Subject: A quick linguistic note/correction.
Posted on: 2021-09-20 05:59:59 UTC

Namely, for this bit, which I'm pulling out since the message is, uh, long:

I expect you lot to polish up your etiquette and find the great נְשָׁמָה‎ a spa day in this forsaken place.

yes, that is her name in the right tongue. and grammitcally correct. now ponder how many of YOU knew even that. and here she is your elder director endeared to you but those that don't know that ....smh. I would bet none beyond her.

For those who don't read Hebrew, נְשָׁמָה‎ means "soul" and is pronounced neshama. The reference is to Neshomeh.

However, the word "neshomeh" is not, in fact, somehow grammatically incorrect Hebrew. It's actually Yiddish, a Jewish language once very widely spoken by Ashkenazi Jews (in Germany, Eastern Europe, North America, UK, etc). Yiddish is about 20% Hebrew and Aramaic.

These loanwords get a different pronunciation (shabbat to shabbes, sakh hakol to sakhakl, levana to levoneh, mokhel to moykhl, etc), while retaining their original spelling instead of being transliterated (except for Soviet Yiddish, which is a special case and transliterated Hebrew and Aramaic words deliberately to strip them of religious/ethnic origin).

In this case, as mentioned, we're looking at a Hebrew loanword which is pronounced neshama in Hebrew and means "soul" (it means that in Yiddish as well). While it does originally come from Hebrew, seen above with the diacritical marks (nikud; not actually commonly used day to day except for kids and language learners, plus partial nikud for the occasional word that would otherwise be mistaken for another spelled the same way even with context clues), it's very much legitimately Yiddish. Real word, right language, grammatically correct. Written נשמה (no diacritics necessary, as it's a loanword and Yiddish loanwords generally don't get any) and pronounced neshomeh or neshumeh (there may be other variations as well; I don't know all the dialects). If one wanted a transliteration into Yiddish, it would look like so: נעשאָמע (note the single diacritic, in this case denoting oh [kometz aleph] instead of ah [kamatz—behold, another loanword, this time the name of the diacritic mark itself], the latter of which would be correct for Hebrew).

Not to really...get into this thread, which I'm not interested in doing, but since I do have this bit of knowledge, I figured I might as well speak up with a correction, for the sake of both the Board at large (who might be interested even if they do remember details from the good handful of screen name meaning threads we've had over the years) and A-LiA-O, who did provide correct Hebrew even if it came with a very likely accidental insult to the Yiddish language, which was historically looked down upon as a language of uneducated, unmodern people. From posts written after I drafted this one, I see they do have some awareness that it's a Yiddish word brought in from Hebrew. That's great, but the claims in the post I'm responding to were incorrect, and this should more thoroughly clarify (and explain!) the matter than the later-quoted dictionary definition in any case.

~Z, whose screen name is also in Yiddish, for the record.

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