Wed Apr 3 16:02:38 UTC 2002

        Since no actual lexicographers have responded to these comments, I thought I would take a crack at them.  It seems to me that Barry's recent work has been quite impressive.  If Barry's documentation undercuts received views, that only makes it all the more important.  It may be, of course, that the received views of actual origins are correct, but surely that judgment should be made only after considering all the evidence.

John Baker

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Rudolph C Troike [SMTP:rtroike at U.ARIZONA.EDU]
> Sent: Monday, April 01, 2002 4:34 AM
> Subject:           Rathskeller
> I enjoy Barry Popik's travel reports from around the world and from
> printed sources through time, but I am concerned that much of his effort
> in the latter realm is not effectual, since reports in English (original
> or translated) from exotic places, detailing local ethnographic facts, do
> not seem to me to meet the ordinary lexicographical criteria for attesting
> to the earliest occurrence of a form in actual English usage. If
> occurrence of a word in a work written in English is sufficient to include
> it in the OED, then I hope that the OED editors are ready to solicit
> members of the American Anthropological Association with a request to
> scour all of the ethnographies written in the past century and a half for
> all of the local words from other languages ever cited in an ethnography.
> The results should swell the size of the OED files enormously, but to
> questionable purpose.
>         "Rathskeller" drew my attention since Marckwardt lists this as an
> Americanism, i.e. as a word that entered English in the US, borrowed from
> German immigrants of the 1848 influx or possibly earlier from Pennsylvania
> Germans ("Dutch"). If Barry's documentation (and other similar ones from
> elsewhere) is adopted, this would potentially wipe out consideration of
> when and where a non-English word actually entered English usage. I'd like
> to see some discussion by our lexicographer list-members about this issue,
> since their criteria are likely to affect how historians of the language
> interpret dates published in dictionaries in the future.
>         Rudy

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