"hot dog"--another correction

Gerald Cohen gcohen at UMR.EDU
Sun Aug 22 02:14:24 UTC 1999

      In an Aug. 19 message, Barry Popik critically quotes  two  newspaper
article s which repeat the erroneous treatment of the  History Channel
concerning  the origin of "hot dog."   But within the overall context of
the History Channel's  erroneous treatment, one mistake (already frequently
made previously)  deserves  refutation:

    "It is believed Dorgan couldn't spell the word dachshund so he settled
on dog--the caption read 'Come get your hot dogs'."

    For the record, T.A. Dorgan was not only a  sports cartoonist but a
sportswriter, and a very good one.   Most likely, he was in fact able to
spell "dachshund," but in any case, his newspaper office surely had a
dictionary handy. Are we really supposed to believe that this very literate
man was too lazy to look up a word in the dictionary if he had doubts about
its spelling?

-----Gerald Cohen

>HOT DOG (continued, of course)
>    This is from the PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE (the _second_ torching of my
>work this summer--"Show Me" was never corrected), 12 August 1999, pg. G3:
>     If it weren't for a newspaper cartoonist, vendors at Pirate games
>might still be barking, "Get you red hot dachshund sausages!"
>     "Hot dogs" were still something of a novelty in 1906 America, and
>they went by a variety of names: frankfurters, franks, wieners, red hots,
>and dachshund sausages.  But during a New York Giants game that year,
>Hearst newspaper cartoonist Tad Dorgan was so inspired by a vendor
>yelling, "Get you red hot dachshund sausages," that he decided to sketch a
>dachshund smeared with mustard encased in a bun.  It is believed Dorgan
>couldn't spell the word dachshund so he settled on dog--the caption read
>"Come get your hot dogs."
>    A Dow Jones check shows that the History Channel not only got things
>wrong with their documentary HISTORY ON A BUN and with their MILLENNIUM
>MINUTE, but in _another_ documentary as well.  This is from the LOS
>ANGELES TIMES, 19 July 1999, pg. D2:
>What:  "Modern Marvels: Baseball Parks"
>Where:  The History Channel, tonight, 7 and 11
>     (...) Before each commercial break of the one-hour program,
>interesting facts are shown about ball parks.  For instance: In 1905, red
>hot dachshunds on a roll were popular items at ball parks.  The name was
>eventually shortened to hot dogs after a newspaper columnist complained he
>couldn't spell dachshund.

gcohen at umr.edu

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