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 Post subject: Language lesson
PostPosted: Sun May 27, 2012 8:01 pm 
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Joined: Mon Nov 14, 2005 3:47 pm
Posts: 4655
Location: New York City
The shikse on the op-ed page shows off her fine grasp of things Yiddish:

Quote:
As The Washington Post reported, noting that some Secret Service employees call the road show “the Secret Circus,” one 29-year-old agent who was forced to resign after the Cartagena meshugas is protesting that he did not know the two women he brought to his room were prostitutes. Like Dudley Moore in “Arthur,” he just thought he was doing great with them.
[Maureen Dowd in the Times]

It's mishegoss, a mess. Bonus: A Jew already told her that, years ago:

Quote:
My colleague in columny Maureen Dowd charged recently that Vice President Cheney and his aides ''shoehorned all their meshugas about Saddam's aluminum tubes, weapons labs, drones and Al Qaeda links into Mr. Powell's U.N. speech.''

Two weeks before, in a review of local delicatessens, Erik Himmelsbach wrote in The Los Angeles City Beat that the corned beef in Brent's deli was high quality but that the dignified restaurant was ''missing the mishegoss associated with the deli experience.''

Mishegoss -- Himmelsbach's spelling better reflects the pronunciation of the Yiddish term (mish-eh-GOSS) than Dowd's -- is rooted in the Hebrew adjective meshuga, ''mad, insane.'' But as Leo Rosten noted in his classic ''The Joys of Yiddish,'' mishegoss is more often used in a light, amused, madcap vein: ''a wacky, irrational, absurd belief . . . a piece of tomfoolery'' or, in another sense, a foolish fixation: ''She has a new mishegoss -- that the neighbors are trying to ruin her.''
[William Safire in the Times, 2005]


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 Post subject: Re: Language lesson
PostPosted: Sun Apr 14, 2013 6:47 pm 
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Joined: Mon Nov 14, 2005 3:47 pm
Posts: 4655
Location: New York City
Update: Another shikse gets it wrong. With bonus zeitgeist!

Quote:
Not only did these new gadgets spawn all the marvels and meshugas we now lump under the term "digital technology," they ensured the mass production of American culture itself, creating an entirely new sort of entrepreneur — the zeitgeist wrangler. Jane Fonda discovered aerobics and soon the rest of us were crunching and shopping for ankle weights.
[Mary McNamara at LAT]


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 Post subject: Re: Language lesson
PostPosted: Sun Apr 14, 2013 10:39 pm 
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Joined: Mon Apr 08, 2002 12:01 am
Posts: 3135
Location: Albuquerque, N.M. USA
Meshugenahs ...


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 Post subject: Re: Language lesson
PostPosted: Mon Apr 15, 2013 4:35 am 
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Joined: Tue Jan 24, 2006 5:33 pm
Posts: 1225
Location: Texas
It's entirely possible that someone who knows Yiddish transliteration practices better than the average punter told Dowd that "meshugas" is the more common spelling and, depending on the local dialect, is a more accurate rendition of the prevailing pronunciation. Or does AP or the Israeli consulate have a Yiddish spelling guide that Dowd ignored?


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 Post subject: Re: Language lesson
PostPosted: Mon Apr 15, 2013 6:55 am 
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Joined: Mon Nov 14, 2005 3:47 pm
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Location: New York City
Tin ear, more likely. Meshuga for a person's odd behavior[*]; meshugena or meshugana for the crazy person [or his odd behavior]; mishegoss for the mess, the chaotic situation and, by extension, odd objects. In both examples, plain English words would have worked just fine.


[*] None of this, shamefully, covered in AP's mental-illness update.


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