Tag Archives: Tom Deignan

Beannachtaí na Féile Pádraig

St Patrick’s Day will soon be here, so it seems like a good opportunity once again to attack Cassidy’s rubbish book of fake Irish, to encourage people to learn a little of the real thing, and to say a couple of words about the philosophy of language learning.

At this time of year, many people in the Irish diaspora take an interest in their culture and history. Because of the irresponsible behaviour of a number of prominent members of the Irish-American establishment like Peter Quinn, Joe Lee, Michael Patrick MacDonald, Tom Deignan and countless others, who recommended and continue to recommend this nonsense to gullible people, this book is still in print and still being sold. This is a disgrace. Cassidy’s ‘research’ is a cruel and disgusting hoax and IMHO no decent person would support it. However, thanks in part to this blog, people are now much more aware of how dishonest and foolish this book is, so the newspaper articles about Cassidy’s linguistic ‘revelations’ which used to appear at this time of year have been considerably fewer over the last couple of years. The only major organ (yes, I’m aware of the innuendo) of the diaspora which still supports this raiméis is the egregious IrishCentral. They continue to republish a semi-literate ‘review’ of Cassidy’s book by some 9/11 Truther called Brendan Patrick Keane.

Anyway, it seems appropriate to celebrate St Patrick’s Day with some handy (and GENUINE) phrases in our beautiful Ulster dialect of the Irish language.

 

Beannachtaí na Féile Pádraig duit!

Ban-akh-tee na fayla pahrig ditch!

Blessings of St Patrick’s day to you!

 

Go raibh míle maith agat.

Go roh meela moy oggut!

A thousand thanks!

 

Tá sé iontach deas inniu.

Tah shay intah jass inyoo.

It’s very nice today.

 

Sláinte mhór agus saol fada agat!

Slahn-chya wore ogus seel fadda oggut!

Good health and long life to you!

 

If you want some more information on these things, there are hundreds of resources on line. Focloir.ie is particularly good and has audio files for common words. Just don’t trust anything you read on IrishCentral, in any language, and don’t use Cassidy’s book as a source for learning Irish!

As for the philosophy of language learning, here’s a few points for people thinking of learning Irish:

DO

  • learn a little every day – start NOW!
  • label things you use every day – fridge, cooker, car, door
  • write common words or phrases on cards and carry them round with you
  • learn a few proverbs or songs by heart
  • use apps and words of the day and the Kindle and other new technology
  • get output by TG4 and Raidió na Gaeltachta and listen to the language as much as possible (without bothering about understanding it) just to get used to the sounds and intonation

 

DON’T

  • go to a class once a week and forget about it the rest of the time
  • try to learn everything at once and get disheartened when you can’t
  • use Google Translate to translate INTO Irish (it’s useful to get an idea of what a text means in a language you don’t speak well or at all but, for example, if you put I cycled a lot into Google Translate, you get Rothar mé go leor, which is garbage!)
  • make up sentences which are too complicated for you – stick to the structures you know to be correct. Walk, then run! There’s no point in practising elaborate structures which are wrong. Stick to simple sentences which are right! 

Beannachtaí na Féile Pádraig daoibh!!

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Moron Niall O’Dowd – Sorry, More On Niall O’Dowd

I notice that Brendan Patrick Keane’s ridiculous piece of brown-nosing in support of Cassidy’s nonsense has once again reappeared on Nihil O’Dude’s IrishCentral, only a couple of weeks after the last time it was republished there. Since Christmas they have also republished Tom Deignan’s list of 20 books which all Irish Americans should read, another article which I have criticised here for giving support to How The Irish Invented Slang.

I should point out that I didn’t find this by chance on IrishCentral, a resource which I don’t read and which is strictly for Plastic Paddies and tourists, IMHO. I have minimal interest in the kind of rubbish that IrishCentral specialises in, items like The Top Ten Whackiest Irish Saints or Which Green Food Coloring Should You Use This St Patrick’s Day? or The Rose of Tralee Makeover: Discover Your Inner Colleen. (Just to be clear, I made these up, though the real thing is often worse.) I noticed it because Cassidy’s nasty, lying little book is once again selling more copies on Amazon, as unsuspecting suckers read Keane’s dumbass opinion piece and think the book sounds like fun.

I would like to think that the republishing of these articles is happening because someone at IrishMental has read my comments on this blog rather than because they have no ideas and are forced to endlessly recycle garbage. The thought is flattering. I would love to think that I have pissed off Niall O’Dowd and his cronies. After all, if they are republishing trash that they know to be trash simply because I criticised them for doing so, that isn’t flipping the bird to me. It’s cynically flipping the bird to their own readership. Still, pigs and grunts and all that.

