Man Without Qualities

Saturday, February 08, 2003

The Real MacKay

February is Black Histoiry Month. There are plenty of worthwhile contibutions to go around, but some claims are predictably more complex than others. For example, at this time of year one often sees the phrase "the real McCoy" flatly described as a reference to inventor Elijah McCoy, who was no slouch.

But the actual incomplete state of knowledge about the origins of this saying is more interesting - and possibly a nearly Proustian example of how alien phrases and concepts can merge with each other over time.

Comments: Post a Comment