Tag Archives: New College of California

An Update/Nuashonrú

 I have been really busy recently, so I have had little time to devote to this blog. Last week, Eoin Ó Murchú, an old friend of CassidySlangScam, wrote a piece about Cassidy’s nonsense in the Irish supplement to the Irish Independent. He discussed the list of words the RubberBandits put out last year.

The RubberBandits also put up a piece on Twitter. They said that they wanted to speak to people who have Irish and ask them questions about the language. One person raised the question of cultural appropriation and Dennis King (an American who speaks good Irish) replied with another piece about Cassidy’s book.

I think it’s worth mentioning these two things. Although I am the most determined and most vitriolic critic of Cassidy and his stupid book, I am not alone. There are plenty of people out there who have a knowledge of Irish, of Irish history, of linguistics or of English slang who also hate Cassidy and his garbage.

 

Bhí mé thar a bheith gnóthach ar na mallaibh agus mar gheall air sin, is beag am a bhí agam leis an bhlag seo a scríobh. An tseachtain seo caite, scríobh Eoin Ó Murchú, seanchara le CSS, píosa faoi raiméis Cassidy i bhforlíonadh Gaeilge an Irish Independent. Phléigh sé na focail a chuir na RubberBandits amach anuraidh.

Chuir na RubberBandits píosa suas ar Twitter fosta. Dúirt siad go raibh siad ag iarraidh labhairt le daoine a bhfuil Gaeilge acu agus ceisteanna a chur orthu faoin teanga. Thóg duine ceist na leithghabhála cultúrtha agus d’fhreagair Dennis King (Meiriceánach a bhfuil Gaeilge mhaith aige) le píosa eile faoi leabhar Cassidy.

Is fiú an dá rud seo a lua, dar liom. Cé gur mise an duine is díograisí agus is binbí maidir le Cassidy agus a leabhar bómánta, níl mé liom féin. Tá neart daoine amuigh ansin, daoine a bhfuil cur amach acu ar an Ghaeilge, ar stair na hÉireann, ar an teangeolaíocht agus ar bhéarlagair an Bhéarla, a bhfuil an ghráin fáiscthe acu ar Cassidy agus ar a chuid amaidí fosta.

 

 

 

 

 

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Amadáin na Míosa – Eagraithe agus Urraithe an Irish-American Crossroads Festival

I gceann cúpla lá, cuirfear tús leis an Irish American Crossroads Festival in San Francisco. Ba é Daniel Cassidy agus cuid dá chairde agus leantóirí a bhunaigh an fhéile. Sin an fáth a mbíonn eagraithe na féile ag insint bréag faoi Cassidy go fóill.

Níl aon amhras faoi na fíricí a bhaineann le Cassidy. Ní raibh céim aige, mar gur theip air céim a fháil ó Cornell in 1965 cionn is go raibh sé i dtámhshuan mar gheall ar na drugaí. Ní raibh céim aige ó Cornell agus níor fhreastail sé fiú ar Columbia. Bhí saol corrach lán teipeanna aige agus ansin, d’éirigh leis post a fháil mar ollamh ag ollscoil bréige darbh ainm New College of California trí bhréaga a insint faoin taifead acadúil aige. I ndiaidh dó tuarastal léachtóra nach raibh tuillte aige a fháil ar feadh dhá bhliain déag, d’fhoilsigh sé leabhar aiféiseach darbh ainm How The Irish Invented Slang. Sa leabhar sin, chum Cassidy (fear nach raibh Gaeilge ar bith aige) na céadta frása bréige i ‘nGaeilge’, leithéidí béal ónna agus gíog gheal agus gearról úr agus pá lae sámh, ionas go dtiocfadh leis cur i gcéill gur tháinig a lán cora cainte i mbéarlagair Mheiriceá ón ‘Ghaeilge’ nuachumtha seo.

Ba bhréagadóir cruthanta é Cassidy, duine a chum a lán raiméise faoina shaol agus a shaothar – ní a chuid céimeanna amháin – agus duine ar bith a léann an blag seo go cúramach, tuigfidh siad láithreach cé chomh bréagach a bhí sé.

