Deep in the copy edits for our new book, Eric and I have stumbled into this minor obstacle:
Mainstream, main stream, mainstem, or main stem??? The Supreme Court commonly used mainstream in its 1963 AZ v CA decision – Now Merriam-Webster appears to have taken the word away from rivers. @jfleck and I use main stem in Science Be Dammed UofAZ Press Fall19
— Richard Eric Kuhn (@R_EricKuhn) April 15, 2019
It’s a fascinating reminder of the way the words of water are everywhere, carrying their separate linguistic cargo. And, thanks to the modern technology of search-and-replace, it is a problem easily solved.
Fascinating. I always use “main stem” and have never considered “mainstream” for that purpose. But will include this interesting tidbit about the Supreme Court (with attribution of course) in our No Water No Life glossary (to use in a book probably a couple of years away)…. Thank you!