Date: Wed, 13 Aug 1997 02:19:49 -0400

From: "Barry A. Popik" Bapopik[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]AOL.COM

Subject: Supermodels; El Nino/La Nina; IHOP; Bible Codes


Michael Gross's MODEL (1985) was correct. Clyde Matthew Dessner's SO

YOU WANT TO BE A MODEL! (1948) has "super-model," but it's a stretch to say

he "coined" it.

Dessner ran Barbizon Models. Page 255 of his book mentions "the model

of tomorrow." Then, on the last page (page 256), this person is described:

She will be a super-model, but the girl in her will be like the girl in

you--quite ordinary, but ambitious and eager for personal development.

If Dessner had used "super-model" to name the book, or even a chapter of

the book, or even given us a wink that he's coining something, I'd give it to

him. But he simply uses it once in a 256-page book, and the term is not used

again for about 25 years (1972).

On page 242, Helen Bennett is an "ultra high-fashion model." THIS is

the term he uses. "Top model" was (and is) used frequently and is the title

of a current magazine. On page 245, we have the full term--"top-flight

model." Somehow, "flight" took flight.

In etymology, I've come across many stray, early citations--for "Big

Apple," "science fiction," and "jinx," for example. If the citations are

isolated in time (over ten years) and frequency (only one?) and the tone of

use does not indicate an intended coinage, it's best to make note of the

first citation, but not give it too much weight in the creation of the term.

The 1948 term is "super-model"; the 1972 article had both "super model"

and "supermodel" and was followed up by other citations.

I'll go through Naomi Sims's papers soon--I still think she's the first