American journalist and critic
WORDS ABOUT WORDS
Before anybody gets too high and mighty about Merriam-Webster's excommunication of snollygoster, it probably bears repeating that languages are living things, not museum pieces. Dictionaries are snapshots from life, not idealized friezes. ... But how are those of us dedicated to the biodiversity of language ever going to save the snollygoster from extinction when regional pockets like Truman's Missouri, where the word thrived and may still thrive, for all Massachusetts knows tend not to write for, or get quoted in, or even subscribe to, the New York Times?
David Kipen, American journalist and critic, The San Francisco Chronicle, September 24, 2003
Posted on April 28, 1998 at 3:54 PM