Allan Metcalf at Lingua Franca writes about a publication I may just have to shell out for:
This week something rare, old fashioned, scholarly, and entertaining arrived via the U.S. Postal Service. As usual, I’m postponing other tasks until I have read it cover to cover. It’s a journal you’ve probably never heard of: Comments on Etymology. Rare I call it, because the journal has very few subscribers. And old fashioned, because it’s only on paper. It’s not available on the Internet.
For more than four decades, Comments on Etymology has been one of the least known and most enjoyable scholarly journals in the field of linguistics. And it’s the No. 1 source for the study of American slang. [...] What makes the journal so entertaining is, first of all, copious quotations from original sources, and second, lively discussions of the evidence, often leading to revised explanations. That’s because, in the words of Editor Gerald Cohen in a recent issue:
“Comments on Etymology … is a series of working papers, a sort of etymological workshop where ideas can be tested and developed (with valuable feedback provided) before being presented formally to the scholarly community.” [...]
It’s a rare publication indeed. You’re unlikely to find Comments on Etymology in your university library or on a colleague’s bookshelf. Cohen explains, “The number of subscribers is very low, primarily because I haven’t publicized the publication and have been content to mail the issues to whoever is interested.” But he adds, “If a few new subscribers come along, they will be very welcome.”
It’s $16 for eight issues a year; if you’re interested, send a check to Gerald Cohen at the address given at the link.
Totally unrelated: The Economist‘s style guide is now online. Thanks, Paul!