this reader has had his fill with certain half-assed theories, whether
> or not made in jest, being continually repeated here.

Amen to that. However, I read RF's remark to mean that it is no
longer disputed that the theory that _Happy Days_ reintroduced
the term "cool" is called "the Fonzie Theory". Says nothing about
the truth of the claim.
--
Simon R. Hughes

R F

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Jan 8, 2004, 4:00:07 PM1/8/04
to

No. I don't think Sheidlower has researched it. Have you, Jesse? How do
you research such a thing, anyway? If you go back to the era during which
_Happy Days_ was the most-watched show on television, and when it was
particularly popular among children, you can see how it pervaded popular
culture, commercial culture. There is ample evidence that the Fonz was a
cultlike figure among elementary-school-age children during the 1970s.
There is ample evidence that the Fonz was associated with the word "cool"
-- and is still so associated, years later.

Ask anyone who was a kid during the relevant period. _Happy Days_ had a
controlling influence on popular culture. "Cool" was associated with
_Happy Days_. Check the episodes of _Happy Days_ and you'll see that
"cool" was presented as an archaic Fifties slang word. That was the whole
point in associating the Fonz with "cool". It was a Fifties thing.

Now is Sheidlower denying that usage of "cool" was relatively dormant
during the 1960s and 1970s but increased significantly during the 1980s
and 1990s? Because this is part of the Fonzie Theory too, and this is
also, in principle, something you can establish as fact. Usage of "cool"
was not constant during the period 1950-1999.

How do you research this? What happened with "cool" was primarily a
word-of-mouth thing, a folk-cultural-evolution thing. The OED is
concerned with what's in text, with what's on paper. They don't bother to
look for recordings of speech, particularly children's speech, though such
materials are out there, discoverable by the careful and diligent
researcher.

The OED takes the easy way out. They search texts. But that's not how
language changes, not primarily. Language change is an oral thing, and a
folk thing, a thing not written down.

It's easy to search all the various corpora that the OED has at its
disposal. That doesn't tell the whole story.

Sheidlower is wrong. If, in rejecting the Fonzie Theory, he speaks for
the Oxford English Dictionary, then the Oxford English Dictionary is
wrong. If that's heresy, then burn me at the stake.

This is not a question of lexicography. It is a question of history --
something that lexicographers may not be equipped to investigate.


Martin Ambuhl

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Jan 8, 2004, 4:13:37 PM1/8/04
to
R F wrote:


> No. I don't think Sheidlower has researched it. Have you, Jesse? How do
> you research such a thing, anyway?

Intervention analysis in a time-series study.


--
Martin Ambuhl

david56

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Jan 8, 2004, 4:58:18 PM1/8/04
to
la...@DRAGONspira.fsbusiness.co.uk spake thus:

> I remember Spangles with affection, too. We've indulged before in
> confectionery nostalgia here in aue. Sometimes you can be lucky: when I
> regretted the passing of Flying Saucers I was directed to Woolworths
> where they still lurk among the loose sweets. Sherbet fountains are
> still about I think but the liquorice tubes are very unsatisfactory:
> last time I had one I found it impossible to suck through it and the
> powder had no fizz. Gobstoppers and aniseed balls seem to have vanished.

Flying saucers are sold by the bucket in motorway service stations
for large amounts of money (£2.99?).

I am pleased that the Pic N Mix still contains Iced Caramels.

--
David
=====

Robert Lieblich

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Jan 8, 2004, 8:48:51 PM1/8/04
to
Can you still buy \"Spangles\"? wrote:
>

True confession: I liked the taste of Diet-Rite Pink Grapefruit
soda. It is, of course, no longer made. I have also pined for
Cadbury's Orange Bar; I brought a quantity home from my most recent
London trip, but they're long gone. Mercifully, a friend has called
Terry's Chocolate Oranges to my attention, and I have found a vendor
thereof right here in Greater Laurel. So there is still hope.

*Spangle* is an interesting historical novel about a circus that
tours much of the US and Europe in the 1860's. Too long, and
occasionally too gory, but with much of interest.