Ar an drochuair, tá cinneadh déanta ag eagraithe na féile seo nach maith leo an fhírinne agus gur chóir dóibh leanúint leo ag moladh Cassidy mar eiseamláir agus gur chóir plé leis an chur i gcéill mhailíseach a chum sé (cur i gcéill a bhfuil an Ghaeilge agus cultúr na hÉireann thíos leis go mór) mar a bheadh fíorléann ann. Tá an raiméis seo faoi Cassidy go fóill ar shuíomh gréasáin na féile.

Sin an fáth a bhfuil mé lánsásta an teideal Amadáin na Míosa a bhronnadh ar eagraithe agus ar urraithe na féile seo. Duine ar bith a bhfuil ciall dá laghad aige, nó duine ar bith a bhfuil náire ar bith ann, coinneoidh sé glan amach ón bhastard seo agus a chuid cairde.

Twits of the Month – The Organisers and Sponsors of the Irish-American Crossroads Festival

In a couple of days time, the Irish American Crossroads Festival will begin in San Francisco. This festival was founded by Daniel Cassidy and a number of his friends and enablers. That is why the festival’s organisers continue to lie about Cassidy.

The facts about Cassidy are well-known. Cassidy had no degrees, having flunked out of Cornell in a narcotic haze in 1965. He had no degree from Cornell and he never even attended Columbia. He had a life full of failures and then managed to bluff his way into a job as a professor at a diploma-mill called New College of California by lying about his lack of qualifications. After drawing a lecturer’s salary which he was not entitled to for twelve years, he published an absurd book called How The Irish Invented Slang, in which Cassidy, who didn’t speak any Irish at all, invented hundreds of fake Irish expressions such as béal ónna and gíog gheal and gearról úr and pá lae sámh so that he could pretend they were the origins of American slang expressions.

Cassidy was a pathological liar who invented all kinds of nonsense about his life and work – not just his fake degrees – and anyone who reads this blog carefully will quickly realise what a humungous liar the man was.

Unfortunately, the organisers of The Irish-American Crossroads have decided that the truth isn’t what they are about and that Cassidy should continue to be promoted as a role model and that his malicious hoax at the expense of the Irish language and Irish culture should continue to be treated as a valid piece of scholarship. This nonsense is still in the In Memoriam section of the festival’s website.

This is why I am happy to bestow the title of Twits of the Month on the organisers and sponsors of this festival. Anybody with any common sense or decency would avoid Cassidy and all his works like the plague.

Goon

(This is another piece which I have republished, edited and translated into Irish because of The Year of the Irish Language 2018. Seo píosa eile atá athfhoilsithe agam anseo, maraon le roinnt athruithe agus aistriúchán i nGaeilge, in ómós do Bhliain na Gaeilge 2018.)

 

Daniel Cassidy, in his crazy book How The Irish Invented Slang, claimed that the word goon, meaning an idiot (and later, a muscle-bound henchman) derives from the Irish word guan, meaning ‘a fool’. There are several problems with this. Firstly, Cassidy states that the English word is ‘origin unknown’, while most dictionaries (including the OED) regard it as a contraction of an earlier word goonie or gooney, which is known since the 16th century and means a fool or a large bird like an albatross. This seems perfectly reasonable and I can see no reason to prefer an Irish derivation to this English origin.

Secondly, guan is not a common word in Irish. It is not given at all in Ó Dónaill’s dictionary, and in Dinneen’s dictionary it is ascribed to Ó Neachtain’s manuscript dictionary of 1730. It is not found in the 7 million word Corpas na Gaeilge. The word guanach for silly or fanciful is certainly common and is given in all dictionaries but guan itself isn’t.

In other words, this is as stupid and unlikely as the rest of Cassidy’s nonsense.

