Chicago Tribune: WINDY CITY: Where did it come from?

Bapopik at AOL.COM Bapopik at AOL.COM
Tue Dec 7 20:36:47 UTC 2004

It's something. And my name is even spelled correctly.

You have to read almost two-thirds of the article before you even hit my
name. Jon Boyd plagiarized my older work for the Enycclopedia of Chicago, but
you'd never know that here.

Here's the cartoon character cliche again:

"Popik, a consultant to the Oxford English Dictionary, spends his  days
working as a judge in New York City's bureau of parking violations.  He
spends his nights in libraries looking at old newspapers,  microfiche
and digital databases, hunting for early examples of famous  nicknames
and slang. Then he embarks on vigorous letter-writing campaigns to  let
everyone know what he has found."

That's like the William Safire 2000 Big Apple "campaigning for a long  time."
Look, I don't fucking "campaign." I tell the Chicago Tribune the truth.
They've ignored it for nine years. You think there would be a  long-deserved
apology or an explanation, but no, there never is.

"In the mid-1990s, Popik set his sights on "Windy City," and  started
scanning hundreds of editions of the New York Sun -- a newspaper  that
was published from 1833 to 1950 -- in the New York Public  Library."

Actually, I did most of my work in the Columbia University library. And the
Sun is still published. And it's nowhere mentioned that I had "set my sights
on  the Windy City" after my work on "the Big Apple." That would give the whole
 thing more sense.

And it's pleasing to note that Chicago still fights me every single goddamn
step of the way:

>>The Chicago Public Library stands by the assertion on its Web  site
that Dana popularized the term "Windy City," even if he didn't  coin

>>"A lot of these articles indicate that Dana was a  ringleader in
questioning Chicago's ability to host the fair," says  Margaret
Killackey, the library's press secretary. "`Windy City' didn't  become
a household name until after the Dana references. There had  been
isolated references to the Windy City, but a flurry of references  in
print show it was used repeatedly in many parts of the country  around
the time of the world's fair."

>>Killackey adds, "Should  something new be unearthed, we would look at
that information. As of now, we  feel confident that the phrase was
popularized after the Dana  editorial."

So now that "Big Apple" has made the New York Times, and "Windy City" has
made the Chicago Tribune, after fights of about twelve years, what do I do with
the new-found success? Take the articles to Starbucks and ask for a single
cup  of coffee? Pay my dentist? Buy new eyeglasses with the money? Pay my rent?
Support a wife and kids? Do a million more parking tickets to goddamn
survive?  Dip into the money I received from neglecting my now-dead parents?

Yeah, it sure was worth it all the trouble.

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