They Don't Speak Our Language; Amazon follies (continued)

Dennis R. Preston preston at PILOT.MSU.EDU
Mon Dec 6 16:28:08 UTC 1999

This is exactly right. I missed the legal point. It was indeed settled
(rather than "won").


>The specific argot that Dennis is referring to can be found in
>"The Lingo of the Jug-Heavy," Writer's Digest, Oct. 1931.  This piece
>is reprinted in Language of the Underworld, Chapter 4.
>Also, a minor correction.  Maurer actually didn't "win" the case.  This is
>not my interpretation; rather, it is what he told me to tell people. The
>case was settled out of court, but Dennis is no doubt on target when he
>says there was a large settlement.  Perhaps my best evidence for this is that
>Doubleday contacted me in 1998 about reprinting The Big Con (which they did) I
>contacted one of the attorneys who handled the case and asked him to
>take care of the legal negotiations.  He said he would be glad to do
>it and wouldn't charge a dime!
>"Dennis R. Preston" wrote:
>> Mike,
>> They ripped my old Professor off for "The Sting," but he won quite a
>> lucrative case against them. As I recall the settlement amount was never
>> revealed. I agree that his work on "seamy-side" US English is much
>> under-cited. His work was not only authentically collected but often
>> presentated in an ethnographically detailed way. Hadn't been for him and
>> Fred Cassidy, I'd still be down in the coal mines.
>> dInIs

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