LINGUIST List 6.1062

Thu Aug 10 1995

FYI: Re: 6.1049, Sum: E-mail Citation

Editor for this issue: T. Daniel Seely <>


  1. Peter Daniels, Re: 6.1049, Sum: E-mail Citation

Message 1: Re: 6.1049, Sum: E-mail Citation

Date: Wed, 09 Aug 1995 21:45:32 Re: 6.1049, Sum: E-mail Citation
From: Peter Daniels <>
Subject: Re: 6.1049, Sum: E-mail Citation

On occasion I have heard or read papers, usually on discourse, that use as
data excerpts from the conversation or interview books by Studs Terkel (such
as _Working_ or _The Good War_). As a resident of Chicago, I have the
opportunity to hear Studs Terkel's daily radio program broadcast on WFMT.
Once in a while, I have happened to read a passage in one of the books within
a few days of hearing the same interview in a broadcast, and I have noticed
that the published version does not correspond exactly to what is on the
tape. That is, Studs Terkel edits the material for style before it goes into
I had the opportunity to confirm this in a brief conversation with Studs
Terkel on Saturday afternoon, 29 July 1995. (He's a lot haler than any 85-
year-old could expect to be.) First, when I told him his works were being
used as data by linguists, he was immensely pleased, and he said, "You've
made my day"; but he also confirmed that he edits the words of his subjects
before he publishes them, and gave me his blessing to announce this to
linguists who may be interested.
The conversations in Terkel's books give every impression of being the
genuine words of the people who speak them--and they would certainly
recognize themselves in the excerpts--but Studs Terkel is a very accomplished
literary artist, and doesn't want his work to be acclaimed as the ipsissima
verba of his workers, his soldiers, or any of his other subjects.
I'm sure he'd like to receive copies of papers that cite his writings; you
could send them to him c/o WFMT, 303 E. Wacker Drive, Chicago, IL 60601.
- Peter T. Daniels,
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