Everyone’s a critic …

Here are a handful of links to pages which criticise Cassidy’s ridiculous book, How The Irish Invented Slang. Here is a good article from Language Hat:

http://www.languagehat.com/archives/002935.php

Here is a review from the Irish Independent (the Indo). Cassidy made much of the fact that the papers had given him good reviews in Ireland. This is true. Most of the Irish papers uncritically supported him, largely because this is a man-bites-dog story and therefore newsworthy, however wrong it might be. However, the Independent seems to have published a couple of articles, one in August, which was positive (and therefore completely wrong) and this one by Ed Power, which quotes from an Irish academic, Professor Terry Dolan, who criticises the book kindly but firmly. Terry Dolan is a real professor, of course, and clearly qualified to discuss these issues:

http://www.independent.ie/entertainment/books-arts/how-we-gave-the-yanks-the-gift-of-our-gab-26442655.html

Here is an interesting review from the blog Sesquiotica:

http://sesquiotic.wordpress.com/2011/03/18/blarney-baloney-and-etymology/

And here is Michael Patrick Brady’s comment. What do you think of the comment at the end from Cassidy’s sister? Sounds like there must have been a family falling-out there!

http://www.michaelpatrickbrady.com/blog/complete-blarney-daniel-cassidys-how-the-irish-invented-slang/

This is from John Madziarczyk in Seattle, which does a very good job of attacking Cassidy’s intellectual pretensions and uses examples from Hungarian to do it:

http://www.losthighwaytimes.com/2007/08/as-promised-side-by-side-comparison-of.html

Also, don’t miss this hilarious piece on the Grammarphobia Blog by Patricia T O’Conner and Stewart Kellarman.

http://www.grammarphobia.com/blog/2013/04/on-the-lam.html

And let’s not forget this excellent piece by Arnold Zwicky:

http://itre.cis.upenn.edu/~myl/languagelog/archives/005098.html

There are lots of good critiques of Cassidy’s work out there. I have made my own small contribution to the campaign here and elsewhere. Slowly but surely, the balance is shifting from those who support Cassidy to those who believe in telling it like it is. In future, anybody encountering Cassidy’s ridiculous theories will be able to enter his name on Google and find the truth immediately. Let’s hope it puts a stop to this nonsense forever.

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