--
Bob Lieblich
Off to nibble some Terry's

Robert Bannister

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Jan 8, 2004, 9:04:01 PM1/8/04
to
R F wrote:


> "Nerds" candy was around when I was in high school/middle school (1980s);
> I don't know about before then. The term "nerd" = "socially inept person"
> was popularized by the 1970s sitcom _Happy Days_ and the 1970s sketch
> comedy show _Saturday Night Live_. _Happy Days_ is also well known for
> repopularizing slang "cool" (this is known as the Fonzie Theory, and is no
> longer disputed).

"Repopularized". The word was well-known in the 50s because of the Goon
Show.

--
Rob Bannister

Laura F Spira

unread,
Jan 9, 2004, 12:21:28 AM1/9/04
to

Oh do! I haven't seen them in the UK since a vists to Cadbury World
several years ago.

British Gourmet, eh? Sounds very classy. When my cousin's English wife
first moved to California in the 1960s, she became homesick for certain
traditional British foods and asked the manager of the local supermarket
if they sold Bird's Custard: "Ma'am", he replied politely, "I didn't
know that birds ate custard."

Jesse Sheidlower

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Jan 9, 2004, 11:55:09 AM1/9/04
to
In article <Pine.GSO.4.53.04...@alumni.wesleyan.edu>,

R F <rfon...@alumni.wesleyan.edu> wrote:
>
>No. I don't think Sheidlower has researched it. Have you, Jesse? How do
>you research such a thing, anyway?

The best way is to do so at the time, using well-crafted
sociolinguistic studies, and then re-doing the studies over
time. In some cases, you can do this later, by targeting
people of different ages, with the assumption that answers
will reflect a person's usage at a more formative time in
their linguistic development. This would not, I think, work
with "cool" the way it might with things like "davenport"
v. "couch" v. "sofa".

>Now is Sheidlower denying that usage of "cool" was relatively dormant
>during the 1960s and 1970s but increased significantly during the 1980s
>and 1990s? Because this is part of the Fonzie Theory too, and this is
>also, in principle, something you can establish as fact.

Yes, this is precisely what I am denying. I don't deny that
the show was popular and may have had some influence.

I don't know how you could establish this as fact,
now. However, you can do a lot to show that _cool_ was indeed
in extremely common use in the 1960s and 1970s, that it was
not treated as a dated or silly term, and that it was used by
people of different ages. You can contrast it with something
like _groovy_, which did indeed see its usage decline
precipitously after the early 1970s, as reflected for example
by an abundance of citations referring to it as a "hippie
term" or things of that nature.

>The OED takes the easy way out. They search texts. But that's not how
>language changes, not primarily. Language change is an oral thing, and a
>folk thing, a thing not written down.

I don't think anyone is remotely unaware of this fact. But we
do what we can, given the tools we have available.

>Sheidlower is wrong. If, in rejecting the Fonzie Theory, he speaks for
>the Oxford English Dictionary, then the Oxford English Dictionary is
>wrong.

I speak for myself, and the OED speaks for itself, though its
entry for _cool_ is now rather out of date.

You could also look at the _Historical Dictionary of American
Slang,_ of which I am the Project Editor; this has a rather
more extensive entry on _cool_, one that I happen to think is
pretty good.

In any case, speaking only for myself, I think you're wrong.

>This is not a question of lexicography. It is a question of history --
>something that lexicographers may not be equipped to investigate.

Really? I think it's exactly the sort of thing that historical
lexicography, as practiced by the OED and HDAS and DARE and
others, is intended to investigate. Whether we succeed is
another matter, but it is what we do.

Jesse Sheidlower,
at the Linguistic Society of America conference

Evan Kirshenbaum

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Jan 9, 2004, 1:01:13 PM1/9/04
to
jes...@panix.com (Jesse Sheidlower) writes:

> R F <rfon...@alumni.wesleyan.edu> wrote:
> >The OED takes the easy way out. They search texts. But that's not how
> >language changes, not primarily. Language change is an oral thing, and a
> >folk thing, a thing not written down.
>
> I don't think anyone is remotely unaware of this fact. But we
> do what we can, given the tools we have available.