Mhaígh Daniel Cassidy, ina leabhar craiceáilte How The Irish Invented Slang, go bhfuair an Béarla an focal goon, a raibh an chiall ‘amadán’ leis fadó (agus a fuair an chiall cúlaistín matánach ina dhiaidh sin), ón fhocal Gaeilge ‘guan’, a chiallaíonn amadán. Tá roinnt fadhbanna leis an mhíniú seo. Sa chéad áit, deir Cassidy go ndeir foclóirí an Bhéarla gur focal ‘origin unknown’ atá ann. Is bréag lom é sin. An chuid is mó de na foclóirí Béarla (an OED san áireamh), tá siad ar aon intinn gur giorrúchán é ar an tseanfhocal gooniegooney, atá ar taifead ón 16ú haois agus a chiallaíonn amadán nó éan mór cosúil leis an albatras. Tá an míniú seo iomlán réasúnta, dar liom féin, agus ní thuigim cén fáth a roghnódh duine ar bith an tsanasaíocht Ghaeilge in áit an chinn seo ón Bhéarla.

Ar an dara dul síos, ní focal coitianta guan sa Ghaeilge. Ní luaitear i bhfoclóir Uí Dhónaill é agus i bhfoclóir an Duinnínigh, deir sé go bhfuil sé i lámhscríbhinn fhoclóir Uí Neachtain a scríobhadh in 1730. Níl sé luaite i gCorpas na Gaeilge, corpas 7 milliún focal. Tá an focal guanach (amaideach) coitianta go leor, cinnte, ach níl an focal guan coitianta ar chor ar bith.

Lena rá i mbeagán focal, tá an ceann seo chomh bómánta neamhdhóchúil leis an chuid eile de raiméis Cassidy.

Cultural Appropriation/Leithghabháil Chultúrtha

(https://nos.ie/gniomhaiochas/polaitiocht/leithghabhail-chulturtha/)

There was an interesting little article in NósMag recently about leithghabháil chultúrtha, or cultural appropriation. Cultural appropriation is basically the misuse of a minority culture by a majority culture. The NósMag article asked the question, where do we draw the line? There was an immediate response by Dennis King, who wrote this on Twitter with a picture of Cassidy’s ludicrous book: An leithghabháil chultúrtha é nuair a scríobhann duine ar bheagán Gaeilge leabhar a bhfuil a lán cacamais faoin nGaeilge ann? (Is it cultural appropriation when someone with little Irish writes a book which is full of crap about Irish?)

There have been a lot of arguments about what is or is not cultural appropriation. I don’t think anyone would argue about the most extreme cases – the Black and White Minstrel Show, or the writings of Asa Earl Carter are definitely inappropriate. Others are more dubious. Is it wrong for Anglo children to use a piñata? Should non-African Americans play the blues? Is it cultural appropriation when people get tattoos in bad Chinese or even worse Irish?

Wherever we draw the line, there is no doubt that Dennis King is right and that Cassidy is on the wrong side of it. After all, Cassidy’s book is basically a collection of made-up rubbish by a man who couldn’t even be bothered learning any Irish. Like Dennis King, I find Cassidy’s smugness and arrogance deeply offensive. It makes me angry to hear someone claiming that baloney comes from the Irish béal ónna, when there is no Irish phrase béal ónna – Cassidy invented it and then pretended it was Irish. Or that crony comes from Irish comhrogha, which exists but never had the meaning of friend or companion. Or that giggle comes from gíog gheal, which (if it existed), would mean a bright squeak. It’s all insulting, arrogant, stupid nonsense from a man with no degrees or qualifications who managed to con his way into a university job. Cultural appropriation or not, it’s a pack of lies.

 

(https://nos.ie/gniomhaiochas/polaitiocht/leithghabhail-chulturtha/)

Bhí alt beag spéisiúil ar NósMag ar na mallaibh faoin leithghabháil chultúrtha, nó an cultural appropriation, mar a thugtar uirthi i mBéarla. Is é atá i gceist leis an leithghabháil chultúrtha, lena rá i mbeagán focal, ná mórchultúr ag baint mí-úsáid as cultúr mionlaigh. Cuireadh an cheist san alt ar NósMag, cá háit a dtarraingítear an líne? Bhí freagra ann láithreach ó Dennis King, a scríobh seo ar Twitter maraon le pictiúr de leabhar bómánta Cassidy: An leithghabháil chultúrtha é nuair a scríobhann duine ar bheagán Gaeilge leabhar a bhfuil a lán cacamais faoin nGaeilge ann?

