Alan Dundes (70), Frank Perdue (84) obituaries today

Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Tue Apr 5 20:13:35 UTC 2005

At 1:36 AM -0500 4/2/05, bapopik at AOL.COM wrote:
>I thought he was much older than 70...I've been looking at much of
>his work. He contributed a bad essay on "86" to American Speech
>somewhat recently, but that's the least of his many contributions to
>American folklore.

On the positive side, last May he sent me a very gracious, if
idiosyncratically written, e-mail in response to the copy I had sent
him of my "Spitten Image" paper from AS (2004) that cited his 1991
lecture on the William Tell apple-shot.  (Dundes's reference in that
lecture to "the symbolic equivalence of saliva and semen" anticipated
my analysis of the expression.)  In his e-note to me, he pointed out
that what I was calling an ironym (i.e. a national or ethnic slur
like "Welsh rabbit") has long been discussed by folklorists under the
rubric of "blason populaire".  He proposed getting together for a
chat during his 50th class reunion at Yale this coming June, which I
was looking forward to.  Alas.


P.S.  There was a very nice piece on both Dundes and Gershon Legman
by Jim Holt in last year's (April or May 2004) Spring Humor issue.

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