Tag Archives: fake research

A Challenge To Hugh Curran

 

I have had a comment from Hugh Curran. Remember him?

Why the negative talk using terms like “scumbag” etc. Did I say anything at that merits this kind of comment? I admitted that I was not proficient in Gaeilge even though as a young boy I spoke it at home with my parents who were native speakers. The fact that we immigrated to Canada when I was young reduced my chance to continue as a native speaker even as all my cousins in Ireland are native speakers. The writer of the above article is vehement in his denunciation for reasons I am unable to comprehend unless he feels that any positive comments about Cassidy’s book are totally erroneous. There are at least some words in Cassidy’s book that merit consideration . I would hope the writer of the article withdraws the article or apologies for his remarks.

He claims to find my hostility inexplicable, though I’ve explained it at great length in two languages. I’ve explained why his original comments implied that he spoke Irish. And I’ve also found this on the University of Maine website:

Vox 105 – Beginning Spoken Irish Gaelic I Beginning Irish Gaelic language study using a combination of self-instruction and recitation.  Class is taught by native speakers in the target language, and includes a high degree of cultural engagement.

Maybe I’m wrong but that sounds like the beginner’s course in Irish that Curran ‘teaches’.  Taught by native speakers in the target language? Really?

I’ve also made it absolutely clear that yes, any positive comments about Cassidy’s book are totally erroneous and yes, there are effectively no words in Cassidy’s book that merit consideration. Cassidy’s theories and his book are an immoral and disgusting hoax and Cassidy was a criminal liar who worked for twelve years as an academic without any qualifications at all. He didn’t speak any Irish at all and his knowledge of Irish history and linguistics was entirely inadequate – like the man himself. In short, Cassidy’s book is malicious dross.

And as this is the case, I believe that the term scumbag is entirely justified. Myself and a number of other critics of Cassidy are trying to prevent people being ripped off and lied to and misinformed. And you are trying to spread the lies and misinformation and support the liar. What a scumbag!

However, I’m a reasonable man. You claim that this book is not a malicious hoax. So, you want me to remove the articles about you? Fine, I’ll do that – if you can justify your position with evidence.

So, here’s my challenge to you. Find 10 words or phrases in Cassidy’s book where there is sufficient evidence for Cassidy’s derivation that a reasonable and impartial person would accept that Cassidy got it right. Oh, and they have to be Cassidy’s claims, not claims that were already in the public domain which Cassidy plagiarised, so you can’t use words like pet and cross and snazzy and galore and slew.

Of course, there are hundreds of words and phrases in Cassidy’s book, so if it’s the mine of undiscovered gems you claim, rather than a dark malodorous empty cave containing only the echoes of Cassidy’s insanity, it shouldn’t be that hard to find ten words or phrases that fit the bill. Should it?

If you can do that, I’ll apologise and withdraw the posts about you. (Let me tell you now, you won’t be able to – Cassidy’s book is that big a pile of shite!) And if you can’t, then I will also take down the posts about you, on condition that you apologise for supporting this nonsense in the face of all the evidence and recommend that other people avoid it, which is what a decent person would have done in the first place.

 

Ring

This is one of the many cases in Cassidy’s book where he ignores the correct and straightforward explanation in favour of a creaky and unconvincing origin of his own invention. As he says in the book:

But if a button is … ringing (roinn, pron. ring, to deal) in a crooked deck, every Punter is a loser. (Page 52)

In other words, Cassidy is claiming that ringing, a slang word for substitution, is from the Irish word roinn, the basic meaning of which is divide. Why a word meaning divide or deal would acquire the meaning of substitute is not explained, but then Cassidy didn’t put this one in the glossary, so presumably he was well aware that it was bullshit.

In reality, the term ringing dates back to the early nineteenth century as an expression for substitution, probably from the bell-ringing phrase ‘to ring the changes’. Then in the late nineteenth century, we get the expression a dead ringer, meaning a horse which resembles another horse and is substituted for it to banjax the gambling odds.

Cassidy’s claim is simply nonsense, like nearly everything in How The Irish Invented Slang. Incidentally, there is an even sillier explanation doing the rounds for dead ringer, that it refers to people putting telephones into graves in case they were buried alive. This just goes to show that people are absolute suckers for fake etymology.

Onwards and Upwards

Since I started Cassidyslangscam, there has been an increase every year in the number of visitors and the number of hits. This year is no exception. I have already surpassed the number of visitors and hits the site got last year. And that means that more people around the globe have been warned about the worthlessness of Cassidy’s fake research, and that can only be a good thing.

Narcissistic Personality Disorder

In earlier posts, I suggested that Cassidy had some kind of narcissistic personality disorder. Note that I didn’t say he suffered from NPD. I know from personal experience that people with personality disorders are rarely the ones who suffer. It’s usually the people around them who do the suffering.