Bhí a lán argóintí ann le blianta beaga anuas maidir le cad is leithghabháil chultúrtha ann agus na rudaí nach leithghabháil chultúrtha iad. Ní dóigh liom go mbeadh amhras ar dhuine ar bith faoi na cásanna is measa – is cinnte nach bhfuil The Black and White Minstrel Show nó scríbhinní Asa Earl Carter inghlactha ar chor ar bith. Tá rudaí eile níos éiginnte. An bhfuil an ceart ag páistí nach bhfuil acu ach Béarla piñata a úsáid? Ar chóir do Mheiriceánaigh nach bhfuil de bhunús Afraiceach na gormacha a sheinm? An leithghabháil chultúrtha é nuair a fhaigheann daoine geala nach Gaeil iad tatúanna i ndrochShínis nó i nGaeilge uafásach?

Cibé áit a dtarraingítear an líne, is cinnte go bhfuil an ceart ag Dennis King agus go bhfuil Cassidy ar an taobh mhícheart den líne sin. Níl i leabhar Cassidy, i ndiaidh an tsaoil, ach bailiúchán de raiméis a chum duine nach dtiocfadh leis bheith gaibhte Gaeilge ar bith a fhoghlaim. Go díreach cosúil le Dennis King, cuireann féinsástacht agus ardnósacht Cassidy olc an domhain orm. Cuireann sé fearg orm nuair a chluinim duine ag rá gur ón Ghaeilge béal ónna a tháinig an focal baloney, cé nach bhfuil a leithéid de fhrása ann – chum Cassidy é agus lig air gur Gaeilge a bhí ann. Nó gur ón ‘Ghaeilge’ gíog gheal a tháinig giggle an Bhéarla, in ainneoin go bhfuil fianaise chuimsitheach leis an bharúil sin a bhréagnú. Níl ann ach raiméis mhaslach, ardnósach, amaideach ó fhear nach raibh céimeanna ná cáilíochtaí ar bith aige ach ar éirigh leis post ollscoile a fháil trí chaimiléireacht. Níl sa bhrilléis seo ach deargbhréaga, bíodh sí ina leithghabháil chultúrtha nó ná bíodh!

Giggle

Ceann de na rudaí is amaidí i leabhar amaideach Cassidy ná an cacamas faoi bhunús Gaelach an fhocail giggle. Deir Cassidy go dtagann giggle ón ‘Ghaeilge’ gíog gheal. Níl a leithéid ann sa Ghaeilge, ar ndóigh, ach oiread le ‘brightsqueaking’ sa Bhéarla.

Ní hamháin sin, ach mar atá léirithe againn roimhe seo, san áit a bhfuil gaol ag focal i mBéarla sa Ghearmáinis, ciallaíonn sin gur focal seanbhunaithe atá ann sa Bhéarla (sleep, schlafen; bed, Bett; drink, trinken; foot, Fuß etc.) Tá focal sa Ghearmáinis, gickeln, a chiallaíonn an rud céanna le giggle agus atá an-chosúil leis ó thaobh fuaime de. Giggle, gickeln. Nach bhfuil an míniú sin míle uair níos fearr ná raiméis bhréagach Cassidy faoi ghíoga geala?

 

One of the stupidest things in Cassidy’s stupid book is the nonsense about the Irish origin of the word giggle. Cassidy says that giggle comes from the ‘Irish’ gíog gheal. This doesn’t exist in Irish, of course, any more than ‘brightsqueaking’ does in English.

