As a linguist who studies Yiddish-influenced English, I’ve had a busy week. As soon as Arvind Mahankali won the Scripps National Spelling Bee with the word “knaidel,” the messages began to arrive. On facebook, through email, and in person, my friends, relatives, and colleagues wanted to know what I thought. Here are some of the questions I’ve been asked, along with my answers.
One night back in 1985, businessman Bruce Slovin was walking home from a corporate board meeting with a lawyer named Joe Greenberger when Greenberger asked him about his involvement in the Jewish world.