the schmooze


In Yiddish, "der toes" means "the mistake"

Marjorie Gottlieb Wolfe
Syosset, New York

There are several common expressions about mistakes:

OOPS!  Jewish community leaders received this invite to a Hanukkah party at the White House--WITH AN IMAGE OF A CHRISTMAS TREE:

"The President and Mrs. Bush request the pleasure of your company at a Hanukkah Reception to be held at The White House on Monday, December 15, 2008 at six o'clock.  East Entrance"

The incongruity of "di yedie' (the message) did NOT go unnoticed.  Why didn't they consult with their chief of protocol before sending out the invitation?

Jewish community leader, Isaac Abraham of Brooklyn had this explanation:  "It's obvious what's going  on here:  The Christmas tree is being taken out of the White House and the menorah is being brought in the back."

Mrs. Bush is apologetic; it is something that just slipped through the cracks.

Newspapers make corrections; many of them are really "komish" (funny).

This correction appeared in The New York Times on Sept. 16, 2007:

A "Living in" article last Sunday, about Manhattan Beach, Brooklyn, misidentified the ethnic group most closely identified with the neighborhood.  It is Jewish, not Italian.  In addition, a picture caption
misstated the name of the street shown.  It is Ocean Avenue, not Boulevard.  And a map misstated the name of another street and misidentified one or two subway lines near the neighborhood.  The street is Oriental Boulevard, not Avenue; the subway is the B, not the D.

Time Out New York, April 13-19, 2006, posted the following correction:

"In the Eat Out section of TONY 549, the Passover meal served at restaurant Zoe was listed as Kosher, when it in fact was Kosher-Style.  We regret the error."

The New York Times, March 1, 2000, published this correction:

"An article about the growing number of Orthodox Jewish couples movng back to the Lower East Side of Manhattan misstated the circumstances that allowed one couple to take over her grandfather's apartment on Grand Street.
He moved out; he did not die." (Source:  "Kill Duck Before Serving")

The Ottawa Citizen and Southam News published the following correction:

"[we] wish to apologize for our apology to Mark Steyn.  In correcting the incorrect statements about Mr. Steyn, published Oct. 15, we incorrectly published the incorrect correction.  We accept and regret that our original regrets were unacceptable, and we apologize to Mr. Steyn for any distress
caused by our previous apology." "A sof, an ek!"  (That's enough--stop it!)

In 2004, The New York Times published this

"The Public Lives profile on Wednesday, about Michael Arad, an Israeli who is one of the designers of the 'Reflecting Absence' memorial to be built at ground zero, misstated the location where he served in an infantry reconnaissance unit in the Israeli army.  It was in the West Bank, not the Left Bank."

December 7, 1914
To the Editor of The New York Times "Your compositor exaggerated when he made me say in your edition of Sunday, Nov. 29, that Bernard Shaw was 'an intellectual ass,' when, on the contrary, 'an intellectual ASSET' was intended.   Poultney Bigelow
(Source:  "Kill Duck Before Serving" by Linda Amster and Dylan Loeb McClain)

The New York Times, Sept. 13, 1984
"Because of a transcription error, a dispatch from Tel Aviv on negotiations for a new Israeli government referred incorrectly to Yosef Burg, leader of the National Religious Party.  It should have described him as a veteran (not Bedouin) in Israeli politics."
(Source:  "Kill Duck Before Serving")

The New York Times, June 8, 2000
"A picture caption about a debate in Borough Park, Brooklyn, over an eruv, a symbolic enclosure within which Orthodox Jews may carry objects without violating a Sabbath ban, misidentified a man in a cherry picker stringing a fishing line to expand the area.  He asked not to be identified and was not Rabbi Moshe Unsdorfer, who favors the eruv."
(Source:  "Kill Duck Before Serving")

The New York Times, July 2, 1999
"An obituary misstated the title of a 1977 film starring John Travolta.  It was 'Saturday Night Fever,' not 'Saturday Night Live.'"
(Source:  "Kill Duck Before Serving")

The New York Times, Oct. 8, 1989
"An obituary about the composer and critic Virgil Thomson misidentified a performer whose repertory was dismissed by Mr. Thompson as 'silk-underwear music.'

Mr. Thomson made the comment about Jascha Heifetz, not Vladimir Horowitz."
(Source:  "Kill Duck Before Serving")

The New York Times, Sept. 14, 1997
"A chart about a Jewish ritual bath, or mikvah, misstated one condition for its use.  Under Jewish law, it is not forbidden for women who have had premarital sex. Married women are welcome to use it, regardless of their past sexual activity."
(Source:  "Kill Duck Before Serving")

And, the writer's favorite correction: The New York Times, Nov. 3, 1996:

An article about Wendy Brackman, an artist who makes hats from paper plates, misattributed a joke book on her shelf.  It is 'Henny Youngman's Private Joke Book,' not Benny Goodman's."
(Source:  "Kill Duck Before Serving")

Marjorie Gottlieb Wolfe (not Wolffe, Wolf, or Wolfee) agrees with Daniel Okrent that
"Even though many corrections seem no more important than a hiccup, you might
not feel that way if it's your name The Times has mispelled."


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Marjorie Gottlieb Wolfe is the author of
two books:
yiddish for dog and cat loversbook
"Yiddish for Dog & Cat Lovers" and
"Are Yentas, Kibitzers, & Tummlers Weapons of Mass Instruction?  Yiddish
Trivia."  To order a copy, go to her

NU, what are you waiting for?  Order the book!

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