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.