Date: Fri, 13 Feb 1998 05:33:05 EST
From: "Barry A. Popik" Bapopik[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]AOL.COM
Subject: All-American; America; Nagano


Yes, as previously noted, it's in the DA: "1888 _Outing_ Nov. 166/2 The
All-American composed of men picked from the ranks of the
representative ball teams of America."
This is a classic example of quoting too little. Yes, the College
Football Hall of Fame was correct that the first college football All-
Americans were chosen in 1889. You'd never know it from the quote, but it's
about a BASEBALL All-American team!
And of course, we can antedate the earliest citation. This is from
SPORTING LIFE, 24 October 1888, pg. 5, col. 2:

CHICAGO, Oct. 17.--Editor SPORTING LIFE:--Ere these lines meet the eyes of
THE SPORTING LIFE'S readers the members of the Chicago and All-American teams
will have departed upon their great trip to Australia and the greatest base
ball invasion upon record thus inaugurated.
(...) Van Haliren will play short for the All-Americas.


The "Columbus Day" posting that was recently reposted was part of a
larger series of postings I made last year about the naming of America and
Americans--on the 500th anniversary of John Cabot's voyage to North America.
The February 1964 AMERICAN SPEECH article "On the Naming of America" is
incredibly awful and reaches the wrong conclusion.
Cecil Adams's THE STRAIGHT DOPE for September 28-October 4, 1994 (check
archives on his web site) states the general problem that we really should be
living in "Vespucciland." He states:

There are a couple of theories on the name's origin. One is that it's a
variant of Enrico, the Italian form of Henry, and derives from the Old German
Haimrich (in later German Emmerich, in English Americus), from _haimi_ (home)
plus _ric_ (power, ruler). Alternatively, it may come from the Old German
Amalricus, from _amal_ (work) plus _ric_.

This theory--not considered in the AMERICAN SPEECH article--was
extensively discussed in the very first article in NAMES (a journal of the
American Name Society). I believe it has a lot going for it. What made the
New York Post's Columbus Day article so putrid is that it stated that the
people involved were FRENCH. They were German. Big difference! Not only
were their names German--as any idiot could see--but the point is that it
possibly affected their work, which is the naming of "America."
Charles Godfrey Leland ("Hans Breitmann") wrote this in HANS BREITMANN'S
BALLADS (1869), pg. 96:

So also de name America,
If ve a liddle look,
Vas coom from de oldt King Emerich
In de Deutsche _Heldenbuch_.

Was "America"--in addition to honoring Vespucci--a German joke?
Now I got these maps here, and these biographies here, and they're all
over this tiny apartment, and it's gonna take some explainin'...


I saw a story today on CNN Headline News. The Japanese Embassy is being
flooded with calls about how to pronounce "Nagano."
It makes me real angry.
When I proposed AMERICAN POPULAR SPEECH ONLINE, I suggested that it be a
joint effort with the American Name Society. One of the ideas I had is a
pronunciation guide to names in the news.
A few years ago, everyone was asking about "Herzegovina." Last year,
someone in New York sports television asked about a new New York Yankees
player from Japan, "Hideki Ir-AH-bu, IR-ah-bu, which is it?"
This is not the stuff of AMERICAN SPEECH or NAMES, but it is stuff that
people need to know, and need to know immediately. An online magazine of the
ADS and ANS would be the authority to turn to first.
We'd be quoted on this, and we'd attract new members, perhaps.
Oh well!