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Monday, June 05, 2006

Kosher Spelling

Hmm. I don't know, I myself would have gone with spelling it "hechsher" as well. I mean, has anyone ever seen it spelled "hechscher"? I guess the extra "c" does give it that ethnic flavor..

Details on what, exactly, I am talking about right here.



Blogger Mississippi Fred MacDowell said...

I can't really see why there is an official English spelling for such an obscure word, but the "sch" shows that its origin is presumed German, which means Yiddish.

10:48 AM  
Blogger StepIma said...

I've never seen it written that way either. It doesn't even look like it would pronounce properly... why would you have two different pronunciations of the same letter combinations within the same word?

Maybe it depends on which rabbis would eat at her house.

11:06 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Maybe they got it from how Heckscher State Park is spelled (not that far from you OM)...

11:53 AM  
Blogger Mississippi Fred MacDowell said...

>why would you have two different pronunciations of the same letter combinations within the same word

It isn't the same letter combination repeated. One is "ch" and the other is "sch." Both are German combinations. The first is pronounced like a Hebrew כ with no English equivalent and the second is pronounced like English "sh."

12:33 PM  
Blogger Mississippi Fred MacDowell said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

12:33 PM  
Blogger projgen said...

Why is a transliteration of a foreign word included in an American spelling bee, anyway?

Good for little Lucas for speaking up.

5:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

As happens for me with many transliterations, I believed I've varied my spelling of the word in questions here. But I see that I've used "heksher."

I use "sch" in Yiddish words; the "schm-" words (schmendrik, schmutz, etc.) come to mind, but this makes me realize I do sometimes use simply "sh" as I think of "sht-" (shtender, shteibl, etc.) words.

Hmmm, for "sch" or "sh" not combined with another consonant, there's "sheitel" and, of course, "shul," the latter of which I've seen as "schul," but that looks ridiculous to me.

Is the word we are discussing Yiddish or Hebrew?

It annoys me when words that I think of as transliterations are used in (English language) spelling bees.

I recall being struck when I read the book _Bee Season_ by a word used in competition that was such a transliteration.

I do not recall what the word was, but the spelling used in the book was not the spelling with which I was familiar and was actually totally foreign, so whether or not it could be considered "only" a transliteration, there was certainly more than one spelling.

Even though the work was fiction, I was annoyed that what I knew as an accepted spelling of what seemed to me to be a transliteration taken directly from another language could be considered incorrect and eject the contestant from competition.

I suppose there might be a gray area between a transliteration and a word accepted as English taken directly (rather than only "coming from") another language.

Different dictionaries have different opinions.

Spelling bees would be wise to use English words that are not also direct transliterations, to avoid challenges.

In this years Scripps bee, in one of the final rounds, "yizkor" was a word.

I was surprised because of course to me it was not a word of high difficulty as were the other words at that late stage, and, though "yizkor" has a pretty standard spelling in English as widely documented in siddurim, it brought up the feelings of annoyance I had in the past regarding transliterations supposely having one standard spelling in bees.

8:10 PM  
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9:55 AM  
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