old business

George Thompson george.thompson at NYU.EDU
Wed Nov 28 17:40:13 UTC 2001

Three notes on topics discussed here in the past, none particularly

Two books have passed through my hands recently.  I have read neither.
Some of us have expressed admiration for the science fiction of
Cordwainer Smith.  McFarland has just published a book on his writings,
by Karen Kelleksen, cleverly called The Science Fiction of Cordwainer
The "Navaho Code-talkers" of WWII have come up several times.  A book
by a Prof. of Linguistics, Mark C. Baker, called The Atoms of Language:
The Mind's Hidden Rules of Grammar (Basic, 2001) devotes its first
chapter to them, and evidently makes that chapter the keynote of the
book, an exposition of linguistic theory for the general reader.

The Archives show that Barry made a long posting on the history of the
word "hoosier" in January of 1997.  Barry quotes (this gets
complicated, now) a book by J. P. Dunn called The Word Hoosier,
published in 1907; Dunn quotes an article from October 26, 1833 in a
newspaper called The Indiana Democrat, which quotes an article by
Mordecai M. Noah in a recent NYC newspaper called the Evening Star,
which derived the word from a militia leader during the War of 1812 who
had pronounced the word "hussar" as "hoosier".
To put this trifle on record somewhere: the article by Noah appeared in
the Evening Star of October 3, 1833, p. 2, col. 2.  Presumably Noah
invented this etymology, since it seems to have been unknown in Indiana.


George A. Thompson
Author of A Documentary History of "The African Theatre", Northwestern
Univ. Pr., 1998.

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