March 16, 2014

Whither the NYT? It no longer notices the difference between "kvelling" and "kvetching."

Yeah, it's Maureen Dowd, but the NYT has editors. How embarrassing to go cutesy with the Yiddish but use completely the wrong word!

My link goes to Power Line, which has an update saying the NYT has corrected the mistake without a correction notice. Well, this just happens to be one of those rare occasions when I have a copy of the print edition at hand. Here's a photograph of the laughable gaffe:

54 comments:

Big Mike said...

I guess MoDo needs to get to know more Jews. Perhaps Ezra Klein can find one or two to whom he can introduce her.

madAsHell said...

In Newspeak, we say bellyfeel.

PB Reader said...

They're not wrong. They have merely defined the term. All terms and meanings are fungible, subject to change a moment's notice by a liberal/progressive if it suits their needs. For you to insist on a traditional, literal interpretation only reveals you to be a rigid, uncompromising, un-nuanced racist.

Elise Ronan said...

It's Yiddish not Spanish, if any of their editors knew anything about that language some on the progressive-left might think that the paper was pro-Israel instead of filled with delusional self-loathing Jews.

Matthew Sablan said...

Real journalism has suffered greatly in the Internet age due to the ability to pretend not to have made a mistake.

Art in LA said...

My wife an I overheard a conversation where the guy meant "schlep" but used "schlong" ... too funny!

Larry Nelson said...

She, and the rest of the NY Times know it alls, try so hard to prove they're smarter than us rubes.
This is what makes Schaudenboners.(Did I use that word right? I'm not that smart)

kcom said...

"My wife, an I, overheard..."

I didn't know you could marry a letter. :)

EDH said...

Another omission by the Times editor:

The column could have added that distinctive ModDo double-entendre style if the headline had been "Dems All in Distress", as in "damsel in distress".

chickenlittle said...

Althouse is a traditionalist when comes to words and their meanings -- except when she's not.

Marty Keller said...

The Times also can no longer be bothered to italicize the titles of magazines and newspapers.

orthodoc said...

Oy.

Alex said...

Why has it become fashionable for New York liberals to use Yiddish words?

madAsHell said...

Why has it become fashionable for New York liberals to use Yiddish words?

I'm here on the Left Coast. Words like schlep, and schlong entered my lexicon at the same time as groovy, and far-out. It was only as an adult that I came to understand they were Yiddish words (schlep and schlong, not groovy, and far-out).

Robert Langham said...

It's fact-checkers....all the way down.

docrich11 said...

I actually tried to send a correction letter to the Times this morning, but they ignored my letter. It IS a common error among goyim who think they know a little Yiddish.

BobDD said...

re: the actual point of the article

it's MoDo - there is no real point, so picking on the inanities gets to the core of her writing better than anything else

Roger Zimmerman said...

When Al Gore was running for president in 2000, I was at a meeting he had with high tech executives in Massachusetts (the side story to why I - most definitely not a Gore supporter - was there is interesting, but beside the point).

He was trying to appear extemporaneous, but was occasionally glancing at notes. Then, he came out with a statement that was (approximately): "And with all of these new logarithms that are being developed we are on the verge of a real revolution ... (blah, blah, blah)"

There was an audible gasp in the room. From there on, the bullshit meters were overloaded and I'm sure no one fundamentally believed a word he said. Of course, this didn't prevent these hardened liberals from supporting him, but, I'm sure they had a harder time pretending he was actually capable of understanding of their fields.

Later, a colleague of mine who is really good with words, constructed the following apt one-liner:

If there's one word that "algore" should be able to remember, it's .....

Left Bank of the Charles said...

Wither Althouse "betwee"?

gloogle said...

"If you think your topic is more important to the country as a whole -- that more people care about a columnist's Yiddish error than the president's performance -- then clearly this is the political analysis blog for you!"

It's always hilarious when one commenter gets all uppity with another commenter over what a third person's blog is "supposed" to be about.

LOL. Forest, trees!

insatty said...

All of the anti-semitism these days comes exclusively from the left.

YoungHegelian said...

If MoDo publicly screws up her Yiddish words, does it rise to the level of being a shanda fur di Yiddn?

wildswan said...

I'd say that the lack of editorial control at the NYT is a story, a rather common theme on the right. And not knowing one word from another is the kind of thing that happens all the time now everywhere because people "use" spellcheck - a list of possibilities offered when you misspell - instead of knowing what words mean or looking up their meaning. And it happens at the NYT also but they won't admit the meaning of it. The NYT theme from the point of view of the right is that the people there, all liberals, are arrogant, demonstrably careless and ignorant. They kvell, we kvetch.

Maureen Dowd's story certainly was interesting since it indicated a pleasing level of panic among the Dems. But a blue brained conservative simply enjoys a quiet moment of rich appreciation. There was really nothing to add, nothing to wish for. There was even a witless misspelling.

wildswan said...

Will you look at that? I meant red-brained conservative.

Rob said...

