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RE: [council] Meetings in LA
I read these emails and thought for a minute it was a post from the WG C
list! As Names Council representatives, let's set an example (i.e., see
Richard Lindsay's recent email regarding Santiago).
From: Nigel Roberts [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
Sent: Wednesday, September 01, 1999 9:17 AM
To: Ken Stubbs
Cc: Nigel Roberts; names council
Subject: Re: [council] Meetings in LA
> for your edification..here is a straight cut-and-paste from the
> for the definition of "Parliamentarian" :
I really don't wish to belabour the point, but /which/ dictionary?
An /American/ dictionary or a /British/ dictionary??
My own copy of the concise Oxford English Dictionary sitting right here
does not have your meaning number 2 anywhere in it and it is certainly
not in common usage anywhere in the British Isles to my knowledge.
Hence my genuine confusion.
Par1iamentarian. n. & a.
1. n. skilled debater in parliament; adherent of Parliament in
civil war of 17th c. 2. a. = foll [f. prec + -ARIAN]
I dare say that you might possibly find your meaning in the full sixteen
volume OED as an archaic definition if one were to look for it.
But we should never forget that many things in American English are
archaic uses in British English and fell out of use centuries ago.
Just because something was used in 1644 doesn't mean anyone here would
necessarily understand that usage today.
[A simple example of this phenomenon is the word 'gotten'. Entirely
correct in American English but /completely/ incorrect in British
English; using it would lose you marks in an examination. But it /was/
correct a few hundred years ago]
And my point remains, if I, as a native speaker of (British) English
have such problems with understanding this sort of procedural
terminology (which I certainly did over the meaning of the procedural
device of 'tabling' something at the live meeting as another example),
then it must follow that non-native speakers of English are even more at
We have to do something to remedy this.
I feel that referring someone to a dictionary for what is a non-obvious
meaning of a word is a bit like saying: 'hey you, stupid, you oughtta
have known this'
I think we should be trying to be a little more helpful than that.
[My colleagues are, of course, capable of expressing their own opinions
Names Council meeting or anything else].