FW: "Referendum, Shmeferendum" used by an Amman news site

Cohen, Gerald Leonard gcohen at MST.EDU
Tue Mar 13 22:29:00 UTC 2012

The item below from another listserv may also be of interest to ads-l.

Gerald Cohen

From: jewish-languages at googlegroups.com on behalf of Martin Kaminer
Sent: Tue 3/13/2012 7:57 AM
To: Jewish Languages
Subject: [Jewish Languages] When You're In Amman The Whole World Is Jewish

I was taken aback this morning to see the headline 'Referendum,
Shmeferendum: A Famous 'Yes' as Syrian Celebs Vote For Assad' on the
English edition of Al Bawaba, an Amman-based news site (

Is this as weird as it looks?

Has Yinglish become so unversal that it can be employed on an Arab
News site for an article with no connection to the cultural contexts
from which it sprung?  A recent NYT article about the profuse use of
Yinglish by non-Jewish New York politicians suggested this arises from
the necessity to communicate in a polyglot city but hard to see how
those factors would come into play in Amman.

Jewish Languages

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

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