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March 31, 2011

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Thanks for clearing that up! I find it fascinating that tech companies go with names inspired by semi-obscure language (that granddaddy of these being the Hawaiian affix Wiki-). I wonder what will be next. Welsh? Aramaic?

@Ben: How about Armenian? See my post about Nabaztag: http://nancyfriedman.typepad.com/away_with_words/2007/08/names-in-the-ne.html

I read it at first as "Chuh'KEEta" like Chiquita bananas.

My first reaction, even though it is lacking one of the necessary syllables, was to to start singing Chiquitita. Now I can't get the song out of my head. At least it is a fun song. Thanks ABBA.

One way Chitika could have encouraged people to pronounce its name the way it wanted them to would have been to spell it "Chittika"; that would also have prevented any confusion with Chikita/Chiquita.

But on a separate point, I am curious about your use of the word tsuris. This word is fairly new to me (I think I came across it for the first time only a month or so ago), and I am not Jewish, but I like it a lot. You seem to be using it as a mass noun ("Chitika has other tsuris unrelated to its name") in a way that suggests it means something like "bad luck", "unhappiness", etc., rather than as a count noun -- "has another tsuris". Was this a typo? Or do you normally use the word as a mass noun? Or do you consider it a plural noun? Merriam-Webster tells me that it derives from a Yiddish plural (tsures or tsores), but the entry for the English word does not indicate that it is used as a plural. Would you say "Your tsuris is nothing compared to mine!" or "Your tsuris are nothing compared to mine!"?

@Rolig: "Tsuris" is the Yiddish version of the Hebrew plural noun "tsarot." ("-ot" is the feminine plural suffix in Hebrew.) Both words mean, roughly, "troubles," and are treated as plurals. It would sound odd to say "another tsuris." A singular form exists ("tsar/tsur"), but in my (admittedly limited) experience I've never heard it used.

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