Out of curiousity, just what is the OED policy on acceptable sources
to cite? I submitted an antedating for "hacker" (which the revision
hasn't gotten to, yet) citing an MIT tech report, which I hope is
sufficiently "published", but what about things like on-line
documentation, for which it's hard to prove that the file is as it was
when it claims to have been written? As a concrete example, when I
left Stanford in 1987, I took with me a snapshot of a collection of
hacker-related filksongs written between 1979 and about 1984, each
dated. If I were to find an antedating in that collection, would it
be usable?

Also, what is the rule about things like movies and TV and radio
shows, for which recordings might exist but for which transcripts were
never actually published? Especially with interviews, I'd think that
these might frequently capture words that were common in speech but
not yet committed to print.

--
Evan Kirshenbaum +------------------------------------
HP Laboratories |Giving money and power to government
1501 Page Mill Road, 1U, MS 1141 |is like giving whiskey and car keys
Palo Alto, CA 94304 |to teenage boys.
| P.J. O'Rourke
kirsh...@hpl.hp.com
(650)857-7572

http://www.kirshenbaum.net/


J. W. Love

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Jan 9, 2004, 1:30:57 PM1/9/04
to
Evan wrote:

>What is the rule about things like movies and TV and


>radio shows, for which recordings might exist but for
>which transcripts were never actually published?
>Especially with interviews, I'd think that these might
>frequently capture words that were common in speech
>but not yet committed to print.

Except for the costs, is there any good reason that a valid quotation couldn't
begin something like

*1998* Madonna _TV interview_ 9 Jan §

where "§" means "as preserved on a recording (videotape, etc.) archived in the
OED's office and/or as transcribed by, or in a transcription accepted as
authentic by, the staff of the OED, with spelling & any punctuation following
the style of the Oxford University Press"?

Donna Richoux

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Jan 9, 2004, 1:55:09 PM1/9/04
to
Jesse Sheidlower <jes...@panix.com> wrote:


> You could also look at the _Historical Dictionary of American
> Slang,_ of which I am the Project Editor;

This is the (heretofore) Random House series, right? Is Oxford going to
publish the final volume or volumes? Or someone else? I'm always so
disappointed when I have a question from P to Z.

--
Hopefully -- Donna Richoux

John Dean

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Jan 9, 2004, 2:00:25 PM1/9/04
to
Evan Kirshenbaum wrote:
> jes...@panix.com (Jesse Sheidlower) writes:
>
>> R F <rfon...@alumni.wesleyan.edu> wrote:
>>> The OED takes the easy way out. They search texts. But that's not
>>> how language changes, not primarily. Language change is an oral
>>> thing, and a folk thing, a thing not written down.
>>
>> I don't think anyone is remotely unaware of this fact. But we
>> do what we can, given the tools we have available.
>
> Out of curiousity, just what is the OED policy on acceptable sources
> to cite? I submitted an antedating for "hacker" (which the revision
> hasn't gotten to, yet) citing an MIT tech report, which I hope is
> sufficiently "published", but what about things like on-line
> documentation, for which it's hard to prove that the file is as it was
> when it claims to have been written? As a concrete example, when I
> left Stanford in 1987, I took with me a snapshot of a collection of
> hacker-related filksongs written between 1979 and about 1984, each
> dated. If I were to find an antedating in that collection, would it
> be usable?
>
> Also, what is the rule about things like movies and TV and radio
> shows, for which recordings might exist but for which transcripts were
> never actually published? Especially with interviews, I'd think that
> these might frequently capture words that were common in speech but
> not yet committed to print.

OED FAQ: How to contribute words to the Reading Programme

http://oed.com/readers/research.html

OED on TV scripts:

http://www.oed.com/newsletters/2003-09/bonkers.html

<< A further development was the decision to allow the citing of broadcast
scripts that had not been conventionally published. The first of these
quotations, from a script for a CBS Radio programme broadcast in 1955,
appeared in the third volume of the Supplement (1982) illustrating quality
of life: He [sc. Adlai Stevenson] seems disturbed about the quality of
American life, when most politicians measure it only in quantity.

