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Subject:Re: The whole mish--- From:Peter Gold <pgold -at- NETCOM -dot- COM> Date:Sat, 1 Jun 1996 10:34:53 -0700
> Mishpacha (can be spelled in various ways) is either Hebrew or Yiddish.
Maybe it's just my idiosyncratic point-of-view, but seeing
professional technical information developers argue the meaning
of a term, whether standard, slang, or idiomatic, rather than to look for
its source in a reference work, after it becomes clear that those using it
are only speculating about, or inferring, its meaning from the usage or
mis-usage in a thread, makes me wonder if those who ask for professional
accreditation don't have a good point. This reeks of hermeneudics
practiced by biblical scholars long ago who commented on each other's
comments on each other's comments, since they could not go to the source
of the biblical events themselves. (Hermeneudics refers to the
"air-tight" enclosed nature of their range of research. BTW, it's singular
The word transliterated as "mishpocha" (and variations) in English,
translates directly to "family" in Hebrew. Most of the colloquialisms that
use it are variants of the mixing of English and some non-English
language, or some English-language image or metaphor to imply that one is
telling a part of something and referring to the rest as commonly
For example, "the whole enchilada", "the whole megilla" (megilla; the
Hebrew title for the Book of Esther, which tells the *WHOLE* story of the
holiday the Jews celebrate as Purim is "Megillath Esther"), "the whole
mishpocha" and "the whole nine yards" are all literary attempts to
approximate the #include construct of programmers, namely, bring in
another whole enchilada by reference.
So, "megilla" comes to represent "long story." Enchilada, sounds like
megilla, but tastes better. Nine yards is the amount of fabric needed to
make a gentleman's complete three-piece suit without skimping. Most
enchiladas are constructed of fewer than nine yards of torilla, and are
generally not intended to be worn as clothing. However, in some
instances, they may appear to be worn as accessories to clothing.
Watch for a *major* motion picture soon about a big enchilada who wears
expensive shiny silk suits that take the whole nine yards. He has dinner
with his "family" at a restaurant. A waiter spills some soup on him. He is
such a *really* big enchilada, he pardons the waiter. The restaurant owner
apologizes, saying, "Please accept these gifts: a new suit -- the whole
nine yards. A whole new dinner -- the whole enchilada... for yourself, and
of course for the whole mishpocha!"
End of megilla.<G>
__________________peter gold pgold -at- netcom -dot- com__________________
"We shape our tools; thereafter, our tools shape us.
We ape our tools; thereafter, our tools ape us."
________...Marshall McLuhan, based on Ted Carpenter's idea_____
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