nancylebov (nancylebov) wrote,

The OED got back to me about articulate

I recently posted a poll about "articulate", a much more problematic word than is obvious. A lot of people think it's obviously a compliment, and a lot think it's obviously an insult. I think "obviously" is much more about internal experience than we're encouraged to think. If there are any Lojbanists on this bus, does "obviously" have some handy "obvious to whom?" markers? Does cognitive behavior therapy encourage asking "obvious to whom?"?

I sent an email to the OED, and here's what I got back:
The OED entry was written for the first edition and originally published
in 1885; it has not been touched since and is badly in need of revision.
Our other dictionaries define the standard modern sense in neutral
terms: 'Of a person: able to express himself or herself fluently and
clearly' (Shorter OED, sixth edition, 2007). In British use the
adjective is usually perceived as mildly complimentary, but a comment
such as 'Articulate, isn't she?' would be understood as meaning 'this
woman is talking too much'.

The poll's been added to their revision list. I don't know how long it takes them to work through that list, but meanwhile, are there any other words that might be worth exploring?

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