Productivity killer: Conan’s St. Paddy’s in Chinatown

Do you miss the world’s funniest Irishman, Conan O’Brien on late night? Well, you could see him this spring at SMU, but the tickets are pretty pricey. While you’re thinking about it, spend a few moments with Conan on his 2009 St. Pat’s Day stroll through Chinatown.

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  • Jon Garinn

    Before I married my spouse and combined our names, I enjoyed the O’ of many Irishmen. Thus, I speak with authority when I say don’t refer casually to St. Patrick’s Day as “St. Patty’s Day,” lest you betray your ignorance.

    The diminutive form of “Patrick,” from the Irish “Padraig,” is “Paddy.” If you want to be cute about March 17, call it “St. Paddy’s Day.”

    “Paddy” is also a slang term for an Irishman, one that can give offense because of condescending, stereotypical associations.

    A police van, for example, is sometimes called a “paddy wagon.” I suspect it’s because of the stereotype of an Irishman who often drank up his wages, became violent and had to be carted away to jail. In any event, don’t call it “St. Patty’s Day,” lest you risk getting someone’s Irish up.