A defense which should be unnecessary

Gerald Cohen gcohen at UMR.EDU
Wed Jun 16 03:00:10 UTC 1999

        I am writing once more in defense of Barry Popik, who is one of the
most remarkable scholars doing research on the origin of Americanisms.  His
work on such items as  "The Big Apple," "dude," the "Show-me" expression,
"hot dog," "yegg," and  "blizzard" have been received very favorably by the
scholarly community.

     His scholarly output has all come in the past ten years,  accomplished
in his spare time.  It is an extraordinary record, and I have no idea how
he has managed to familarize himself so well with the research materials
of our field.   Except for newspaper  librarians, there is  probably no one
in the country as familiar with old newspapers and periodicals as he is.

      This defense should really not be necessary.  But  in light of the
unfortunate public airing of a private message expressing satisfaction with
once temporarily silencing  Mr. Popik , I find it necessary to speak  up.
Mr. Popik has somehow come  to direct his enormous energy and talents to
the field of etymology, and this field of ours  has  thereby been  greatly

----Gerald Cohen
(Ph.D. in Slavic Linguistics; Columbia University, 1971;
editor, _Comments on Etymology_ (1971ff.);

gcohen at umr.edu

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