Tortilla Soup/Aztec Soup

Barry A. Popik Bapopik at AOL.COM
Tue Dec 4 01:33:03 UTC 2007

>Mr. Popick writes
Popik. Barry Popik. P-O-P-I-K.
>Why should OED be so preoccupied with the minutia of US menu items and
recipes? Must the OED be equally busy recording 2000-hit Google items from
South Africa? New Zealand? Australia? Hong Kong? The Shetland Islands?
Ron makes fun of me again. "Minutia." "Shetland Islands." Good one!
"Tortilla soup" is minutia to you, so it shouldn't have been posted on  ADS-L.
"Tortilla soup" is a popular soup in Mexico and throughout the Southwest.  It
has a decent number of Google hits, and very few are from the briefly seen
movie. It's not "minutia" just because you're not interested in it.
OED has recorded "Aztec Hop"--146 Google hits, Ron!
It's not unreasonable for me to discuss "Aztec Soup" and "Tortilla Soup."
OED already has "Aztec" and "tortilla" entries, and a sub-entry is not
difficult. But Ron knows that it's "minutia" and not of interest to  anyone.
dictionary--even the magnificent OED--is not a place that one  looks for
We're talking about recording food terms in the OED. Why bring up  "recipes"?
To make fun of me and my work? Did I ever ask that the OED publish  full
>"We stink on food!"--because OED does not have
entries for  "tortilla soup" or "Aztec soup."
No. It's a line I've been using for many, many years. It's pretty much a
fact that OED is (or was) miserable on food terms. Surely, everyone on here
knows this, as does Ron.
>If one removes won tons from won ton soup and replaces them with  tortilla
chips, is the result now tortilla soup? This is not a  lexicographical
Yes, it is a lexicographical question. If "won top soup" without won tons  is
not the same as "tortilla soup" without tortillas, it tends to show that
we're recording a unique item (or items).
>Mr. Popik, who feels free to dispense genuine insults, has had  difficulty
here distinguishing between (1) disagreement with his ideas,  principles, and
work, and (2) insults to him (and lack of "compassion" for  the anguish that
work brings upon him).
The continuing insults to my work is clearly an insult to me, personally.
Ron surely knows that this "Tortilla Soup/Aztec Soup" post was legitimate  and
well-researched and reasoned. Instead, he ridicules it as "minutia" and, by
extension, ridicules me--and not for the first time. This is done obviously  for
one purpose only--don't even think about posting about food here. You're not
welcome on ADS-L. Get outta my Blackberry.
>Barry seemed to think (and I don't want to put words  in
mouth), however, that since no pre-Big Apple cite had ever been  found,
would ever be found.  This seems odd, coming from someone  who has found
so many
important antedatings, himself.  Barry knows as  well as anyone that many
important texts aren't digitized,  that existing databases have imperfect
OCR and
search engines, etc.
I professionally disagree. The most important texts (every word of the NY
Times for example) have been digitized already. "Big Onion" ain't there. Other
slang researchers agree with me. I disagree with Bill, but I most strongly
objected to his saying that it was a "big leap" in saying that a term that
doesn't appear didn't exist. This is a professional disagreement. I respect Bill
Mullins greatly.
>Barry, I offer the following in the most collegial sense  possible.  I
a good bit of the information you provide -- some  of your specific
overlap mine directly -- but you have a gift  for posting it in ways that
people off.
You don't understand. Ron doesn't want me to post anything at all. I'm
directly responsible for people leaving the list. My one post of the day on
"Tortilla Soup" is spoiling it for everyone. If I quit posting about American
regional food, all the really great minds will return to ADS-L. That's what it's
really all about here. It's not the legitimacy of my suggestion for the OED
adding "Tortilla Soup"--clearly a legitimate presentation. It's about silencing
me and my work.
>Drop the suicide references ("I should kill myself", "remind me  to
kill myself".)
Suicide isn't funny.  I presume you are being  sarcastic (and sarcasm
doesn't work
nearly as well via email as it does  face to face) -- I certainly hope
that you aren't
being serious.
Again, this is a long-running story and tag line, my version of Rodney
Dangerfield's "Take my wife--please!"
It all began when I approached ADS member William Safire about the origin  of
"the Big Apple." I worked with his Safire's cousin at Parking Violations. I
was sure that a New York Times language columnist would be interested in my
work  with Professor Gerald Cohen. But he wasn't a bit kind. Wouldn't even
return a  self-addressed envelope about an invitation to the American Name Society
dinner.  (I went alone.) "Big Apple" would be published, buried in an
error-laden  paragraph at the tail end of one of his longest columns, a full eight
years  later.  Now, William Safire can't even read the OED, and he's an ADS
member  who's a complete schmuck, and if that were it, it would be one bad
experience  with ADS.
I realize that researching words doesn't bring great fame or fortune, but
geez-louise, that would be only the start of a 15-year nightmare. You have
absolutely no idea. Between the media and politicians, it's  been miserable.
But for ADS members (such as Ron) to actively discourage my work,  it's just
plain wrong.

**************************************Check out AOL's list of 2007's hottest

The American Dialect Society -

More information about the Ads-l mailing list