5.0141 Politically Correct Dictionary? (1/30)

Elaine Brennan & Allen Renear (EDITORS@BROWNVM.BITNET)
Thu, 13 Jun 91 17:22:13 EDT

Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 5, No. 0141. Thursday, 13 Jun 1991.

Date: Thu, 13 Jun 1991 09:29:42 -0500
From: Dennis Baron <baron@ux1.cso.uiuc.edu>
Subject: the pc dictionary

The political correctness debate has spilled over into lexicography
once again. Thirty years ago it was _Webster's Third New International
Dictionary_ which provoked the wrath of the right. Now it's the
Random House Webster's College Dictionary (what a name) that's
provoking the press. A NY Times article, which I have yet to see,
dated 6/11, apparently described the dictionary. Yesterday, our
local paper, the _Champaign-Urbana News-Gazette_, ran an editorial
against the dictionary. I'm probably one of the few people in town
who has actually looked at the dictionary (the writer of the editorial
took all his info from the Times), though I don't have a copy, because
we are considering it for adoption in our freshman writing program (I
also like to read dictionaries). While this budding controversy may
not be anything like the Salman Rushdie affair or even the flap over
Webster's Third, it promises to make the early summer interesting for
humanists. It seems the dictionary will now be attacked by many who
have never seen it, indeed who use dictionaries only for pressing
flowers or propping up table legs. But dictionary production is one
of the few areas where scholarship and popular opinion seem to intersect
on a regular basis. Any interest in discussing this dictionary war?
Let me know.

debaron@uiuc.edu (\ 217-333-2392
\'\ fax: 217-333-4321
Dennis Baron \'\ __________
Department of English / '| ()_________)
Univ. of Illinois \ '/ \ ~~~~~~~~ \
608 S. Wright St. \ \ ~~~~~~ \
Urbana IL 61801 ==). \__________\
(__) ()__________)