Halakic (was Re: going tonto)

A. Maberry maberry at U.WASHINGTON.EDU
Tue May 21 16:55:02 UTC 2002

On Mon, 20 May 2002, Mark A Mandel wrote:
> Now, there *is* a example going the other way that I find interesting:
> halakhic, meaning 'in conformance with, or relating to, Jewish law
> (halakhah)' -- also spelled "halachic". The third consonant is usually a
> voiceless velar fricative (IPA [x]), as in the Hebrew etymon, which is
> of course foreign to English. However, this word is mostly used by
> people who know Hebrew, or at least enough of it to have been expected
> to be able to manage the [x] for years -- which is not true of Spanish
> and the people who can be expected to use "quixotic".

I've often heard the pronunciation "halakic" in English from people who
can pretty easily manage the IPA [x]. The spelling "halakic" shows up in a
few cases on the web (Google: 342 "halakic" compared to 9,480 "halakhic".
FWIW, Encyclopedia.com uses "halakic", as does the Columbia Encyclopedia
(6th ed., 2001).

maberry at u.washington.edu

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