Some people might think it strange that a person who is completely self-obsessed, selfish and narcissistic would be able to inspire the kind of loyalty that Cassidy’s supporters obviously feel towards him. However, we should remember here that while they are quite prepared to show a very negative side to people who have nothing they want or who stand up to them, narcissists are famous for their ability to charm those they want to use or control, which explains why so many cult leaders and con-men are narcissists.

Here is a list of some of the most important characteristics of a person with NPD:

1. Has a grandiose sense of self-importance (e.g., exaggerates achievements and talents, expects to be recognized as superior without commensurate achievements).

His book was, according to Cassidy, bigger than Frank McCourt’s and he had degrees from Cornell and Columbia – though in reality he didn’t have any degrees from anywhere.

  1. Is preoccupied with fantasies of unlimited success, power, brilliance, beauty, or ideal love.

A short while after his idiotic book was published, Cassidy was already using his new-found status as a published author by helping to found the Irish American Writers’ and Artists’ Association.

  1. Believes that he or she is “special” and unique and can only be understood by, or should associate with, other special or high-status people (or institutions).

Look at all the ‘friends’ that Cassidy boasted of an association with, the professors and writers who provided glowing reviews for his crazy book.

  1. Requires excessive admiration.

There is a term in the literature about narcissism which is quite useful – the notion of narcissistic supply. Unfortunately, unlike the eponymous Narcissus, real narcissists do not content themselves with hanging around in woods gazing longingly at their own reflection in a limpid pool. Fans and admirers are the mirror these people require. Their followers are simply the cannon-fodder in the narcissist’s ongoing war against reality. The flip-side of this is that the narcissist gets really angry when they are challenged, which is known as narcissistic rage.

For an example of narcissistic rage, here’s Cassidy holding forth through a sock-puppet identity in response to critics of his idiocies about the word jazz: “You do not own the word “jazz” (teas) on Wikipedia or anywhere else. You are not balancing anything. Your article is replete with inaccuaracies and distortions. It is an embarassemnt. The attempt to marginalize Daniel Cassidy’s pioneering work on the word “jazz” and hundreds of other American vernacular words and phrases in his new book How the Irish Invented Slang: the Secret language of the Crossroads is pathetic. Cassidy’s book has been hailed by scores of respected academics, journalists, writers, and Irish language scholars, since its publication 3 months ago. See the Irish Times, The Irish Independent, The Belfast Telegraph, Irish News, The Derry Journal, RTE, Ireland’s national broadcaster, and Irish language publications like La Nua, Beo, and Foinse, as well as American media, including ABC radio, KPFA, WBAI, the SF Chronicle, and NY Observer,and this is just in the first weeks after publication. I shall continue to put up the Irish sanas of jazz. These last feeble attempts to censor Cassidy’s work are laughably pathetic. Let’s put it to mediation. I will provide 20 PUBLISHED articles supporting Cassidy’s thesis. All you have are the same old white boy cronies and Anglophile dictionary dudes.”

  1. Has a sense of entitlement, i.e., unreasonable expectations of especially favorable treatment or automatic compliance with his or her expectations.

Yes, taking a job as a professor when you don’t have a degree, don’t speak Irish and have never published anything of any value certainly suggests a sense of entitlement.

  1. Is inter-personally exploitative, i.e., takes advantage of others to achieve his or her own ends.

Did Cassidy ever stop to ask himself whether all the people who quoted his shit would be humiliated or shamed by their association with him? Probably not, but plainly these people were all used and exploited by Cassidy.

  1. Lacks empathy: is unwilling to recognize or identify with the feelings and needs of others.

How about this from his sister Susan? “He just believed that he was so much smarter than everyone else that no one would dare to question him. I certainly would have never questioned him because he would have been so abusive. I spent most of my life just listening to his bullshit.”

  1. Is often envious of others or believes that others are envious of him or her.

Cassidy continually scoffed at the dictionary dudes and the genuine academics who wouldn’t play according to his rules. For example, here’s one of his comments, given under yet another sock-puppet identity: “Zwicky has no books published on etymology, slang, or Irish, while Barrett is just a shill for the Oxford Dictionary which publishes his barely selling boring slang dictionaries. I agree with the reviewer above. The Anglophile neo-conservative lexicographers got caught with their English knickers down on Irish language influence on American vernacular and now they are piling on Cassidy with ad hominem attacks.”

  1. Shows arrogant, haughty behaviors or attitudes.

As his sister said: He really thought he was so much smarter than everyone–a real egomaniac with an inferiority complex–that’s why he always barked at anyone who dared to question him.

The evidence that Cassidy was a total narcissist is very strong. Certainly much, much stronger than any of the evidence for the Irish derivation of slang Cassidy provided in his ridiculous book.

Eight Reasons Why Daniel Cassidy Was An Obvious Fraud

Over the last few weeks we have established that Daniel Cassidy did not have a degree from Cornell University and that he was probably without any academic qualifications at all. This will come as no surprise to those who have a background in Irish or linguistics, because there are so many things in this book which would arouse the suspicion of any intelligent and enquiring person. As Michael Patrick Brady so rightly commented on Popmatters back in 2007, “Cassidy is the co-founder of the Irish Studies program at the New College of California, a tiny liberal arts school, and though his bona fides seem in order, the book has a strange, casual tone that makes it hard to approach.” Yes, Cassidy’s bona fides seemed in order back then. We now know that his claim to be a genuine academic was a total crock. However, it is perhaps worth looking through some of the many reasons why Cassidy’s ‘research’ was obviously rubbish, even before the bombshell revelation that Cassidy had no qualifications.

