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History of this forum
Posted: 05 June 2012 06:34 PM   [ Ignore ]
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Dave, I’ve been enjoying your hospitality here (and at the yuku place) for a decade or so now.

What is the backstory to the creation of the forum? Did you just up and decide one day that the world needs a well-regulated etymology forum or was there some external stimulus that drove you to that decision?

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Posted: 05 June 2012 06:38 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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This may be a moment for re-introducing ourselves. Hasn’t been done in a while.

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Posted: 05 June 2012 11:47 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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Oecolampadius - 05 June 2012 06:38 PM

This may be a moment for re-introducing ourselves. Hasn’t been done in a while.

Hello.

My name is sobiest, and I approve of this concept. 

:)

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Posted: 06 June 2012 12:32 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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Hello.

I’m OP Tipping. I am Australian, now living in Singapore. I have no tertiary (that is to say, higher) education in the field of linguistics. I enjoy reading books and articles on all aspects of linguistics, so I do have a bit of relevant knowledge: not enough to be reliably useful to anyone, but just about enough to be a nuisance to the actual experts. The best that can be said for me is that I am aware of my limitations.

I am married. I have a teenage daughter and an infant son, who is being raised in a multilingual environment.

My actual higher education background is in physics and the earth sciences. This background no doubt colours my understanding of linguistics, sometimes for good, sometimes for ill. I hope I don’t remind anyone (esp. lh) of a particular geologist who (by some strange twist of fate) is a published author on the topic of language, despite seemingly knowing little about it…

I will sometimes play devil’s advocate, or send thought balloons across the room, but only for the purposes of learning, not to be annoying.

I am a contributor and editor of Wikipedia.

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Posted: 06 June 2012 02:35 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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Faldage (short for Faldage of Fong, from the ZBS galactic gumshoe thriller Tired of the Green Menace?)

I was born in Chicago, Ill. during WWII and have lived in Boston, MA, Flagstaff, AZ, Santa Ana, CA and in or near Ithaca, NY.  I have taken a couple of courses in linguistics, not enough to learn anything helpful, just enough to be dangerous.  I try to hold myself in check but don’t always succeed.

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Posted: 06 June 2012 03:39 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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I started the website in 1997, originally registered under Sprynet, my ISP at the time. I started it primarily because I was looking for a job in Silicon Valley and at the time you needed a website that hosted your resume if you had any hope of getting a job there. But I didn’t want it to be bare-bones site. I wanted it to have some content. I first thought about urban legends, but snopes.com was going strong. So I settled on word origins, a topic I was interested in, but knew relatively little about. (I still know relatively little. The only thing that expertise confers upon you is the knowledge of just how much you don’t know.)

In 2000, I registered the wordorigins.org domain and set up the forum. Prior to that I had been answering questions via email, and that just got to be too much. Realizing that many of the questions were asked again and again, I thought a forum was the best way to get others to do the work for me and have an archive that people could consult. The forum was originally hosted at Coolboard, then moved to EZBoard (now Yuku), and I set up the current incarnation in 2005. I host this one myself. (I pay a service to use their servers.)

I’m Dave Wilton, your host for this forum. I’m an American expat who has fled to the mysterious and exotic land of Canada. I’m currently the oldest grad student at the University of Toronto (actually, I’ll bet there’s someone older, but if so, I haven’t met them; they’re not in the English Dept or at the Centre for Medieval Studies), getting my PhD in Old English literature. I spent the first two decades of my life growing up on the Jersey shore, then a few years in West Germany in the US Army. After that I moved to the DC area for about another decade where I worked in chemical weapons arms control, before skipping out to Silicon Valley where I spent another decade working for an number of companies in digital television and 3D graphics.

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Posted: 06 June 2012 05:25 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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My name is Steve Dodson; I was born (an embassy brat) in 1951 in Tokyo and lived in Thailand, Japan again, and Argentina before going to college at Occidental in California.  After graduating in 1972, I moved to New Haven for grad school in historical linguistics, taught English and linguistics in Taiwan in 1977-78, moved to New York City in 1981, became first a proofreader and then a copyeditor, and relocated to western Massachusetts (my wife’s native ground) at the start of 2005, since when I have been an impecunious but happy freelance copyeditor.  I started my blog Languagehat in mid-2002 (prompted by my enthusiastically computerized stepson) and joined the merry crew of Wordorigins.org sometime in 2003 (I think—the move from EZBoard has eliminated the details of my early history here).

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Posted: 06 June 2012 07:27 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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I’m Jim Gorman, pastor of a church in the Southeastern section of Wisconsin in the US of A. I joined the EZboard site of Wordorigins as jgorman64 in November of 2001 (I still know my password from there and can still sign in).

I was born in Chicago in ‘46 and went to college at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia after I had been released from the Army in 1968. Got a Master’s of Divinity from obscure school in St. Louis, Missouri.

I’m married and have two adult children, and two grandchildren (14 months and 10.8 years).

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Posted: 06 June 2012 08:04 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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a Master’s of Divinity from obscure school in St. Louis, Missouri.

Eden Seminary, I presume?

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Posted: 07 June 2012 05:02 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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Dr. Techie - 06 June 2012 08:04 PM

Eden Seminary, I presume?

Exactly! Wow! I don’t remember if it was Richard or Reinhold Niebuhr who noted in his biography that he had graduated from “a small denominational seminary” not naming it.

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Posted: 07 June 2012 05:10 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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Doc T knows all.

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Posted: 07 June 2012 07:50 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
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And now languagehat has saved me the trouble of re-introducing myself.

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Posted: 07 June 2012 07:23 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]
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My name is Liza and I have followed these discussions since the EZBoard days, when my member name was LizaWillBill. The earliest post I have found in the old forums is from 2004. I am a lawyer and work in the obscure field of placing tiny bits of reinsurance with anyone who will take them. I do actuarial work involving simulation modeling for hypothetical catastrophic events. Lloyds has been my biggest market for decades. My college years were spent in Annapolis, New Haven and Philadelphia. I have been told that my accent is Northeastern American. My enjoyment of this board is not lessened by the fact that I am intimidated by all of you.

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Posted: 08 June 2012 12:17 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]
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Excellent, Liza, just as intended! ;)

Known on ezboard as Eliza or ElizaD.  Now in North East England, also lived in other parts of England and South Africa.  Accent therefore non-descript English.  Semi-retired and loving it, many and varied interests, not least trying to get my brain round the workings of bridge (it’s a tight fit these days).

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Posted: 08 June 2012 05:56 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 14 ]
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I’m Ian McAulay. I usually style myself as an escaped architect. I trained as an architect but immediately after that switched to computer graphics. My PhD is in computer aided design and I still do active software development in Fortran (dinosaur that I am), hence my handle here.

I’m a Scot although born in the south of England* and then educated in England but now resident in East Lothian and working in Edinburgh. As a result, I have an accent that most English folk think is Scots and most Scots think is English.

* Both my parents were Scots, so being born in England doesn’t make me English any more than being born in a stable would make me a horse. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it!

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Posted: 10 June 2012 02:45 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 15 ]
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Ian Jackson. Born in 1948, Devon. Army brat, spent several years of my boyhood in Aden, an experience I still cherish. Settled on father’s demob in Portsmouth. Grammar school education, eventual BA in English and European Lit, a large chunk of time between school and uni filled by Army service and, well, let’s just say taking Coleridge and De Quincey a little too seriously. Sporadically employed in the groves of Academe, two marriages, two sons (42 and 38) and a 16 year old daughter as joyous as she is infuriating.

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