This opened up yet further the resources available to OED editors when
tracking down the first use of any given word. For example, take the recent
new entry in OED Online for big girl's blouse (published in June 2002). This
phrase was popularized in the 1980s by its use in an episode of the BBC
comedy series Blackadder the Third, although there was unsubstantiated
evidence on the Internet implying that it was a catchphrase in the stage act
of Hylda Baker, a comedienne of the 1940s and 50s. Unfortunately there were
no written records of her stage act to verify this. However Ms Baker
subsequently went on to appear in the television comedy series Nearest and
Dearest, and many of the catchphrases that she had used in her stage act
were carried over into this television series. As a result of a speculative
research enquiry by an OED editor to an archivist at Granada television, it
was confirmed that the phrase was indeed used there, and the resulting
citation from a 1969 camera script provided the OED with a much earlier
antedating for the phrase than had initially been expected. >>

In fact, I recommend subscribing to the OED newsletter which has interesting
items about what they are doing and how they are doing it. It seems that
the spoken word, unsupported by any from of publishing, is not accepted.
Yet.
--
John Dean
Oxford
De-frag to reply

R F

unread,
Jan 9, 2004, 2:06:44 PM1/9/04
to

I see no good reason, and one bad reason for not doing so (namely, an
institutional prejudice against non-textual documents). In other areas of
life we rely on such documents, with such certifications, all the time.


Steve Hayes

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Jan 9, 2004, 11:48:54 PM1/9/04
to
On Fri, 09 Jan 2004 04:03:09 GMT, ar...@iname.com (Murray Arnow) wrote:

>R F <rfon...@alumni.wesleyan.edu> wrote:
>> Ask anyone who was a kid during the relevant period. _Happy Days_ had a
>> controlling influence on popular culture. "Cool" was associated with
>> _Happy Days_. Check the episodes of _Happy Days_ and you'll see that
>> "cool" was presented as an archaic Fifties slang word. That was the whole
>> point in associating the Fonz with "cool". It was a Fifties thing.
>>
>

>Richard, this is not even close to validating the "Fonzie Theory." You
>have not presented any reproducible method that establishes FT as a
>legitimate theory. Worst of all, as with many of your pronouncements,
>this is generalizing from a small data sample. And I'm quite concerned
>about a TV episodes as being representative of any data pool.

Therwe was also Marshall McLuhan with his ""hot" and "cool" media who was very
popular in the late 1960s and early 1970s.

I've never seen "Happy \days", and never encountered anyone outside AUE who
talks about having seen it or being influenced by it. RF's descriptions of iot
remind me of one called "Sa-na-na" which was a kind of retro 1950s TV show
broadcast in the 1970s, which I DID see.


--
Steve Hayes from Tshwane, South Africa
http://www.geocities.com/Athens/7734/stevesig.htm
E-mail - see web page, or parse: shayes at dunelm full stop org full stop uk

R J Valentine

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Jan 10, 2004, 12:46:56 AM1/10/04
to
On 09 Jan 2004 10:01:13 -0800 Evan Kirshenbaum <kirsh...@hpl.hp.com> wrote:

} jes...@panix.com (Jesse Sheidlower) writes:
}
}> R F <rfon...@alumni.wesleyan.edu> wrote:
}> >The OED takes the easy way out. They search texts. But that's not how
}> >language changes, not primarily. Language change is an oral thing, and a
}> >folk thing, a thing not written down.
}>
}> I don't think anyone is remotely unaware of this fact. But we
}> do what we can, given the tools we have available.
}
} Out of curiousity, just what is the OED policy on acceptable sources
} to cite? I submitted an antedating for "hacker" (which the revision
} hasn't gotten to, yet) citing an MIT tech report, which I hope is
} sufficiently "published", but what about things like on-line
} documentation, for which it's hard to prove that the file is as it was
} when it claims to have been written? As a concrete example, when I
} left Stanford in 1987, I took with me a snapshot of a collection of
} hacker-related filksongs written between 1979 and about 1984, each
} dated. If I were to find an antedating in that collection, would it
} be usable?