  1. The book contains certain claims which are not just improbable but completely nuts, such as the claim that Gunga Din comes from Irish!
  2. The vast majority of Cassidy’s Irish candidates for the origin of English words and phrases are pure fantasy which are not found in Irish at all and which sound completely absurd to anyone who really speaks the language.
  3. Any real academic would have learned the language before writing a book about it. Cassidy didn’t feel that was necessary and many of his made-up phrases are laughable because he had no idea of grammar or usage.
  4. When Cassidy did take words from the Irish dictionaries, he took words out of context and used the most obscure meanings. For example, the word ceap has many meanings. Cassidy found the obscure poetic meaning of protector and claimed it as the origin of cop. This is like saying that because you can say ‘pillar of the community’ it’s also OK to say things like ‘I was talking to a pillar at the reception’.
  5. Cassidy rarely checked other sources for words. When he did mention the dictionary origins, it was merely to rubbish them without presenting the full facts.
  6. Cassidy invented a peculiar fake version of phonetic transcription which bears no relation to the real thing. For example, in phonetics, a j represents the sound usually represented with a y in English. This is Phonetics 101, yet Cassidy knew nothing about it!
  7. Cassidy did not use any kind of referencing system. He tended to cobble together a fake definition, some of which came from the dictionaries and some of which was his own invention, and then give three or four references to different books afterwards!
  8. Cassidy’s ‘evidence’ consisted not of proof for the existence of his Irish candidate phrases in Irish, but of the target phrases in the work of Irish-American writers, as if that proves anything!

I could go on but why bother? Anyone with an open mind and a titter of wit knows that Cassidy was a fraud.

Beat

Daniel Cassidy, in his insane and ridiculous book, How The Irish Invented Slang, claimed that the American slang word beat comes from the Irish word béad. This is one of the many examples in the book where Cassidy simply ignored a perfectly logical and obvious English explanation for American English slang terms and opted for implausible explanations in a language he knew absolutely nothing about – Irish.

Beat means, according to Cassidy, ‘to rob, cheat or swindle’ or to be robbed, cheated or swindled. A ‘bad beat’, according to Cassidy, is a severe loss in poker and of course, a ‘dead beat’ is someone who is down and out. All of these meanings are perfectly easy to understand in terms of the various meanings of the English word ‘beat,’ meaning to flog, to defeat, to overcome.

But of course, Cassidy wasn’t interested in logical or reasonable explanations and neither are the ignorant dumbasses who continue to propagate this nonsense. Cassidy’s explanation is that it comes from the Irish word béad, which, according to him, is defined as ‘loss, injury, robbery, crime; ill-deed; ill-doings, an injury; sorrow; robbed or cheated; flattery; trick; cunning.’ Of course, this multifaceted definition doesn’t come from any dictionary. While the diminutive béadán is common enough in modern Irish (it means ‘gossip’), béad isn’t. Ó Dónaill’s dictionary, which is the most reliable, says simply that the word béad is a literary term for ill deed. Literary means very old in this context. It’s the kind of language which poets used in the 16th or 17th century. It isn’t a modern Irish term. Dinneen’s dictionary, which tends to mix and mingle words from all eras and dialects, says that béad means ‘a deed; crime or injury; sorrow, ill tidings or doings’. I can find no examples of this word in use in modern Irish.

If you look on Google, you might find one or two examples of the words béad or bead but be careful – these are Munster dialect versions of the first person future tense of the verb ‘to be’. They are verbal forms, not nouns. Someone is saying that they will be somewhere at some time. These words are unrelated to the word béad meaning ill deed.

Béad would be pronounced baid as well, to rhyme with laid or made. If it were borrowed into English, why wouldn’t it be borrowed as bade? This is just more cretinous nonsense from the Dork of New York and should be ignored by all reasonable and intelligent human beings.

Punk

The origins of the word punk are quite mysterious, as Cassidy claims in his crazy book How The Irish Invented Slang. However, it isn’t an American slang word of Irish origin. Why not? Well, firstly, the development seems to have been from a word meaning rotten wood used as tinder (dating to the 17th century and found all over New England), to anything rotten (including Johnny here!), to a prostitute, and thus to a male prostitute or a criminal’s apprentice.

Ponach does mean a boy, but it means a very young boy, as in a toddler. And it means that in Scottish Gaelic, not in Irish. (How much influence did Scottish Gaelic have on American slang, I ask myself?) It is pronounced ponna or ponnakh, which is not a great match for punk anyway.

In other words, this is more crazy, childish and badly-researched nonsense from the Great Fraud Cassidy.