CPL response on "Windy City"

Dennis R. Preston preston at PILOT.MSU.EDU
Sat Sep 29 18:10:25 UTC 2001

Volume II is in bed; we need someone to write an article called
something like "Barry's Woes: Or How the Real World Doesn't Give a
Whack about Where Words, Names, Phrases, and the Like Really Came

I promise it a home (and I would be delighted to supervise an MA
thesis on just those Barry tales).


>This is actually pretty interesting as a discussion of the total
>imperviousness of folk culture to linguistic reality. Dennis Preston: Is it
>too late to add a chapter to HANDBOOK OF PERCEPTUAL DIALECTOLOGY II?
>In a message dated 9/28/2001 3:28:33 PM, Bapopik at AOL.COM writes:
><<    The Chicago Public Library responded on "Windy City."
>    "Windy City" is explained in _two_ places on the CPL web site.  They are
>correcting the place where it says that Charles A. Dana "coined" the term.
>    However, the other explanation must also be corrected.  Charles A. Dana
>didn't even "popularize" the term.  SPORTING LIFE had "Windy City" in a list
>of city nicknames in 1886.
>    It is wrong to state that "Windy City" comes from early 19th-century
>Chicago boosterism.  No one seems to be bothered that there is not one single
>citation to support this.
>   Chicago's wind was known for a long time ("windy city of Chicago" was in
>1880s PUCK).  However, I did extensive checking of the 1884 political
>conventions in Chicago, and "Windy City" was _not_ used.  It was not until
>the Chicago Tribune's extensive pushing of Chicago's summer breeze making it
>an excellent summer resort (later explained by the Tribune on September 11,
>1886) that the city nickname came to be applied.
>   The Chicago Tribune still won't respond to me.  Write to their Public
>Editor (Don Wycliff at dwycliff at tribune.com) and try for yourself.
>--Barry Popik
>Bapopik at aol.com >>

Dennis R. Preston
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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