A Lexicographer and a Sawist Meet in a Bunker

Last week at the UCB Theater a new word was born. Sawist. Here's the story from our guest Lexicographer, Wendalyn Nichols from the Copyediting blog.

Last night (November 4, 2009), I went down to the Upright Citizens Brigade Theater on West 26th Street in Manhattan to be a guest on Seven Second Delay, a radio show broadcast on WFMU and streamed from the show’s blog. (No, no apostrophe in Citizens is needed; it’s a brigade made up of citizens, not a brigade for citizens–that is, it would be, if it existed. But the show’s name ought to have a hyphen in it: Seven-Second Delay.)


One of my fellow guests was the Saw Lady, Natalia Paruz, who told me before the show that people in the saw-playing community were divided about calling themselves “sawists” (like pianist, violinist) or “sawyers” (people who play the saw). I pointed out that sawyer already existed as a word for someone who puts a saw to its more typical use. And that people who play, say, the bass are called either bassists or bass players, not “bassers.”

She liked my rationale, especially since she was in the “sawist” camp herself. Then she said, “So how do I get ’sawist’ into the dictionary?”

You can read the rest of the story over here.

Our master show photographer John Dalton got some great shots, too. I wild about his Reverend Billy pictures. Andy looks terrified!


Joe Chris Morris said...

7SD has a guest Lexicographer?

Who knew?!!

Saw Lady said...

The word 'sawist' was accepted by the musical saw community at the 2008 NYC Musical Saw Festival (www.MusicalSawFestival.org). The reason I presented at that festival, in favor of 'sawist', was that while in South Carolina I came across the word 'sawyer' as a profession for guys who walked door-to-door offering to cut wood. So, since that word was already taken, it seemed to me we needed a different one.
I am greatful to Wendalyn for showing me how to get that word to the attention of dictionary folks, and I'm greatful to 'Seven Second Delay' for bringing me together with a lexicographer!

JoeChrisMorris said...

You love the show