It's a sign of how assimilated the Sulzbergers have become that their newspaper no longer knows the difference between kvell and kvetch. It's not a bug, it's a feature.

glenn said...

Use big words to sound smart at your own risk. It's a permutation of "Better to remain silent etc."

autothreads said...

If she misused a Spanish word, do you think she'd get a pass?

I wonder what that Salon writer who complained about white women "appropriating" Middle Eastern belly dancing would think about non-Jews appropriating Yiddish terms?

Fen said...

Do you think this subject might be more worthy of discussion than everyone's cursory knowledge of Yiddish phrases?

Its interesting because, if someone on the right had made such a mistake, Dowd and her ilk would have been all over them as "unsophisticated flyover rubes".

Also, "layers and layers of fact checkers and editors.."

Elise Ronan said...

@Alex

using Yiddish by New York Liberals has replaced the old adage: "I can't be an antisemite some of my best friends are Jews."

Astro said...

People screw up scientific terms in all parts of the mainstream media on a nearly daily basis, and no one gives a d@mn. Use the wrong yiddish word once in the Times and all h#ll breaks loose.

Ebbers Palomino I said...

דאָווד באדערפענישן באַשטעטיק קנעפּל?

David said...

I don't read articles by unrepentant plagiarists.

Fen said...

Dowdism: twisting meaning by selectively parsing together quotes. Example:

Althouse: "My link goes to Power Line, which has an update saying the NYT has corrected the mistake without a correction notice. Well, this just happens to be one of those rare occasions when I have a copy of the print edition at hand. Here's a photograph of the laughable gaffe:"

Dowdified: "My ...mistake ...just happens to be ...a ...laughable gaffe"

richard mcenroe said...

Why shouldn't Democrats kvell over a Communist threatening to invade another country? They haven't had a problem with that since Kennedy.

sydney said...

So, what is the difference between "kvetching" and "kvelling"?

Lem said...

Althouse admits to bigger carbon footprint.

sj mart said...

FROM KVELL TO KVETCH
With Nary a Mensch-un

Kirby Olson said...

In an IQ test I once came across the question, name a word that has eight consonants and just one vowel. I came up with "schlongs," but the correct answer was "strengths." I got it wrong. I thought the test was idiotic. I don't know if there are any other words with that many consonants for just one vowel, but would imagine if it does exist it would be another borrowed word from Yiddish?

richard mcenroe said...

"kvetch," for those who ask, is bitching, moaning, complaining.

"Kvell" is a warm golden feeing of happiness and fulfillment, as if one had the balmy spring sun in one's belly.

Tom said...

Guys - no fan of MoDo here but a simple explanation is that it's an easy auto-correct mistake.

Lem said...

Could this error have gotten her column more readers?

#IStandWithTheError

RecChief said...

with all the instances of editorial malpractice over the last 10 years, why does this surprise you?

rcocean said...

You'd think an Irishwomen who dated so many Jews would know Yiddish better.

But maybe it didn't stick, like her boyfriends

gadfly said...

It is permissible to change a spelling error without making a big deal of it. Besides to those of us whose command of of Yiddish words and usage is very limited - I have occasionally noticed the use of "kvetching" but never "kvelling" (and even my spellchecker is objecting to kvelling). Until now, after looking them up - I didn't have a clue as to what the words meant.

So I guess this joke is on me.

From Inwood said...

Alas, the old gal couldn't spell.
Or didn't know kvetch from kvell.
But she thought that a sign
Of genius divine,
And said "Remain Calm, all is well”




From Inwood said...

Ah according to me NYT, 'tis a bad St Paddy's eve.

Two Irishmen, OOPS, persons, walk into a Bar.

One can't use the correct word.

The other is an Irish Potato-Famine Denier....


[For those who are recovered NYT readers & don't get this, the NYT today has an uncivil attack on Paul Ryan for what the writer sees as a new form of Irish Alzheimer's: a refusal to see that Ryan & The GOP, The Koch Brothers, The Tea Party... are but a re-incarnation of the English in Potato-Famine time in their treatment of today's poor in the US.]

Locomotive Breath said...

"If there's one word that "algore" should be able to remember, it's ....."

To release his second chakra you should use an "Al Gore Rhythm".

James Pawlak said...

If it were an Islamic term, involving Jihad, they would get it right.

pduggie said...

I guess this is an example of the harm of culturally appropriating: like a white person trying AAVE and getting "ratchet" wrong.

furious_a said...
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furious_a said...
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furious_a said...

**TRUE FUNNY SPELLCHECK STORY INVOLVING YIDDISH**

While in grad school I interned in the Budget Office, meeting with department heads and rolling up their annual budget requests.

Drafting an executive summary for the Finance Director I typed the University President's name "Schlegel" and MS Word auto-corrected to "Schlemiel".

Bud Norton said...

Oh, vey.

Dave in Tempe said...

Ever seen him dance? There is no such thing as "Al Gore Rhythm" - see http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JVOVRZWrkgQ