Brainstorming based on L. Horn's suggestion

Gerald Cohen gcohen at UMR.EDU
Thu Mar 29 23:27:05 UTC 2001

    Laurence Horn's points are well made.  Barry's work does need to
be compiled, and he has in fact already written a few articles. But
Barry's strength and main interest seems to be in ferreting out
information from totally obscure places.

      So perhaps a different strategy is called for other than
expecting Barry to both dig up new information and formally publish
the information he already discovered (shared on the Internet). What
we need is several scholars or budding scholars (aka graduate
students) ready to develop Barry's material into books/M.A. or Ph.D
theses/articles. Barry's work on food items alone would provide ample
material for a book.

       Of course, there is a sufficient amount of ADS-L material from
other contributors to form the raw material for other articles/books.
The point is that the ADS-L archives provide a treasure trove of
scholarly material waiting to be compiled/developed/etc.into formal
publications. And more is continually coming down the pike.

       There's no reason why the ADS-L archive material could not
provide a major impetus to language research. Yes, the vowels in
Proto-Slavic are interesting.  And yes, the reconstruction of
Proto-Indo-European verbal endings is interesting too. But so is the
origin of "jazz," "hot dog," "Yankee bump," etc. etc.

       And there's no reason why the scholarly talent already on the
ADS-L list could not organize the whole project to at least some

      In any case, Laurence Horn inadvertently stirred latent guilt
feelings in me. For several years I have been intending to compile
the _Comments on Etymology_ material on "hot dog" into a book. The
co-authors will be David Shulman (for forcefully drawing attention to
the origin of "hot dog" in college slang--not the Polo Grounds or
Coney Island), Barry Popik (for all his discoveries about "hot dog"
in a college-slang context) and myself. My only reason for not doing
so is a preoccupation with other projects.

    But I'd like to keep first dibs on the "hot dog" project.
Meanwhile, if anyone else would like to participate in the formal
writing up of the material that Barry or other ADS-L members shared
with us, all they need to do is speak up and then see if Barry et al.
would be agreeable to having their material written up for formal
publication.  It would certainly help if the ADS-L authors of the
material be listed as co-authors and that they have a chance to
review the manuscripts beforehand.

      Whatever happens, I am proceeding with Barry's material at all
deliberate speed. But there's so much of it, there's no way I can
keep up.

---Gerald Cohen

>Date:         Thu, 29 Mar 2001 12:31
>From: Laurence Horn <laurence.horn at YALE.EDU>
>Subject:      Re: hot dogs (yet again)
>At 8:50 PM -0500 3/28/01, Bapopik at AOL.COM wrote:
>>    Tomorrow, I'll round up the stuff and tell New York Daily News
>>cartoonist Bill Gallo that New York Evening Journal cartoonist T. A.
>>Dorgan did NOT coin "hot dog" at the Polo Grounds in 1905.  I'll
>>demand a correction.
>>    I'll also tell him that I solved the Big Apple, the Great White
>>Way, the meaning of the "fan," the Subway Series, the Yankees, the
>>Bronx Bombers...and these two, from his own New York Daily News.
>I hereby propose to Barry (with many witnesses) that he take some
>time off from his travels to publish a book, with chapters devoted to
>these various solutions.  I realize that some of these have appeared
>in print already, especially in various publications of Jerry
>Cohen's, but I think there would be a market for a single resource
>collecting the actual histories (and some discussion of the
>pseudo-histories) of these core items of Americana.  After all, book
>publishers aren't (or shouldn't be) only devoted to distributing

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