Friday, September 14, 2012

StatAb Redux

To tell you the truth, I hate that word, redux, but anything for a snappy title. Still, while I’m at it, the word has its origins in the Latin ducere, to “bring or to lead” which, prefaced by re-, meaning back, means “to bring back”; hence redux means “brought back.”

The collective “we” around here mourned the passing of the Statistical Abstract severally and acrimoniously, and to find those laments we recommend using the Categories on your left. Now comes word that the StatAb will, after all, appear again in 2013, thus the silver cord will not have been broken, but a transmogrification of some kind will have taken place. The next edition will be produced by the private sector, specifically by ProQuest. Now ProQuest is a neighbor around here, headquartered in Ann Arbor, MI; that pleases others of us who function as publishers in this state. Our collective “we” have already bought our first copy in advance, although the pain was rather sharp as the price, ouch, was $179. Librarians all over will be happy—although they, too, will wince at the price in these days of diminishing budgets.

Whether or not our joy will be mixed or expansive all depends on whether the new StatAb will be like the old one, permitting full use of its tabular materials—or whether it will be surrounded by a thick veil of copyright protection. We hope for the former, not the latter. The new StatAb, like the old, will, no doubt, be filled with government-collected data. We pay for that collecion with our taxes—and would hate to pay for them, again. In any case, good luck, ProQuest. Get it right and you will have heaps of praise piled on you by us and others—and we won’t again murmur about the price.


  1. Of course, the use of the phrase, "hear, hear"itself is an interesting entomological topic...

  2. The etymology here, Monique, is from the French. They used the phrase Oyez, Oyez, meaning the same thing. It was, of course, a polite way of saying, Silence! Silence!

  3. Entomological versus etymological... goodness.

    The "oyez, oyez" explanation is interesting, espeically since it is the same in Spanish, "oye, oye." I always thought the phrase was short for Hear ye, hear ye what this bright speaker has to say"... or some such. So I think of it more as "listen up, listen up," which, of course, is much the same as be quiet and listen, or silence.