I'm coming on this thread late, so I may have missed the point, but wasn't
there a discussion of the word "hacker" in the first issue of _Byte_
magazine, and wasn't that in the seventies sometime. I'm sure it was
mentioned one of the times "hacker" was discussed in (BrE: "on")
alt.usage.english.

} Also, what is the rule about things like movies and TV and radio
} shows, for which recordings might exist but for which transcripts were
} never actually published? Especially with interviews, I'd think that
} these might frequently capture words that were common in speech but
} not yet committed to print.

Yeah, but "um" (BrE: "erm") might have to have a volume all its own.

--
R. J. Valentine <mailto:r...@smart.net>

Evan Kirshenbaum

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Jan 10, 2004, 1:36:21 PM1/10/04
to
R J Valentine <r...@smart.net> writes:

> Evan Kirshenbaum <kirsh...@hpl.hp.com> wrote:
>
> } Out of curiousity, just what is the OED policy on acceptable
> } sources to cite? I submitted an antedating for "hacker" (which
> } the revision hasn't gotten to, yet) citing an MIT tech report,
> } which I hope is sufficiently "published", but what about things
> } like on-line documentation, for which it's hard to prove that the
> } file is as it was when it claims to have been written? As a
> } concrete example, when I left Stanford in 1987, I took with me a
> } snapshot of a collection of hacker-related filksongs written
> } between 1979 and about 1984, each dated. If I were to find an
> } antedating in that collection, would it be usable?
>
> I'm coming on this thread late, so I may have missed the point, but
> wasn't there a discussion of the word "hacker" in the first issue of
> _Byte_ magazine, and wasn't that in the seventies sometime. I'm
> sure it was mentioned one of the times "hacker" was discussed in
> (BrE: "on") alt.usage.english.

_Byte_ started publication in September, 1975. The word was used in
MIT AI Memo 239, aka "HAKMEM", February, 1972. It almost certainly
predates that, as well, but I was pretty sure it was there and I had a
copy, so I looked it up.

--
Evan Kirshenbaum +------------------------------------
HP Laboratories |The great thing about Microsoft
1501 Page Mill Road, 1U, MS 1141 |dominating the world is that
Palo Alto, CA 94304 |there's no shortage of support
|opportunities.
kirsh...@hpl.hp.com | Sam Alvis
(650)857-7572

http://www.kirshenbaum.net/


rban...@shaw.ca

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Jan 10, 2004, 2:54:20 PM1/10/04
to
R J Valentine <r...@smart.net> wrote in message news:<vvv4egs...@corp.supernews.com>...

>
> Yeah, but "um" (BrE: "erm") might have to have a volume all its own.

What's this? Scum and sperm have *quite* different vowel sounds. (Has
N. van Hoogstraten's saga stained my capacity for examplification
here? Let us use "ultimatum's terms" instead.)

I seek only, of course, to clear up a foreigner's excusable
misconception.

In any case, is not "BrE" usually employed (by those wishing to avoid
"English") to differentiate between vocabularies and suchlike, not
pronunciation?

Descriptions of pronunciation tend to have their own organisational
distinctions. Although initialisation appears to have overtaken
clarity in this regard, "BrE" would appear to be singularly vapid.

John Varela

unread,
Jan 10, 2004, 3:29:58 PM1/10/04
to
On Sat, 10 Jan 2004 18:36:21 UTC, Evan Kirshenbaum <kirsh...@hpl.hp.com>
wrote:

> _Byte_ started publication in September, 1975. The word was used in
> MIT AI Memo 239, aka "HAKMEM", February, 1972. It almost certainly
> predates that, as well, but I was pretty sure it was there and I had a
> copy, so I looked it up.

http://hacks.mit.edu: "The word hack at MIT usually refers to a clever,
benign, and "ethical" prank or practical joke, which is both challenging for
the perpetrators and amusing to the MIT community (and sometimes even the rest
of the world!). Note that this has nothing to do with computer (or phone)
hacking (which we call "cracking")."

The term came into use after 1958, at about the time that more people were
getting to use computers. Despite the disclaimer, could there be a connection
between the terms?

--
John Varela
(Trade "OLD" lamps for "NEW" for email.)
I apologize for munging the address but the spam is too much.

