Tuesday, April 15, 2008


I'm under a lot of stress between work and school (the ridiculous amount of papers) and pesach cleaning, so I'm taking out all my stress on frum people. If I appear a bit angry, or psychotic please excuse me. After pesach I will calm down, until about a week before finals.

So I was asking someone if they had a TV in their apartment (friend, got married, was curious) and she responded "well, no, but we have a 'video machine'"

I don't know about you, but it annoys me to tears every time I hear someone say "video machine". What freakin idiot decided to call it that? Its a TV with a VCR. Yes, its a TV. A DAMN TV! CALL IT WHAT IT IS. THERE IS NO SUCH A THING AS A VIDEO MACHINE! I welcome you all to google "video machine" and realize that no such thing exists. Frum people need to learn English, or stop being so self-conscience that they have a TV -that isn't hooked up- in their house. What's the worst thing that will happen?

Then theres the people that say "by" for everything -I fall under this category sometimes as well, but I try to watch myself, because I know how stupid I sound-. Here's an example

"I was by Rena's house for shabbos" ...Ok, thats nice, but were you IN Rena's house, or just walking by?

Or "When I stayed by my sister at camp" ... Were you a regular camper and you happened to share a room with your sister, or did you visit your sister and stay with her, during a visit over shabbos?

I'm not asking people to speak perfectly. I'm ok with slang, and mispellings. Its just really irritating. My friends constantly send me their papers to edit for them, and then I see sentences (for term-papers that are worth like 70% of their grades) that read :

"When Hector was staying by his grandmothers house in France..."

I flip out. WHAT DOES THAT MEAN? Unless their English teacher is frum they're in trouble with that sentence!

It's the same as handing your teacher "Hector said Baruch Hashem, after he heard the news of his grandma's recover"

I don't know if I'm insane or not, but I think its completely ridiculous that the English language has warped so much, in just ONE community. I wrote an entire article for my school newspaper on the consequences of misusing the word "nerd" (something that is done quite often within the frum community). It was satirical, but at the end I told the girls to smack their fellow classmates for the sake of the world. Don't make me want to smack you :-p!!

Btw, please do not attack me for any grammar/spelling mistakes, after all, this was just a rant! Though I really mean it in terms of English papers. If you speak improperly at least write your term papers properly!


~Lady E~ said...

i know what you mean, the worst is when they misuse the word nerd. for everything someone does they're labeled a nerd. For example: girl one says: "omg, i left my hw at my grandmas house"
girl two replies "ha! you're such a nerd"....Unless i'm missing something how is this being nerdy??

frummy said...

:) This is one of my biggest pet peeves. What cracks me up the most is when my English teacher says "Girls, you know, you have to use like, you know, proper diction and like, you know word choice in your essays." I don't think that's necessarily a frum thing, but it's still funny.

But I definitely agree about the "by". My mom always used to correct it when I said it, and now I'm all too aware of when others say it. (Like, "when we were by chemistry today...")

frumskeptic said...

lady e: I gotta find teh article on nerd. It was funny. My teacher got so mad I posted it. hehe :)

frummy: Uch...English teachers. They're like the weirdos who couldnt make up their minds on what to teach, so they chose the one subject that can torture students the most! hehe :)

Your mom is a smart woman! :)

Anonymous said...

I was talking to someone about the "by" thing the other day. It seems to be an exclusively Jewish thing.

frummy said...

Actually, she's not really an english teacher, but they needed one. Ask DS to explain...

Dave said...

It is almost entirely exclusive to Jewish communities that are still closely tied to Yiddish.

This isn't surprising, it's just a straight mapping of the Yididsh "בײַ" into the English "by". The usage is close enough to standard English that it can persist.

Anonymous said...

FS - loved your rant. I hope that the teacher reading about Hector is frum also.

Jessica said...

I'd like to read that nerd article... mostly because I have no idea what you're referring to. What context is nerd supposed to be used in and what context are the people you're ranting about using it in?

Oh, and I feel morally obligated to say this - again - (for the sake of your sanity): Hume is a douche.

Anonymous said...

Video machine, shmideo machine. By me it's a "television machine" And the thing with the discs that swirl around and make noise --it's a Victrola

frum single female said...

that "by" usage always makes me nuts. until i took a yiddish course i didnt realize that it was actually connected to yiddish as dave mentioned. it doesnt excuse the usage though. alot of frum people who use it dont actually speak much yiddish.

mlevin said...

So it's Hungarians' fault again. :<

I'm so proud that I'm not Hungarian. My grandparents didn't teach my parents Yiddish, to cover their hair or anything else Jewish.

Now, I have no minhaggim and am able to live a BT life free of all the Mishigusim.

Thank you, Communists and Stalin and Lenin.

mlevin said...

Above was written without a single "BY"

David said...

Ah, every group-- from mechanics to bankers to lawyers to bakers to thievers-- has its own lingo. There's nothing wrong with Yeshivish, or whatever you want to call this bizarre jargon. That said, it is-- without question-- completely inexcusable to write an English term paper in Yeshivish (or Black slang, or Spanglish, etc.). As long as people are able to communicate effectively as educated people in American society, there's no reason that they can't indulge in a bit of argot around the 'hood.

David said...

PS-- I meant "thieves," not "thievers." Pardon my jargon.

Moshe said...

Ha, unlike all you sinners I don't have a TV or VCR, only computer with internet. Now let's hope nobody remembers that Ave Q song :-D

A nerd can be a geek and a geek can be a nerd but a nerd is not necessarily a geek and a geek is not necessarily a nerd.

I overheard a couple of women talking on the bus about work, one of them spoke about her "bosska".
So like, you know, whatever.

NafNaf said...

It's yeshiva that does it to people (well guys anyway). Most of our rebbeim say these things as a result of their having grown up speaking exclusively yiddish (ie: please "close" the light when you leave) and the bachurim pick it up and start speaking that way... Me, I like it, adds a flavor to "jewish" conversation, just as long as people know how to turn it down during different contexts.