Here is some research I did for our news editor last week, proving myself scads more brilliant than The Boston Globe’s language people and tracing the source of the word “scofflaw” further back than the OED does.

Special notes:

1) The Globe got the amount of prize money wrong by a factor of two in both 1924 and 2014 (the second time because they refused to check any source but their own archives and so could not correct the error in their first article). They also got the date wrong in the 2014 article, stating that the December contest ran “in early January.” Again, I suspect that this is because they weren’t looking at anything but their own woefully lacking archives.

2) The original 1922 quote appears to have come from a publication of the American Bar Association. 

3) The assertion that nobody wrote about a contest with 25,000 entries before the winners were announced in mid-January was already fishy, but it was pretty easy to disprove within ten minutes of logging in to Google. Do these people not know how Google works?


Author: Cady Vishniac

MFA, Distinguished University Fellowship. Endelman/Gitelman Fellow University of Michigan, English and Judaic Studies, Translation Fellow at Yiddish Book Center. Translation forthcoming in LA Review. Fiction most recently in Glimmer Train and New England Review, contest winner in Ninth Letter, Mid-American Review, and others. Collected in New Stories from the Midwest. Been to Kenyon Review Workshops, Tent: Creative Writing, Vermont Studio Center. Editor for Raleigh Review, Reservoir.

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