Tuesday, April 27, 2004
A brief anti-frumspeak rant
- Ba'al-ga'ava-dik has to be the most unfortunate word in the yeshivish lexicon.
Roughly translated as "relating to an excess of pride", with a "ba'al ga'avah" being a person who has too much pride, or is literally a 'master' of it. My spelling can't do justice to its pronunciation. You can't read this with European vowel sounds, as we usually do with Hebrew transcription. It's something like balgivadeck, with the 'i' being pronounced as it is in the English word 'hi'. That's a dipthong.
Bear in mind that the Hebrew word "gavtan" already exists for this same person....
(Or am I being 'chutzpahdik' by suggesting that I know better than everyone who uses this word?)
- Yesterday in one of my halakhah shiourim [classes on Jewish law], Rav Partzi was talking about rearing children, and how not to drive them crazy with criticism. He was giving examples. "And if you want to get Torah-dik..." he said, then adding parenthetically, "I usually don't want to. It's usually unnecessary." My fellow classmate was a bit shocked. Was Rav Partzi dissing Torah?
Far from it. I understood what he meant. The Rav was on my wavelength. This is one of those times when I could answer for him. "It's the Yiddish he's opposed to." The Rav nodded in agreement.
He's right (Of course he's right; and it's ba'al-ga'avah-dik for me to point that out, since I'm the one he agreed with.). There's no reason to use the suffix "-dik" to turn every noun in to an adjective. Especially not in English.
- On the Shabbath I spent in Tsfath [a city up North in the Galil that has no consistent spelling in English] with some friends, one was telling me about the gorgeous decorative scheme inside of Abouhav synagogue. I had missed it, opting instead to go to the Beith Yossef (i.e. Maran Rabbénou Yossef Karo, author of the Shoul'han Aroukh) synagogue, which was beautiful in its own right. (I want to do a whole posting on Tsphath someday, with photos and all,... You see, no consistent spelling.) Apparently the design of Beith Kenesseth Abouhav is intricate and based on Kabbalah.
"It's a mekkuble-deck design," he said, clarifying: "It's based on kabbalah-deck patterns."
Such a waste of good words. But he's Israeli, and he's my good friend, and English is his second or third language, so I'll forgive him. Even if he is Sepharadi.... Israeli, Sepharadi, and Hebrew-speaking.... But he thinks that's the way English-speakers discuss Torah concepts, and he was addressing me as a native English speaker. Unfortunately, that is the way many English-speakers do speak. So I'll forgive him, as I said. Just not the people to taught him, by example, that you can append that suffix onto other words, and then use them in polite society. For shame, for shame.
Pinḥas Ivri 17:29