Scholarly importance of Barry Popik's research

Gordon, Matthew J. GordonMJ at MISSOURI.EDU
Wed Jul 31 02:01:12 UTC 2002

For the record, I didn't claim that Popik's research wasn't interesting to some, and I certainly wouldn't argue that it isn't valuable, since it's not my field. I was simply quibbling over the label 'insightful' which I think implies more than documenting occurrences of words.  Still, I think my comment was inappropriately ad hominem, and I apologize.

-----Original Message-----
From:   Rick H Kennerly [mailto:Rick at MOUSEHERDER.COM]
Sent:   Tue 7/30/2002 4:57 PM
Subject:             Re: Scholarly importance of Barry Popik's research

That's the problem with trying to censor input to a group like this.  The
range of interests, specialty, and expertise are far ranging and catholic.
It's pretty arrogant to assume that if a topic is not interesting to oneself
that it is not interesting to anyone else either.

But to address the complaint directly, a superior field person collects
widely and only sorts back at the lab, often with the help of those more
capable of judging the significance of a find.  Some of us have talent as
collectors, others as sorters, and others as cataloguers.

Besides, who's to say that the pile of words one sorter discards isn't
vitally interesting to another etymologist or, perhaps more importantly,
another etymologist in another time?  Barry's notation, if the archives of
this list somehow survive, may be the only surviving reference in 2245
describing how a Rachael sandwich is actually constructed.


|o| >  I don't see why a complaint
|o| > about Barry's personal information in posts is seen as an
|o| attack on his
|o| > scholarly work.  He's clearly an assiduous and insightful etymologist.
|o| Really? If I travel the world collecting butterflies, does that
|o| make me an
|o| insightful entomologist?

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