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  • My good friend Joaquin in Bilbao

    His artistic taste is lowbrao

    Living next to the Guggenheim

    Is making him meschuggene, I'm

    Completely open to suggestion on hao

    to finish this particular rhyme with grace and economy.

    April 6, 2009

  • HaHa! Cute.

    And to finish with 'grace and economy' just leave off the full stop at the end.

    April 6, 2009

  • Or, if you have more time and want more fun, select from pterodactyl's list 50 Ways to Leave Your Lover to finish with Grace, then sidle over to the Verbal Arms and finish with economy by buying us all a drink!

    April 6, 2009

  • Should it be mishuggenah?

    April 6, 2009

  • I'm going to decline seanahan's invitation to enter the morass of debate about assorted Yiddish spellings. Yiddish has never seemed to me to be anything much more than an accumulation of assorted variant spellings of some of the more gutturally unattractive words occurring in German. While it may be of historic interest, it has never interested me from a linguistic point of view.

    I realise that this may seem like prejudice born of ignorance, and it may well be just that, in which case I hope that someone will enlighten me. But, as far as spelling goes, my preference is to stick with the conventions of German, from which most yiddish words apear to be borrowed, and which have a certain underlying logic that I can understand. So "meschuggene", as in "das meschuggene Jahr", is good enough for me.

    April 6, 2009

  • Aaah!! Aaah!!! Yiddish is awesome! I suspect the incredible variety of spellings stems from the fact that most Yiddish-speakers, over the centuries, lived in a wide variety of cultures that had different dominant languages (not just German), and also the fact that it's mostly a spoken language (though it did develop, in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, a fine written literature as well).

    I read an article recently (last couple of years) that was staggeringly sad, about how many old Yiddish books were being destroyed simply because nobody wants to save them. I think it was in the New York Times....

    Edit: this was not the one I was thinking of, but it sends a shiver up my spine. Awful.

    I think this was the one I was thinking of.

    Edit 2: More info here, and here.

    April 6, 2009

  • I can't imagine an uglier language has been or ever will be. To my tender ears, the sounds and words of Yiddish are but a concoction by gargling self-flagellators hell-bent on affecting a language to burst from the lips of mankind like a lanced pustule of syphilis.

    April 6, 2009

  • Well, they probably don't like your language much either. No Germanic language (including English) is all that musical-sounding, but a language spoken for a thousand years by millions of people in a dozen or more cultures is important, linguistically and historically. Comparing it to a syphilitic boil is a bit harsh.

    April 6, 2009

  • I agree with chained_bear, although I will admit that syphilitic boils have probably had an important role in history as well (Baudelaire? Al Capone?).

    April 6, 2009

  • Truly. One may not like it, but it's an incredibly important language. And thanks, c_b, for those article references. :-)

    April 6, 2009