Edward Sandford Martin (and "Martini")

Bapopik at AOL.COM Bapopik at AOL.COM
Fri Jun 9 03:17:29 UTC 2000

   "But many things that are quintessentially New York came from out of town, starting with the city's nicknames. (...) New Orleans stable hands in the 1920's called New York and its racetracks 'The Big Apple,' a possible allusion to its jazz clubs."
--Anthony Ramirez, THE NEW YORK TIMES, 6 September 1998, sec. 14, pg. 1, col. 6.

   "So with respect, we do not share your belief that the term originated with two African-American stable hands.  At most, a reporter from The Morning Telegraph overhead it being used by stablehands and then popularized it."
--Lisa Carparelli, spokeswoman, THE NEW YORK TIMES (this week)

   Boy, are these folks consistent!  We've cited part of your work in the past, but the full story is not fit to print!
   The Times's latest excuse for not giving John J. Fitz Gerald credit for popularizing "the Big Apple" (and mentioning his three "Big Apple" columns, that would later directly influence Walter Winchell, Harlem jazz musicians, Charles Gillett, and that 1928 New York Times film cite found by Fred Shapiro and reported in AMERICAN SPEECH) is that one single 1909 metaphor used by Edward Sandford Martin.
   I'll now give you a closer look at Edward Sandford Martin.  Generally, if a term is in someone's vocabulary, he'll use it again.  Edward Sandford Martin was one of the most prolific writers in American history.
   He never used "big apple" again.
   It's not in WINDFALLS OF OBSERVATION (1893), LUCID INTERVALS (1901), POEMS AND VERSES (1902), THE WAR WEEK BY WEEK (1914), and WHAT'S AHEAD & MEANWHILE (essays 1920-1927).
   Martin was a founder of the HARVARD LAMPOON and the New York City humor magazine LIFE.  He wrote "The Editor's Easy Chair" for HARPER'S MAGAZINE.
   Since the New York Times now questions my work, I challenge the paper to find another Edward Sandford Martin "big apple" in any of his writings.
   I'm grateful that my name is now Barry "Popik," but still await that apology for not printing New York City's history.

   I checked the online OED (they're revising "M," so is "Martini" done?).  "Martini" is 1894.
   "Martini cocktail, please" is on page 298 of WINDFALLS OF OBSERVATION (1893) by Edward S. Martin.

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