Let me just say it once more, for the sake of anyone who hasn’t got the message yet. Cassidy’s book is full of fake Irish. (And O’Dowd knows enough Irish to realise that. Snua ard? Really?) Most of the words which Cassidy provided fake Irish versions for already have credible and even proven origins in English or other languages. Cassidy himself didn’t speak any Irish. Cassidy was a malignant fraud who spent 12 years pretending to be a professor on a full salary on the strength of a Cornell degree that he flunked. And we all know that the only reason why O’Dowd and the bómáin at IrishCentral are supporting this garbage is because Cassidy had lots of important cronies in New York, people like Joe Lee and Peter Quinn, and offending them by acting like a genuine journalist would open up the appalling vista of O’Dowd and his mates having to buy their own cheese and wine for a change.

What a pathetic bunch of fuckwits!

If These Knishes Could Talk!

I recently came across an article by Tom Deignan on IrishCentral about the documentary If These Knishes Could Talk by Heather Quinlan, which was only in production when the article was written in 2010. Tom Deignan, of course, is one of Cassidy’s Cronies, so it is no surprise that his mates Peter Quinn and Daniel Cassidy get a plug in the article.

Quinlan’s documentary is nothing less than a portrait of the famed Noo Yoik accent. In the article, it says that: “While shooting her film, Quinlan also came across the work of the late Irish language scholar Daniel Cassidy, who showed how the Irish language influenced New York slang. ‘It was mind-blowing,’ Quinlan said.”

So, I was expecting to find another piece of Cassidese nonsense when I logged onto Youtube to watch the documentary. I watched it from beginning to end and there is not a single reference to Daniel Cassidy or his nutty theories or his half-baked etymologies in the programme. The documentary is pleasant, interesting and well worth watching.

However, it does make me wonder. Why did Heather Quinlan decide to leave the Cassidese crap on the cutting-room floor? What was it that made her realise this toxic rubbish would ruin her documentary? And if Quinlan could spot the bullshit in Cassidy’s book, why couldn’t Zach Selwyn and Thaddeus Russell and all the rest of them?

Hall of Shame

This is a list of some of the many people and organisations who should be heartily ashamed of themselves for lending their support to this idiotic piece of trash. All of them are guilty of helping to make this book a commercial success. I should point out that it is not an academic success – Cassidy is quite rightly regarded as a joke by academics in the field of Irish linguistics.

Tom Deignan, writer of the weekly Sidewalks column in the Irish Voice and author of Irish Americans, who recommended this garbage as one of his 20 books all Irish Americans should read. Why?

New York Public Libraries for giving him a platform to recommend this nonsense to an unsuspecting public. This book and the vast majority of its claims are fraudulent. A library should certainly stock it and provide it if people want it (along with books on homeopathy and Young Earth Creationism) but no self-respecting educational institution should be recommending it to anyone, at any time, in any way. I love books but when I am finished with my debunking, I will quite happily dump my copy with the rest of the rubbish.

The New York Tenement Museum, which continues to sell this book through its shop. You are a museum, for God’s sake! That means you have a responsibility not to support intellectual fraud and lies. People should be taught the facts about their past, not a load of old nonsense.

Éamonn McCann, who is a well-known journalist and political activist in Ireland. I would admire a lot of what he does and says which is why it is so disappointing to see him lending his support to rubbish like this. A search on the internet shows that he appeared on a documentary about censorship in Ireland made by Cassidy in 1995, five years before Cassidy began to make up his ridiculous theories about Irish, so presumably he was a friend of his. Which would perhaps excuse a lukewarm thumbs-up. But this is above and beyond! According to McCann, ‘Cassidy’s ideas have rapidly gained academic respectability since the publication of his book early this summer.’ ACADEMIC RESPECTABILITY????

Educational Cyber-Playground. This is a really bizarre website which contains a large amount of Cassidese nonsense. I have no idea what this website is for but in my opinion, to put the words education and Daniel Cassidy in proximity is absurd. This site contains many of the wilder and dafter claims which never made it to the book, like the one that the phrase Jump Jim Crow comes from the Irish tiomp díomá crua, which Cassidy thinks means ‘thump hard disappointment’. (Although it would have to be díomá chrua in correct Irish and tiomp isn’t a verb, so it would just mean ‘a thump, hard disappointment’!) What about Jim Cuff or Jim Crow, the African-American man the song is thought to be based on? Isn’t he entitled to his place in history? Not according to The Great Fraud and his supporters! Cassidy wants that footnote for himself and to hell with an obscure black man in the early 19th century!

The New York Times, an American rag which published this toothless and uncritical article on Cassidy by Corey Kilgannon: http://www.nytimes.com/2007/11/08/nyregion/08irish.html?_r=0.

There are plenty more. I will be back with a Hall of Shame Part 2. Bígí ag amharc ar an bhlag seo! (Watch this space!)