fwd: The Word Hoosier Resolved

Dennis R. Preston preston at PILOT.MSU.EDU
Mon Jul 19 15:37:06 UTC 1999


I've been bombarded by this site too (for mentioning the "folk" etymology
of "whose ears," referring to the rough-and-tumble fighting style of early
"hoosier" backwoodsmen, a reference I was tempted to make after the
Tyson-Holyfield encounter, when -ear-biting was all the rage). I thought
since I called it such (i.e., "folk) that it was clear that I didn't put
any stock in its being the source of the word, but that did not dussuade
Randy Hooser (who has more axes to grind about this matter than any
backwoodsman) from tearing into me for holding to false scholarship, being
a know-nothing professor, etc... .

Such anti-establishment interllectualism crops up from time to time. I
remember once I gavce a talk in Hawai'i about obscenity, and I mentioned
that the confluence of languages and ethnic styles around Hungary made its
lanaguage particularly rich in obscenities (since it derived items and
"ways of swearing" - apologies to Dell Hymes) from Turkish, Slavic,
Germanic, and native traditions). In fact, that was a casual response to a
journalist after the talk, but it aroused the ire of a local Hawai'i
Hungarian who found it a slur against Hungarian (I took a kind of covert
ethnic pride in it myself), particularly  since he believed that Hungarian
was the Ur-form of the world's languages (and had Fijian and other Pacific
basin accidental lexical phonetic similarities to prove it).

Go figger.

dInIs (half Hungarian, half hillbilly)

>This came unexpectedly into my mailbox over the weekend. The question isn't of
>much interest to me now, but I do tend to react with automatic skepticism to
>LOTS OF UPPERCASE, careless grammar, and claims of Truth. Does anybody here
>a knowledgeable evaluation of this one?
>-- Mark
>   Mark A. Mandel : Senior Linguist and Manager of Acoustic Data
>  Mark_Mandel at dragonsys.com : Dragon Systems, Inc. : 617 796-0267
> 320 Nevada St., Newton, MA 02460, USA : http://www.dragonsys.com/
>                     (speaking for myself)
>---------------------- Forwarded by Mark Mandel/Dragon Systems USA on 07/19/99
>11:04 AM ---------------------------
>"Randy Hooser" <tnrustic at integrityonline12.com> on 07/16/99 05:26:48 PM
>Please respond to tnrustic at integrityonline12.com
>To:   Mark at DRAGONSYS.COM
>cc:    (bcc: Mark Mandel/Dragon Systems USA)
>Subject:  The Word Hoosier Resolved
> Mark,
>  I noticed you had a 1997 question about the word "Hoosier". Your "Hoosier's
>Men" question will be answered as well. Our answer to your 1997 Hoosier
>can be found here.  You will find that it satisfies your need for facts and
>TRUTH.  An Indiana Linguistics Journal published this work on April 1999.
> http://www.geocities.com/Heartland/Flats/7822.
>  Too bad for Hoosier Historians they have embarrassed themselves with
>nonsensical theories for 166 years. Jacob P. Dunn can be dismissed with a
>of Old Oxford English dictionary inquiries.  Why would any scholar forget to
>check the OXFORD version of Websters??  You must know that the word "HOOZER"
>does not appear in Oxford English Dictionaries until 1896. Now how can this be?
>The word HOOSIER is derived from HOOZER (says Mr. J.P. Dunn) and HOOSIER is
>dubbed in Indiana in 1833.  He would make more sense if HE CLAIMED THE REVERSE
>IS TRUE.  All of the currents theories are nonsense.  Cyber in and hear the
>Hoosier family version.  The beauty is you can verify EVERYTHING in scholarly
>type fashion.
>Scholarship is more than a word, it should be a way of life for all
>PS  The Linguistics community - One  and the Hoosier Historians -- ZERO.

Dennis R. Preston
Professor of Linguistics
Department of Linguistics and Languages
Michigan State University
East Lansing MI 48824-1027 USA
preston at pilot.msu.edu
Office: (517)353-0740
Fax: (517)432-2736

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