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 Originally Posted By: zmjezhd


Seriously, Hydra, I am not being snooty. My sigh was plebian and to the point.



If that's your plebian, I fear your patrician!

 Originally Posted By: zmjezhd

I simply find your characterization of the descriptivist camp exasperatingly false. You choose to label me and other linguists as everything goes anarchists, and, in your mudslinging attitude from on high in your armchair, that's perfectly okay with you.


There's a difference between mudslinging and frankness. I didn't, for example, call descriptivists vulgar swine or repulsive scum. I merely said it seems to me they lack all taste.

But my view on these matters is far from settled, though so far, I'm leaning towards rejecting both pigeonholes as unhelpful. If it's not too vulgarly common sensical, I think the best benchmark is the completely unqualifiable one of personal taste.

 Originally Posted By: zmjezhd


So, be it. Leave me be, and I'll try to leave you alone, too.


Has it really come to that, Jim?

It seems to me you have come to identify with descriptivism to such an extent that you take criticism of it as personal criticism. Well, none was intended, sir.




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 Originally Posted By: etaoin
right. I would read the word as PREE-zent-EE-ism,


Where'd that PREE come from? Onliest time I've heard it pronounced like that would be in the command "PREE-zent ARMS!" I'd think maybe pre-ZENT-ee ism, but I would also expect that most people, on first encountering the term, would have more context than that of some P complaining about it. Something like "While absenteeism is a problem in the workplace, we're finding that presenteeism * is just as much a problem." The * is meant to indicate that if the writer thought the reader had never heard the term before there would be an appositive ", coming in to work when one shouldn't," that explains the new term.

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yah, the caps on PREE indicate an emphasis that I prolly don't mean. just pree more than preh is what I mean.

I guess I think the term needs the absenteeism nearby to help explain it, and there is perhaps a coinage that could do it without it.


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snooty

The delightful thing about this word, twosleepy, is how it relates to one prescriptivist's proud self-designation. David Foster Wallace in his musingly rambling review of A Dictionary of Modern American Usage by Bryan A. Garner (1998), reveals in a footnote that his family used the term snoot which he defines in a footnote:

 Quote:
SNOOT (n) (highly colloq) is this reviewer's nuclear family's nickname a clef for a really extreme usage fanatic, the sort of person whose idea of Sunday fun is to look for mistakes in Satire's column's prose itself. This reviewer's family is roughly 70 percent SNOOT, which term itself derives from an acronym, with the big historical family joke being that whether S.N.O.O.T. stood for "Sprachgefuhl Necessitates Our Ongoing Tendance" or "Syntax Nudniks of Our Time" depended on whether or not you were one. [David Foster Wallace, "Democracy, English, and the Wars over Usage" in Harper's Magazine, April 2001 (link).]


There is much that Wallace gets wrong in this piece. I refer you to Language Hat's point-by-point demolition of it (link, scroll down a couple of screenfuls to David Foster Wallace Demolish). But it is obvious that he does have fun playing with language. Snootitude is a fine coinage, but I have always wondered what the criteria are by which certain neologisms are silently accepted while others are not.


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Thanks for expanding. I read some of that, and it was interesting. But then I started digging around for the origin of "snooty", which has always been a marvelous word to me, seeming to perfectly describe such a one. Turns out it's quite young (1815), and derives from a Scottish variation on snout (say "snout" out loud with your best Scottish accent - perfect!) The elegance of this "common" word is that it describes both someone who looks down his or her nose at "inferiors", and also someone who raises his or her nose in the air in disdain. Lovely word! :0)

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I knew there was good reason for retiring this persona, jim.


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zmjezhd #178337 07/27/08 04:08 PM
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 Originally Posted By: zmjezhd
snooty


 Quote:
SNOOT (n) (highly colloq) is this reviewer's nuclear family's nickname a clef for a really extreme usage fanatic, the sort of person whose idea of Sunday fun is to look for mistakes in Satire's column's prose itself. This reviewer's family is roughly 70 percent SNOOT, which term itself derives from an acronym, with the big historical family joke being that whether S.N.O.O.T. stood for "Sprachgefuhl Necessitates Our Ongoing Tendance" or "Syntax Nudniks of Our Time" depended on whether or not you were one. [David Foster Wallace, "Democracy, English, and the Wars over Usage" in Harper's Magazine, April 2001 (link).]


There is much that Wallace gets wrong in this piece....


Including his two references to William Safire.

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 Originally Posted By: Hydra
Has it really come to this, Jim?


You icily evade the question. I guess when it comes to opinions contrary to the principles of descriptivism, you're a prescriptivist after all. :P

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Including his two references to William Safire.

It may have been an OCR problem. This book either silently corrects Wallace or correctly cites him: link). And for three other views of DFW and on snootism: (link, link, and link).


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 Originally Posted By: zmjezhd
Snootitude is a fine coinagebut I have always wondered what the criteria are by which certain neologisms are silently accepted while others are not.


that's really the question, ain't it? seems to boil down to some sort of aesthetic, and we know we don't know nothin about thems.


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