Complete Blarney – Lexicographer Grant Barrett has posted an excellent explication of the flaws and lack of intellectual rigor displayed in Daniel Cassidy’s How The Irish Invented Slang, which purports to find secret Irish origins for common American vernacular.
Back in October, I reviewed the book for PopMatters and, like Barrett, was disappointed and alarmed by the casual, off-the-cuff manner in which Cassidy made his assertions.
The weakness of his research and in his methodology is apparent to anyone with two eyes and a minute to crack open the book. That’s what makes this surprisingly positive profile in The New York Times so frustrating. A minimal amount of effort would have revealed to the writer than Cassidy’s arguments are without merit, at best the result of sloppiness, at worst a con job.