Sunday, October 02, 2005

And What Do You Call This - @ ?

One of the advantages I seem to have gained by being networked with many people from the community of Jewish revenants in Yesha (Judea, Samaria and Gaza), Israeli politicians, foreign diplomats, journalists and other media elite, the literati, and now, the bloggers' world is being able to link up with all sorts of people. People who are interesting, fascinating, odd, famous, about-to-be famous and, of course,

One of them, Nancy Szokan, from the Washington Post, was looking for someone to write a personal piece following the expulsion operation of the Jewish civilian populatuion from Gaza, euphemistically termed disengagement.

In giving her my e mail address over the phone, I used the Hebrew expression 'shtrudle' (that's my phonetic pronounciation of the word which, I presume, is German in origin) for the @ sign. That nonplussed her. So, I had to explain why we Hebrew-speakers call @ 'shtrudle', that tasty folded-in unto itself pastry, and what is the correct Hebrew Language Academy term (it's 'krocheet', for those that don't know).

Anyway, seems an article grew out of that misunderstanding. Very intersting, actually, because now I understand better.

Here are the article's opening paragraphs:

Where It's At -- and Where It's Not

By Nancy Szokan
Sunday, October 2, 2005; B02

I'm talking on the phone to an Israeli writer who goes by the nickname Winkie, and I want to send him some information. "What's your e-mail?" I ask.

"Winkie M, Strudel, Yahoo dot com," he says.

"Strudel?" I said. "As in the pastry?" (I'm thinking: Maybe he has a little bakery on the side?) "You mean WinkieM, then s-t-r-u-d- . . . "

"No, no -- it's strudel , that little A sign," he says. "I think you call it 'at'?"

Of course. With a little imagination, I could see that a slice of strudel resembles the @ sign that separates user name from host in e-mail addresses. "Strudel!" I hoot. Winkie, agreeing that it's funny, later sends me a list of words that people in other countries have used for the @ symbol -- most of them a lot more entertaining (if less efficient) than our simple "at."

Enjoy reading all of it.

And thanks to Nancy for putting me in the pages of the Washington Post. And maybe I'll get someday to some other pages.

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