Date: Mon, 18 Sep 1995 14:37:31 -0400
From: Jerry Miller millerj[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]FRANKLINCOLL.EDU
Subject: The Quayling of American Usage?
A colleague of mine from the English department asked over lunch today if I
remembered what Indiana's illustrious bad-speller, Dan Quayle, once tried to
do as a U.S. senator to make Merriam-Webster drop the second definition of
"hoosier" (as a general term for an uncouth, unpolished person) from its
Does anybody out there remember that? I'd appreciate hearing what you recall
of that incident, which I did not recall but, of course, was not at all
surprised to hear. I did remember a thread on this list sometime back about
the origins of the word "hoosier" (for residents of our fair state--you may
interpret "fair" any way you wish), but I don't intend to open that one up
again (although my colleague is convinced that the tale of it deriving from
a boating term, "hoozer," used along the north side of the Ohio River, is
the most likely origin, not the "whooosthere?" theory.
Any illumination will be greatly appreciated.
Pulliam School of Journalism
Franklin College (Ind.)
millerj[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]franklincoll.edu