That’s not all. As we have shown before here, where a word in English has a cognate in German, this means that it is a long-established word in English (sleep, schlafen; bed, Bett; drink, trinken; foot, Fuß etc.) There is a word in German, gickeln, which means the same thing as giggle and which is very similar to it in sound. Giggle, gickeln. Isn’t that a far better explanation than Cassidy’s fake rubbish about bright squeaks?

An open letter to the advisory board of the San Francisco Irish-American Crossroads Festival

To:

Charles Fanning

Katherine Hastings

Caledonia Kearns

Daniele Maraviglia

Linda Norton

Miriam Nyhan

Nancy Quinn

Peter Quinn

James Silas Rogers

Tim Sullivan

 

Sometimes, our heroes turn out to have feet of clay and even when they were responsible for establishing valid and worthwhile institutions, it can be difficult for those institutions to avoid being contaminated with the scandal associated with a toxic founder.

In the case of the Lance Armstrong Foundation, it rebranded itself as the Livestrong Foundation when Armstrong was exposed as a drugs cheat. It continues to raise money but it is not as successful as it was. Its new name suggests a link to Armstrong (L – strong) but the information on its website gives no indication of the organisation’s history or Armstrong’s role in it.

In the case of the Jimmy Savile Charitable Trust, when the shit hit the fan, it initially considered rebranding itself to remove all links to the serial rapist and paedophile who founded it but a few weeks later, it declared that it was shutting up shop. The scandal and the stigma were just too great.

As for the New College of California, the exposure of its founder as a predatory paedophile came shortly before the wheels came off the institution itself. The exposure of John Leary as a sexual predator was not responsible for the collapse of the institution but it probably didn’t help. Had the college survived, it would have been necessary to remove or rewrite material like this about its founder to reflect the fact that Leary was kicked out of Gonzaga for a sexual assault on a young boy: “Jack, a Jesuit priest and teacher of philosophy, had recently resigned as president of Gonzaga University in Washington state because of his dissatisfaction with the current American model of undergraduate education. He wanted to start over. And so New College of California began as a handful of students and teachers meeting in Jack’s Sausalito living room.”

The San Francisco Irish-American Crossroads Festival was founded by Daniel Cassidy, a ‘professor’ at New College in 2004. After Cassidy’s book was published, Cassidy was criticised immediately by genuine scholars for his poor research but it is only in the last few years that the full extent of Cassidy’s dishonesty and criminality has come to light.

As I have said before on this blog, the In Memoriam section of the Festival’s website gives a fictional and sanitised account of the founder’s life. According to this account, Cassidy had degrees from Columbia and Cornell. In a radio interview with Myles Dungan, Cassidy talks about his Bachelor’s degree from Cornell and taking some ‘graduate’ classes at Columbia. Cornell University has stated that Cassidy was removed from Cornell without gaining a degree and his sister has stated here that he never went to Columbia. This in itself is clear evidence that Cassidy was a fraudster. Cassidy had no degrees or qualifications at all. He was not a real professor.

His book, How The Irish Invented Slang, is one of the most dishonest, ignorant and badly-researched books ever written. Far from being a revelatory work of etymology, it is an insult to the world of scholarship, to the Irish people and to anyone who cares about basic standards of honesty and fair play. This dim-witted collection of disinformation is totally antithetical to the mission statement of the Festival: “Founded in 2004, the Crossroads Irish-American Festival promotes the discovery and understanding of the Irish experience in the Americas to ensure that the richness of the arts, culture, history and traditions of this heritage are both held in great esteem and preserved for generations to come.”

I cannot force the people at the Irish-American Crossroads Festival to tell the truth about Cassidy. All I can do is to point out once again that Cassidy should be held to account for his fraud and criminality, not held up as an inspiration and a good example. Anyone who allows lies like this to be associated with their name is not a decent human being. If you wish to protect your reputation, demand that those responsible for the website remove the lies about Cassidy. If you support Daniel Cassidy and his insane theories, directly or indirectly, you are a willing accessory to this puerile, dishonest nonsense which has been used to swindle tens of thousands of people out of their hard-earned money.