More on Michael Patrick MacDonald

Before Christmas, in a blog post called Fact or Fun, I mentioned an incredibly stupid tweet from the Boston writer Michael Patrick MacDonald, a crony of Cassidy’s. A Twitter user called Coiste Focal Nua (=New Word Committee) said that Cassidy’s book was regarded as ‘academic fraud’, whereupon Michael Patrick MacDonald wrote:

Never was academic. Bigger than that. It raises serious questions about the racist OED lapdogs.

Coiste Focal Nua replied:

No it does not. He made almost everything up. Here is a reliable enough list http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_English_words_of_Irish_origin

MacDonald replied with another stupidity:

That’s a ridiculous list. One of the most loquacious ethnicities in U.S. contributed a handful of words to American slang?

Of course, this is the same old nonsense we have had from every supporter of Cassidy. No specific words are mentioned. No evidence is provided. There just must be more words than that because Irish people talk a lot. Coiste Focal Nua replied with this:

Most probably. Go n-éirí leat le foghlaim na Gaeilge. (May you be successful in learning Irish.)

MacDonald’s reply was another typical piece of lame-brained nonsense:

good luck studying American social history & culture.

This is a standard response from the Cassidy-lovers. We’ve seen the same pompous rubbish from Sean Sweeney, amongst others. Apparently, there are certain arcane and obscure aspects of Irish-American culture which we non-Irish-Americans know nothing about and this is why we don’t accept Cassidy’s claims, not because they’re lies. It’s a foolish argument and it’s also incredibly condescending. I mean, what are these aspects of Irish-American culture which confirm Cassidy’s arguments? What exactly are we Irish so ignorant of?

Wow, so you mean that all those people who left Ireland, they went to America? Really? I thought they all went to Greenland, or Botswana. I know all my relatives lived in Boston and New York but I thought that was just us! So, they came over to the USA. And they lived in slum houses. Not castles … or mud huts … or houseboats? OK, slum houses. And they found jobs? They worked? Why did they work? Oh, I see, they would have starved to death if they didn’t. Never thought of that. But some of them didn’t work. They became criminals. Right. That means they broke the law? Hmm. This is getting complicated. Mind if I take notes?

The fact is, of course, that the number of Irish speakers in the community, the jobs they did or the social class they belonged to are entirely irrelevant. They mean nothing.

Cassidy’s crazy theories fall flat on one question and one question only. Are there hundreds of words in American slang which have no known origin and which resemble Irish phrases and words? And the answer to this is a resounding NO. Cassidy invented almost all the Irish phrases in the book, he lied about the definitions of the Irish words, he ignored alternative explanations. When you strip away all the rubbish, all that’s left is a handful of words and phrases like slew, galore, shebeen and sourpuss, which were already clearly labelled as words of Irish origin in the dictionaries.

The fact is, no aspect of American social history can increase the number of slang words which have matches in the Irish language. No aspect of social history can make Cassidy’s Irish better or his absurd phrases more like the real thing. No aspect of social history can make Cassidy less of a fraud and more of a scholar.

So MacDonald, wise up and stop talking nonsense! The only reason you’re supporting this shite is because Cassidy was a friend of yours. He wasn’t a friend of mine and he wasn’t a friend of the Irish language or the Irish people. And as long as you continue to support this American con-man who treated our language and culture with such obvious contempt, neither are you.

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2 thoughts on “More on Michael Patrick MacDonald

  1. Jeremy Butterfield

    “Racist OED lapdogs”. I love it! Worthy of Kim Jong-un, or Alix Salmong-un. Right, so the editors of the OED are paid by whom precisely to twist and hide the truth that Cassidy was brave enough to reveal?

    There are parallel universes and parallel universes, and beyond them a totally insane universe where black=white and war=peace and … not quite sure how to continue the analogy,whatever.

    “Loquacious ethnicities”. Love that phrase too, but it is appallingly racist, with no due respect.

    So, Russians speak a lot,e.g. therefore they MUST have left their imprint on US slang. So do Jews, so do Hispanics. Premiss potentially true; conclusion just does not follow.

    Much though I have loved having chats at bus stops and countless pubs in Dublin, where people actually talk to you, unlike the sullen Londoners, to sum up a people with such words is, let’s face it, racist & patronizing. Trying to think of parallels. English = non-loquacious ethnicities; Scots = drunken ethnicities; Welsh = rugby-playing ethicities; French = cheese-eating surrender monkey ethnicities. You get the picture. A moron, cloaking himself in the language of, dare I say it, political correctness. I think I want to hang myself.

    Reply
  2. DebunkerOfCassidy Post author

    Thanks for that, Jeremy, Bizarre, isn’t it? You’re a racist lap-dog, I am a self-hating Irishman. This particular fuckwit is apparently on a writer’s sabbatical in Kerry at the moment. He tweeted that he is working on Mo chéad leabhar chugainn. He thinks that means ‘My next book’. Hilarious! What a wazzock! Someone who uses Daniel Cassidy and Google Translate to reconnect with his roots and yet he’s quite happy to argue the bit out with real linguists and real Irish speakers while hiding behind a smokescreen of fake radicalism and political correctness. By the way, I have ordered a copy of Damp Squid. I hope there’s not too much anti-Irish racism in it! 🙂

    Reply

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