by Kieran Healy on August 15, 2004

I don’t know when “conferencing” became a verb, but I guess I’m doing it all the same. I’m at the “ASA Meetings”: in San Francisco, where the keynote speakers include well-known sociologist Paul Krugman. I’m off to the Economic Sociology Section reception soon, but I am nevertheless tempted by the Section on Alcohol Drugs and Tobacco reception. Meanwhile, the “storm damage in Florida”: reminds me of the answer to “the stupidest question in the world”:



Dogberry 08.15.04 at 3:30 am

Actually, Paul Krugman is an economist. (Although a knowledge of sociology no doubt helps.)


peter ramus 08.15.04 at 4:13 am

Actually, Paul Krugman is a gerund, like “conferencing.”


stlouis 08.15.04 at 4:44 am

“conference” was just jealous that “meeting” has been a noun all these years.


John Quiggin 08.15.04 at 5:05 am

Isn’t confer a verb, with participle “conferring” and noun “conference”? Can we look to a new noun “conferencingment” and so on?

While I am at it, why is that people at a conference are now called “delegates” even when no-one has delegated them.


peter ramus 08.15.04 at 5:14 am

Yes. You might confer with a commenter here, unless conferencing with a commentator.


Larry B 08.15.04 at 6:04 am

The Section on Alcohol Drugs and Tobacco probably throws a better party… Good thing they swapped out the firearms for drugs.


Kieran Healy 08.15.04 at 6:33 am

Actually, Paul Krugman is an economist.

Thanks for pointing that out to me, Dogberry.


Ophelia Benson 08.15.04 at 5:29 pm

Oh dear, too late – I was going to point out (gently, as is my wont) that the Krugman as sociologist thing was a joke.

Dogberry is a very appropriate name therefore!


George 08.18.04 at 1:38 am

Re: The Stupidest Question in the World, that’s not bad. But I’m not sure it unseats the longtime champion (overheard at Shasta Dam in California in early 80s): “Can they still use the water after they take the electricity out of it?”

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