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February 12, 2016


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I had never heard of "goytoy" before and now my life is complete; or at least terminology to use in my autobiography is enhanced.

Jessica: Are you accepting advance orders for that autobiography?

Tinder might also be congratulated for resisting the temptation to drop the "e"—though perhaps they were just saved from this by the somewhat roundabout way they arrived at the name.

As for Ugly Schmucks, the problem I have with it is not so much the obscenity as the apparent implication that the people on it are not just ugly but also unpleasant. I'm not a Yiddish speaker, but my sense of the word schmuck, at least as I've seen it used in English, is that it means 'prick'—either in the anatomical sense, or as a description of someone's character. If I were running a dating site for people "looking for genuine personality over outer appearance," I don't think "schmuck" is the kind of "genuine personality" I'd want to advertise. Seems to me they could have had the assonance without the assholishness if they'd gone with "schlub" instead—it's not exactly complimentary, either, but it connotes more haplessness than hostility.

Q. Pheever: I agree that importing this particular Yiddishism -- or any Yiddishism -- was not the wisest move. ("Schlub," or "zhlub," probably wouldn't work either -- it connotes oafishness and general bad manners.) There may have been some influence from the 2010 film "Dinner with Schmucks," which was adapted from the French comedy "Le Diner de Cons." Like "shmuck," "con" started out as an obscenity ("cunt") and now just means something like "buffoon" or "jerk."

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