R F

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Jan 10, 2004, 6:17:52 PM1/10/04
to

On Sat, 10 Jan 2004 rban...@shaw.ca wrote:

> In any case, is not "BrE" usually employed (by those wishing to avoid
> "English") to differentiate between vocabularies and suchlike, not
> pronunciation?

Sounds like you've been reading too much Minneapolis Ray Wise. "BrE" is
used on account of its embracing the Sc*tch and the W*lch in addition to
the S*ss*n*ch (hi C**p!).


>
> Descriptions of pronunciation tend to have their own organisational
> distinctions. Although initialisation appears to have overtaken
> clarity in this regard, "BrE" would appear to be singularly vapid.

I CINC that was cruel and uncalled-for, sir!


Jesse Sheidlower

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Jan 10, 2004, 8:33:33 PM1/10/04
to
In article <1g7b7yr.ci15m1kz0cyxN%tr...@euronet.nl>,

That's correct. Thanks to a generous grant from the National
Endowment for the Humanities, Oxford UP has taken over the
Historical Dictionary of American Slang from Random House.
We hope to publish Vol. III, covering probably P to mid-S,
by 2006, and the final volume at some point after that.
Editorial effort is already underway.

Jesse Sheidlower
OED

Jesse Sheidlower

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Jan 10, 2004, 8:45:29 PM1/10/04
to
In article <y8sh2e8...@hpl.hp.com>,

Evan Kirshenbaum <kirsh...@hpl.hp.com> wrote:
>jes...@panix.com (Jesse Sheidlower) writes:
>
>> R F <rfon...@alumni.wesleyan.edu> wrote:
>> >The OED takes the easy way out. They search texts. But that's not how
>> >language changes, not primarily. Language change is an oral thing, and a
>> >folk thing, a thing not written down.
>>
>> I don't think anyone is remotely unaware of this fact. But we
>> do what we can, given the tools we have available.
>
>Out of curiousity, just what is the OED policy on acceptable sources
>to cite? I submitted an antedating for "hacker" (which the revision
>hasn't gotten to, yet) citing an MIT tech report, which I hope is
>sufficiently "published", but what about things like on-line
>documentation, for which it's hard to prove that the file is as it was
>when it claims to have been written? As a concrete example, when I
>left Stanford in 1987, I took with me a snapshot of a collection of
>hacker-related filksongs written between 1979 and about 1984, each
>dated. If I were to find an antedating in that collection, would it
>be usable?

"It depends". We'd be very likely to accept some type of formal or
semi-formal internal publication, if accurately dated, including an
MIT tech report. Online docs are a harder call. We do accept cites
from the RFC series (which, by the way, has a 1973 quote for
"hacker"), which is rigorous about their corrections policy and
so forth, and we do accept Usenet quotes as archived on (formerly)
DejaNews or (now) Google Groups, in certain circumstances.

I don't know if we'd be able to take a cite from your filksong
collection; I'd have to see it. I don't think it would be likely,
though. If they had appeared in fanzine, they'd be fair game.

>Also, what is the rule about things like movies and TV and radio
>shows, for which recordings might exist but for which transcripts were
>never actually published? Especially with interviews, I'd think that
>these might frequently capture words that were common in speech but
>not yet committed to print.

If scripts or transcripts exist, even if they weren't formally
published, we can use them. It's very often possible to get these.

If no printed equivalent is available, our likely recourse would be
to mention it in a note (for example, like that for _to be toast_
'to be doomed, in trouble, etc.', which seems to have been coined
in _Ghostbusters,_ in an ad-lib on the set from Bill Murray, not
corresponding to the language of the shooting script (which we also
quote)).

By the way, we now have a 1963 quote for _hacker_ in our files,
from an MIT source.

Jesse Sheidlower
OED

Jesse Sheidlower

unread,
Jan 10, 2004, 8:54:47 PM1/10/04
to
In article <20040109133057...@mb-m11.aol.com>,

J. W. Love <lov...@aol.comma.net> wrote:
>
>Except for the costs, is there any good reason that a valid quotation couldn't
>begin something like
>
> *1998* Madonna _TV interview_ 9 Jan ง
>
>where "ง" means "as preserved on a recording (videotape, etc.) archived in the

>OED's office and/or as transcribed by, or in a transcription accepted as
>authentic by, the staff of the OED, with spelling & any punctuation following
>the style of the Oxford University Press"?

