Geoffrey Nathan geoffnathan at WAYNE.EDU
Fri Nov 6 14:59:23 UTC 2009

My use of the word does not have any sense of 'idly', but rather one of social lubrication, with the occasional connotation of 'chat up' or 'attempt to influence'.

Incidentally, the spelling of the word raises political issues that you don't want to step in unless you want to start a fight.  <political stance>The spelling with 'c' has a German connotation, and, of course, Yiddish is NOT German but a sister language.  The politically correct spelling is a semi-phonemic YIVO standard in which [S] (voiceless palato-alveolar  fricative) is spelled <sh> and [x] (voiceless velar fricative) is spelled <kh>.</political stance>  Of course, in that case it should be 'shmuz', since English weird spelling is to be avoided also.

Geoffrey S. Nathan
Faculty Liaison, C&IT
and Associate Professor, Linguistics Program
+1 (313) 577-1259 (C&IT)
+1 (313) 577-8621 (English/Linguistics)

----- "Joel S. Berson" <Berson at ATT.NET> wrote:

> From: "Joel S. Berson" <Berson at ATT.NET>
> Sent: Friday, November 6, 2009 8:57:59 AM GMT -05:00 US/Canada Eastern
> Subject: "shmooze"
> ---------------------- Information from the mail header
> -----------------------
> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       "Joel S. Berson" <Berson at ATT.NET>
> Subject:      "shmooze"
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> Does "shmooze" (or as I would spell it, "schmooze") mean "chat", as
> the Hebrew Union College survey overview says, or "chat idly" -- that
> is, with the sense of putting off something more important?
> Joel
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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