Liberty and freedom: US cultural imports

Philip Resnik is not convinced that there was any “tradition of valuing other cultures as successive waves of immigrants settled in the United States”:

Yup, a great tradition, exemplified so nicely by our nation’s coining the term “liberty sandwich” to replace “hamburger” during World War I … and exemplified more recently by all those good multicultural GOP lawmakers who suggested that we replace “French fries” with “freedom fries” on our beloved fast food menus.

I beg to differ: in the first case, a German word is replaced by a Franco-Brit compound, and (English) freedom and (Romance) fries also arrived on boats. Prone to exaggeration, I would also ask whether we are really sure we know what Philemon Holland was on about when he wrote in his Suetonius of those who “died for the Libertie and Free-dome of their Cittie.”

PS: A Leeuwarder gentleman of my acquaintance persists in pronouncing fries to rhyme with niece. Were this to be widely adopted in Republican circles then the political repercussions in Friesland, Holland could be quite considerable.

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  1. I’m afraid Libertie sandwiches and Free-dome fries arrived in Rome with Macdonalds.

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