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Naive assumptions

Posted by Word Camel on August 29, 2002

In Reply to: Re: I give and I give for what? posted by Cory on August 27, 2002

: I don't have the entry. All I said was that it was in the dictionary by 1903. Does OED cite to earliest usage for every entry? That's why it is a fine dictionary. You guys are in England, right? It's your dictionary, I figured you could look it up, if you wanted. That's what I did.

: Michael Quinion says it first appeared around 1902, but he gives no other source than America.

: David Wilton states definitely that it first appeared in print in 1902, but he gives no source material either.

: Evan Morris says it appears in the 1903 OED but he gives no entry either.

: That's three different sources that date the phrase as appearing before WWI. I gave you the name of a famous book available in your neck of the woods and the date of publication (no I don't know who published it). I'm not going to read it for you.

I assumed, foolishly as it turns out, that because you mentioned the 1903 edition of the OED, that you'd actually read the entry yourself. One of the great things about this board is the opportunity to pool resources. Very few people have ready access to the OED - not even in Britian. I asked if you'd share the entry with us for that reason. It's also customary to share sources of information. Not everyone knows that Michael Quinion is responsible for World Wide Words, that David Wilton runs Wordorigins.org, or that Evan Morris runs the Word Detective site. I don't think it would have been unreasonable to provide that information either. Your post would have been much more interesting if you'd perhaps shared their thories with us - by quoting them or better yet, providing a link.

Your post raised an interesting point, but it's a little hard to take it seriously when you didn't make the effort to check the OED yourself. If you aren't willing to check your own sources I hardly think it's reasonable to expect the people who read your posts to - no matter what part of the world they inhabit.