Andy Freeman vs Random House Dictionary

If Andy had claimed that the
Earth was flat and standard references on the subject and most other
people were wrong, it is conceivable, if unlikely, that he could be
correct. However, when he tells us that the dictionary and everyone
else is wrong about the meaning of the term “Saturday Night Special”
he cannot possibly be correct. Usage defines meaning.

Andy Freeman writes:

That’s an interesting leap by Lambert. A dictionary has a definition
so he assumes that “everyone” uses it that way. The dictionary’s
definition is wrong BECAUSE usage does define meaning and the usage is
“guns owned by niggers”.

Charles Scripter said:

An interesting (and correct) concept, Andy. I wonder if Tim can explain
why my Webster’s_Unabridged_Dictionary calls “Saturday Night Special”

Gee, Charles, is that the entire definition? I’m going to go WAAY out
on a limb here and suggest that Webster’s defines it the same way as
Random House, else you would have told us about it. Let’s just review
what happened:

  1. Andy claims that Random House definition is wrong. Check.

  2. Charles looks up the definition in his Webster’s. Check.

  3. Charles discovers that Webster’s gives the same definition as Random House. Check.

  4. Charles concludes that Andy is right and Random House is wrong. Whee!

Hey Charles, you do realise that you could have saved yourself the
bother of actually opening the dictionary? If the dictionary had
agreed with Andy, you would have concluded that he was right. It
didn’t agree with him, but still you concluded that he was right.
Notice that what the dictionary actually says is irrelevant to your
conclusion that Andy is right. So don’t just stop with Webster’s —
you can cite every dictionary that you haven’t looked at in your
proof that Andy is right.

Could it be because it’s definition is is not unique, or widely accepted?…

Gee, when you opened up the dictionary at the S’s, I think you should
have looked up “slang” instead of “Saturday Night Special” (we already
know that you were wasting your time when you looked up SNS). Since
“slang” does not mean that the definition is not unique or widely
accepted, the answer to your question is NO.

Does “cheap” mean “shoddy”, or “inexpensive”?

An interesting point is that when they were banning import of “Saturday
Night Specials”, one of them included in the list was the Walther PPK.
Now there is nothing SHODDY about Walther’s manufacture, and they make
some very fine hardware; Likewise, there is nothing INEXPENSIVE about
a Walther, either. They were generally some of the most expensive pistols
on the market. Nor was the PPK “readily available”; It was quite popular
(as fine equipment tends to be), and getting delivery was difficult. I
can only assume that the PPK’s CRIME was that it is “small and easily

Since you claim that a SNS is a handgun used by a black, this is
irrelevant. Now if you could demonstrate that Walther PPKs were owned
exclusively by blacks, you would be on to something.

Now, Tim, what exactly is a “Saturday Night Special”?…

a cheap, small caliber handgun that is easily obtainable