NYT on Daniel Cassidy

George Thompson george.thompson at NYU.EDU
Thu Nov 8 16:29:31 UTC 2007

This is from the events list of NYU's Ireland House, where Cassidy appeared last year, for a book-signing.

"Tuesday, November 6th at 7:30pm: How the Irish Invented Slang: The Secret Language of the Crossroads — A reading and performance by Daniel Cassidy.  Venue: The Donaghy Theatre at the Irish Arts Center, 553 West 51st Street.  In a fast-paced spiel (speal, cutting, sharp speech) of monologues, stories, and songs, Daniel Cassidy slices through the current Anglo-academic baloney (beal onna, foolish blather) which claims that the Irish have had no influence on the American language. Special guests include Peter Quinn and Pete Hamill.  Cosponsored with the Irish Arts Center, the Irish American Cultural Institute, and the CUNY Institute for Irish American Studies.  Advanced registration required.  For members of Glucksman Ireland House: $10 tickets available (while tickets last) "

I thought that Cassidy might be renting the space, but it seems that Ireland House, which is staffed by Irish speakers, by the way, accept his malarky.

I would recommend to Grant that he allow Michael Quinion to publish his critique of Cassidy in World-wide Words as a work in progress.  Quinion's many subscribers are exactly the sort of people we want to wise up about this issue.

But Cassidy and his folderol are here to stay.  Popik's Law, again at work: bad etymologies drive out good.  And who was it who said "etymology by sound is not sound etymology"?


George A. Thompson
Author of A Documentary History of "The African Theatre", Northwestern Univ. Pr., 1998, but nothing much lately.

----- Original Message -----
From: "Arnold M. Zwicky" <zwicky at CSLI.STANFORD.EDU>
Date: Thursday, November 8, 2007 10:16 am
Subject: Re: NYT on Daniel Cassidy

> On Nov 7, 2007, at 8:23 PM, Ben Zimmer wrote:
> > http://www.nytimes.com/2007/11/08/nyregion/08irish.html
> > New York Times, Nov. 8, 2007
> > Humdinger of a Project: Tracing Slang to Ireland
> > By Corey Kilgannon
> >
> > ... evincing not a shred of skepticism about Cassidy's claims. Oy!
> > (Which I'm sure must come from "Och!")
> appalling.
> to grant barrett: why haven't you put some version of this excellent
> posting --
>    http://listserv.linguistlist.org/cgi-bin/wa?A2=ind0710C&L=ADS-
> L&P=R1614&I=-3
> on your website?  maybe along with a link to:
>    http://www.popmatters.com/pm/books/reviews/49901/how-the-irish-
> are there other good critiques we could point people to?
> arnold
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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