Montagnards & 9 yards proposal

Stephen Goranson goranson at DUKE.EDU
Mon Jan 19 15:57:22 UTC 2004

Two small questions and one bigger.

1. Doug Wilson, may I ask about your mention of "four instances in the book"?
Are you counting any besides those in the 1967 book hardbound page 161 (140
paperback ["full nine yards" and "...ninth yard"]) and 173 (150 pb ["The whole
nine yards."])? If so what?

2. A search returned a supposed 6 May 1949
Friday "whole nine yards" in Chronicle Telegram, Elyria, Ohio. But is this
mistaken (perhaps for another Friday, 6 May 1994?), because it
includes "videotaped"
wedding. Also, if this Randall Cunningham is the football player (also married
to a Felicity), he wasn't born by 1949. How accurate is this?

3. More generally, I'm interested in why some etymologies become forgotten or
obscured. After all, looking in this 1967 book, one finds not only "full"
and "whole yards," and "Montagnards" and the latter as "Yards," but even
photographs of them. Speculating baselessly? When I brought this up on a list
of Southeast Asian scholars, a couple of years ago, I revived a debate about
whether the term "Montagnard" itself should be used, much less "Yard." And the
title "Doom Pussy" may be seen by some as tacky.

I'm interested in the dynamics of group name origin forgetting, from an
etymology I have studied
in much more depth. There have been over the centuries 60 different proposals
(some with dozens of publications) for the etymology of "Essenes." (A "heresy"
name, a word in Greek soon after become negative; as also Hebrew "minut.")
Briefly, it turns out that the Hebrew source for the various Greek spellings
(of which English follows merely one) is present in some the, otherwise known
as Essene,
Dead Sea Scrolls, as a self-designation. Evidence is given by J. VanderKam and
me in two essays in The Dead Sea Scrolls After Fifty Years: A Comprehensive
Assessment v.2 (Leiden: Brill, 1999). I suppose this is not the forum to
discuss those ancient and modern factors which had obscured that etymology.
may I ask: are there publications or examples on reluctance to acknowledge some
American dialect (especially group-name) etymologies? Thanks.

Stephen Goranson

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