no l'oeuf lost

James Harbeck jharbeck at SYMPATICO.CA
Wed Sep 9 01:51:29 UTC 2009

>Remember when the _Times_ ran its story about Barry Popik and his "hobby"?
>Does anybody beyond this list really care that "Big Apple" doesn't come from
>Alleged Source X or Y?

If they don't care, I'd sure love it if they would bloody stop
spreading fake etymologies around. They care enough to do _that_,
anyway. I've heard (and, lately, been emailed) sooooooo many of them.
And if you go to a historical re-creation village, it's a pretty good
bet you'll hear one while you're there, too. These myths might just
be "Oh, isn't that interesting," but there sure are lots of people
who use them as conversational trump cards. That and things like the
story about croissants being invented by Viennese bakers who had
heard the Moors tunneling under the walls and the assertion that the
Stars and Stripes is flying over Parliament on the Canadian $1 bill
and so on.

And the real stories are sooooo much more interesting... to me and
you, but, apparently, not to anyone else! There it is: they don't
care about the _real_ source of these, but they sure are like flies
to shit on stories about all slang coming from Irish or Hebrew or
whatever and all idioms coming from just-so nautical stories and and

Oh well. Just think how MDs feel about all the popular ideas about
health that get spread around. And those ones could actually hurt

James Harbeck.

The American Dialect Society -

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