Many years ago, Bill Soberanes, who was an Argus-Courier columnist for 49 years, coined these two words which he used frequently in his “My Fascinating World of People” columns. In 1987, Bill stated, I believe I have been photographed with more people — and different kinds of people — than anyone in history. He claimed to have collected over 45,000 photos of himself with presidents, sports figures, movie stars, politicians, celebrities, gangsters, as well as ordinary people; consequently, he claimed to be the world’s foremost peopleologist. Ten years ago, definitions for the terms peopleologist and peopleology were submitted to the Oxford English Dictionary in an attempt to have them included in their publication.

peopleology – n (1) the study of human beings (2) the art of meeting people and getting to know them in person.
peopleologist – n (1) a person who studies human beings, a specialist in peopleology (2) a sociable and communicative person who specializes in getting to know people by meeting them face-to-face.

On July 28, 2003, the OED‘s Senior Assistant Editor replied, “New words are added to OED based upon published evidence of their use. We generally look for at least five quotations from different sources, and we assess the term’s potential longevity from the various contexts in which it is used. At present, the Petaluma Argus-Courier would appear to be our only source of quotations for these terms, and I’m afraid that this means we effectively have a single quotation each for peopleologist and peopleology.”

Earlier this month, another effort was made to have these definitions included in the OED. Hopefully, we will hear from them by October 7, the date that Petalumans named “Bill Soberanes Day” in 1988. Stay tuned.

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