Your critique of Dr. Forer’s critique of “critique” as a verb won’t do (The Scientist, December 26, 1988, page 10). The Merriam Webster staff relinquished the right to be a council of last resort when they decided, by inverse snobbery, to regard a word or pronunciation as correct merely because it is often used. A good dictionary should be prescriptive as weil as descriptive. By adopting their misguided policy of sacrificing their prescriptive responsibilities, the Merriam Webster staff has helped to accelerate the erosion of the English language.
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and
Blacksburg, Va. 24601