Barry Popik

Gerald Cohen gcohen at UMR.EDU
Tue Sep 18 02:18:01 UTC 2001

     OED editor Jesse Sheidlower just expressed very strong support
for the value of Barry Popik's word research.  I fully agree.

    Barry is one of the most remarkable researchers of words in
American English,
and I am doing my best to write up and polish the various material he
has been sharing with ads-l. (There's no way I can keep up, but I'm
trying). In the informal index I've kept of my _Comments on
Etymology_,  Barry has 59 items listed. And this is just the tip of
the iceberg of his material.

     Those who are uninterested in his work should by all means delete
it or filter it out. But those of us who recognize the extraordinary
scholarly value of his work are very much interested in seeing that
work continue. I am constantly amazed at the obscure sources he digs
up and the unbounded energy he brings to our field.

     If all the material he has produced is ever written up and
polished, he will be recognized as one of the most prolific (and
significant) researchers of American words and expressions. The
challenge to our field is how to turn his extensive raw data into
articles ready for formal publication, not how to silence him.

---Gerald Cohen
    Professor of German and Russian
    University of Missouri-Rolla
    research specialty: etymology
    co-author (with Barry Popik) of _Studies in Slang, vol. 6_.
(Frankfurt am Main: Peter Lang), 1999

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