September 04, 2006

Barney Miller and the linguist

So back in the -Vlicious thread I remembered a guy on "Barney Miller" enraged by pickle ad copy along the lines of "crunch-crunch-crunchalicious". This might or might not have happened, though the wonderfully fey "ko-ko-kosherific" (note portmanteau of kosher and terrific) pretty clearly did. And the language loony was identified as, oh dear, a LINGUIST.

Thanks to John O'Meara for the "ko-ko-kosherific" reference, which resonates with me.  My recollection is that it was the second portmanteau in the show, though I could be wrong.  (I'm still working on getting to the original material.)  In any case, it was in the seventh (of eight)  seasons:

135 The Psychic    First Aired: February 5, 1981
Writers: Tony Sheehan, Frank Dungan, Jeff Stein
Director: Noam Pitlik
Guest Stars: Kenneth Tigar, Fred Sadoff, Rod Colbin, Larry Hankin, Robert Burgos

A linguist vandalizes a billboard to protest improper grammar in advertising; and a psychic foils a purse snatcher--before the crime is committed.

Yes, someone who presents himself as caring about language is a "linguist".  We go around vandalizing vulgar errors and terrorizing their perpetrators.  Everybody knows that.

zwicky at-sign csli period stanford period edu

Posted by Arnold Zwicky at September 4, 2006 06:48 PM