Monday, December 04, 2006

The Safire questions ...

By special request (see comments on the last post), here's the list of questions that Safire had his assistant post to ads-l by way of a senior lexicographer:
1. What is the meaning of the word "one-off"?
2. What is its etymology? Is it an import from Britain?
3. When was it first used?
4. When was it first used in the United States?
5. Why do you think its becoming popular?
6. Have you noticed any interesting citations of its usage?
Can I add some questions?
  • How sleazy is this?
  • Is this a case of 'hey, can anybody do my homework for me?' And 'Please type it neatly and print it on good quality paper.'
  • Can we make up stuff and figure you won't check the facts?
  • Do I at least get a little free mention in the NYT while you freakin' get paid for my work if I do answer?
  • At what point do we start a public campaign to shame the NYT into firing your sorry butt?

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