Fill-in-the-Blank-onomics

A reader named Kevin Cornwell, who has his own blog here, wrote us the other day about the forthcoming book The Baseball Economist. It’s by J.C. Bradbury, an economist at Kennesaw State University who writes the baseball blog Sabernomics. (I love that a baseball economist teaches at a university named for the same Georgia mountain for whom the first baseball commissioner, Judge Kenesaw? Mountain Landis, was also named; FWIW, the commissioner post was created after the Chicago Black Sox scandal.)

Here’s what Cornwell had to say:

I think it [the book] looks interesting, but doesn’t the title feel a bit, oh, I don’t know, familiar? [I think he's confusing the title of the book with the title of Bradbury's blog.] Can you copyright the use of adding “onomics” to the end of something for a book title? Pretty soon someone is going to publish a book called “Tweakonomics,” the economics of modifying someone else’s idea just enough to hop on the bandwagon without infringement.

I appreciate Cornwell’s looking out for us. We got some similar e-mails about the recently published book Wikinomics. But, as I told Cornwell, it’s not like we were the first ones — or even the tenth ones — to stick a new beginning on the front of “-onomics.” Anyone remember “Reaganomics”? William Safire certainly does — and he personally helped coin the phrase “Nixonomics.” On this very website, there’s an article about “Blackonomics.”

But even if I disagree with Cornwell’s concern, I do think he’s a pretty good title guy: Tweakonomics, IMHO, isn’t half-bad.

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  1. Linder says:

    “Sabernomics” has been published for a while (at least January 04). Admittedly, I’m not sure when “Freakonomics” was published. Regardless, I’m glad this book was on your site; should be one of the better baseball books to hit the shelves this year.

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  2. Linder says:

    “Sabernomics” has been published for a while (at least January 04). Admittedly, I’m not sure when “Freakonomics” was published. Regardless, I’m glad this book was on your site; should be one of the better baseball books to hit the shelves this year.

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  3. ksturgeon says:

    I remember when JC wrote a book review of a then little-known title called “Freakonomics” (in fact, the review was one of the reasons I bought the book). And that was after I’d been reading Sabernomics for at least a year.

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  4. ksturgeon says:

    I remember when JC wrote a book review of a then little-known title called “Freakonomics” (in fact, the review was one of the reasons I bought the book). And that was after I’d been reading Sabernomics for at least a year.

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  5. agrainofNaCl says:

    Your right… I did confuse the blog title and book title, and I’m actually a bit too young to honestly say I could remember Reaganomics.

    And it’s true that there are a lot of other “onomics” already in the public domain. But something about that blog and book strike me as, pardon the pun, ‘hitting’ a little too close to home. I can’t verbalize exactly why (perhaps someone else can). Maybe its the combo of the blog title and the application of economic principles to a non-traditional subject…

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  6. agrainofNaCl says:

    Your right… I did confuse the blog title and book title, and I’m actually a bit too young to honestly say I could remember Reaganomics.

    And it’s true that there are a lot of other “onomics” already in the public domain. But something about that blog and book strike me as, pardon the pun, ‘hitting’ a little too close to home. I can’t verbalize exactly why (perhaps someone else can). Maybe its the combo of the blog title and the application of economic principles to a non-traditional subject…

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  7. Chewxy says:

    Have fun!
    In case you’re wondering… the above is a list of words ending with -nomics

    Freakonomics and Sabernomics, Wikinomics… are not in though

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  8. Chewxy says:

    Have fun!
    In case you’re wondering… the above is a list of words ending with -nomics

    Freakonomics and Sabernomics, Wikinomics… are not in though

    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0