Author Archive | Sasha Volokh

A couple of unrelated observations:

It’s not widely known that the song Istanbul (Not Constantinople) is not by They Might Be Giants, good as they are, but is in fact quite old. How old? Why, I was listening to it in the late ’70s! The words are by Jimmy Kennedy, the music by Nat Simon, and it apparently dates from, at the latest, 1953; it was originally popularized by The Four Lads.

Also, check out the true scoop on Latin and Greek plurals (link through Hanah, who got it from GeekPress). One word: Fex.

Finally, on the Wasabi sect of Islam (thanks to Best of the Web), I also recommend Shiite-ake mushrooms. Hanah likes to drink Korange juice, while I like to drink Sunni Delight. Also, there’s pie Allah mode? (We came up with all these on our own, but of course there’s nothing new under the sun.)

UPDATE: Eric Rasmusen has this. And, just for more circular reference, click here. Finally, I forgot to mention my new idea (which again, alas, is not unique with me): Gollum’s Sushi Bar.

UPDATE 2: One reader “was prepared to dispute” whether The Four Lads really popularized “Istanbul” until he discovered that it was #10 in 1953 and was a gold record back when that meant more than it does today.

UPDATE 3: Reader Jonathan Steinsapir is annoyed that the song leaves out the city’s original name, Byzantium (after the city’s legendary founding by Byzas the Megarian). Note also that the Vikings knew the city as Miklagard, or the Great City; and that Istanbul was an alternate name for Constantinople as early as the 11th century. Query: if Glenn Reynolds were a Turk: InstanBul? [...]

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