Be there or be square

Book Launch: 23 Things We ARE Telling You About Capitalism – A free copy to each attendee!

Speaker: Tim Worstall
Date: Tuesday, 10th June
Venue: ASI Office..

Tuesday, June 10
at 6:00pm – 7:30pm in UTC+01

Adam Smith Institute
23 Great Smith Street, SW1P 3BL London, United Kingdom

18 comments on “Be there or be square

  1. @Dearieme I don’t know (or care) where you went to school, but an attendee is one who attends a meeting or conference.

  2. Bugger, I’m in London every Wednesday evening and on the 3rd Tuesday of the month.

  3. Strictly speaking, it’s wrong. -ee denotes an object noun (the root is being done to the -ee) so an attendee is, strictly speaking, someone being attended to just as an employee is someone being employed, a trainee is someone who is being trained, etc. Whereas an employer is one doing the employing, a trainer one doing the training, and an attender one doing the attending.

    Strictly speaking of course, since word meanings are defined by usage, even if wrong.

  4. Tim,

    I can’t see anything on the ASI web site at all – can one just turn up on the day?

  5. @BiG

    Not to get as dull as Drearieme, but if you’re using a dictionary from the 1920s, it probably will have attender.

    But you might struggle to find one published this century with ‘attendee’ not defined as one who attends an event.

    It’s to do with words which originate from French reflexive verbs, which have objects the same as subjects.

    A ‘fighter’ is correct, but so is (for example) an ‘absentee’ – no-one would nowadays use ‘absenter’ for one who absents himself.

    Some etymologists with more time on their hands than me also suggest a usefulness vis a vis the completeness of an action. Thus, an ‘escaper’ is in the process of escaping, while an ‘escapee’ has actually escaped.

    Of course, if he did it by tunnelling he would be a tunneller, not a tunnellee.

    That’s the unpredictable beauty of English!

  6. ” free copy” … how economically illiterate is that? 😉 What with the opportunity cost of ninety minutes of time, the cost of travel, the cost of storage once the book comes home (my shelves now operate on “one out, one in”)… how many equivalently sized ebooks could a typical Bloke In Attendance have bought instead had he just stayed at home on the interweb?

    @BIG: what’s the dictionary definition of “dictionary definition”? Delightfully recursive.

  7. @BiG

    First, find a dictionary and look up ‘petty’ and ‘semantics’.

    Next, ask yourself who is correct, in an argument between you and Drearieme on the one hand, and the editors of every major dictionary in the western world on the other.

    I have no doubt whatsoever that Drearieme will believe himself to be correct, despite the weight of evidence to the contrary, but you don’t strike me as an utter wanker.

  8. To answer my own question, the Merriam-Webster dictionary definition of “dictionary definition” is:

    Main Entry: dictionary definition
    Function: noun
    : a definition reporting established meanings or uses of words or symbols — compare STIPULATIVE DEFINITION
    http://i.word.com/idictionary/definition

    Which incidentally gives;

    Main Entry: stip·u·la·tive definition
    Pronunciation: \ˈstipyəˌlātiv-, lətiv-\
    Function: noun
    Etymology: stipulative from
    1stipulate + -ive
    : a declaration of a meaning that is intended to be attached by the speaker to a word, expression, or symbol and that usually does not already have an established use in the sense intended — compare DICTIONARY DEFINITION

    Which is quite informative really, though an infinite chain of recursion would have been far more fun.

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