Yes, that there's no way anyone could verify it; all they
could do is take our word for it. Which we'd like to think is
trustworthy, but we like being extremely sure of these
things. This is distinct from things which we already do mark
as "OED Archive", which do exist physically in our archives
and can be shown to those who need to see them.

It is not a question of "institutional prejudice against
non-textual documents", as Mr. Fontana puts it elsewhere in
this thread; it's a case of institutional reasoning in
favor of verifiable citations. We tend towards extreme
conservatism in these situations.

Jesse Sheidlower
OED

Evan Kirshenbaum

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Jan 10, 2004, 9:10:13 PM1/10/04
to
"John Varela" <OLDl...@earthlink.net> writes:

> Evan Kirshenbaum <kirsh...@hpl.hp.com> wrote:
>
> > _Byte_ started publication in September, 1975. The word was used
> > in MIT AI Memo 239, aka "HAKMEM", February, 1972. It almost
> > certainly predates that, as well, but I was pretty sure it was
> > there and I had a copy, so I looked it up.
>
> http://hacks.mit.edu: "The word hack at MIT usually refers to a
> clever, benign, and "ethical" prank or practical joke, which is both
> challenging for the perpetrators and amusing to the MIT community
> (and sometimes even the rest of the world!). Note that this has
> nothing to do with computer (or phone) hacking (which we call
> "cracking")."
>
> The term came into use after 1958, at about the time that more
> people were getting to use computers. Despite the disclaimer, could
> there be a connection between the terms?

You have to read that in the correct light. They're not saying that
there's no connection between these "hacks" and the early, positive
sense of "hacking" computers, as there clearly is. What they're
talking about is the later sense of "hackers" meaning "one who breaks
into computers".

In this sense, they're wrong as well. The shift in meaning almost
certainly comes from a misunderstanding. Early work on computer
security was largely concerned with protecting systems against
"hackers", not because hackers were (definitionally) people who broke
into computers, but because hackers craved cycles, and if they could
come up with a clever way to use yours, they would. If somebody was
going to break in, it would likely be a hacker. The word was used in
this sense as early as 1973, in RFC 521:

We feel that this change will be sufficient to discourage
"hackers", although it is obviously insufficient to protect a node
against a determined and malicious attack.

(Note that "hackers" are distinguished from "malicious attack".) It
was when the media, who knew little of computer jargon, became
concerned about computer break-ins that they leapt from "we're worried
about hackers breaking in" to "'hackers' are people who break into
computers".

--
Evan Kirshenbaum +------------------------------------
HP Laboratories |It is a popular delusion that the
1501 Page Mill Road, 1U, MS 1141 |government wastes vast amounts of
Palo Alto, CA 94304 |money through inefficiency and sloth.
|Enormous effort and elaborate
kirsh...@hpl.hp.com |planning are required to waste this
(650)857-7572 |much money
| P.J. O'Rourke
http://www.kirshenbaum.net/


Aaron J. Dinkin

unread,
Jan 10, 2004, 10:42:12 PM1/10/04
to
On 10 Jan 2004 11:54:20 -0800, rban...@shaw.ca <rban...@shaw.ca> wrote:

> R J Valentine <r...@smart.net> wrote in message news:<vvv4egs...@corp.supernews.com>...
>>
>> Yeah, but "um" (BrE: "erm") might have to have a volume all its own.
>
> What's this? Scum and sperm have *quite* different vowel sounds.

"Um" and "erm" are both attempts to represent more or less the same
non-word, [@m]. The closest you can get to representing [@m] to a
typical American accent is <um>, which suggests [Vm]; there's no
distinct orthographical way to express a schwa specifically. In a
non-rhotic accent of England, <erm> suggests [@:m], which comes closer
to the target than [Vm] is.

-Aaron J. Dinkin
Dr. Whom

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