Thursday, July 22, 2010

More Facebook fun

As you may recall, last summer I observed that nothing says “incomprehensible” like Israeli teenagers’ enigmatic Facebook statuses.

Of course, if you’re like most people, you probably quickly skimmed that post and then went back to whatever it is that you do when you’re not reading blogs.

However, the dedicated researchers at the Our Shiputzim Linguistic and Translation Department – who are obviously NOT like most people – were, in contrast, apparently inspired to spend the past year attempting to decipher the aforementioned models of inscrutability and unfathomability.

Well, I’m pleased to announce that the researchers, who recently released their findings, were able to identify three more categories of misspellings endemic to Israeli teenagers’ Facebook statuses:

1) Mir redden Yiddish?

This first category includes two different types of expressions:

  • Hebrew words which are pronounced with a pseudo-Yiddish accent. For example, טוייף - “toyf” – i.e. tov (literally, good). [Note that טוייף is used as a valediction and generally precedes the hybrid phrase, יאלה ביי (yalla, bye)…]
  • Misspellings (both deliberate and accidental) of actual Yiddish words. For instance, שאבעס instead of שבת (Shabbos) and תכלס instead of תכלית (tachlis).

2) We speeek Eengleesh?

Next, there are Israeli-accented English words written in Hebrew letters, such as:

  • סורי (i.e. “sorry” - pronounced, “soh-rree”)
  • סי יו לייטר (i.e. “see you later” – pronounced, “see yooo lay-tehrr”)

3) “T, double-E, double-R, double-R…”

And finally, in what can only be described as a homage to the goose in Charlotte's Web, Israeli teenagers love to repeat random letters. Classic examples include:

  • מהמממם (i.e. מהמם - amazing)
  • נכווווון מאווווד (i.e. נכוון מאוד - very true)
  • מממממש מצחיקקקק (i.e. ממש מצחיק - really funny)
  • פששששוט מדדדדדהים (i.e. פשוט מדהים - simply awesome)


And so there you have it: additional insight into your child’s Facebook status.

But don’t start expressing your everlasting gratitude just yet.

Because that clicking noise you hear is the sound of thousands of Israeli teenagers scrambling to come up with new ways to obfuscate when using popular social media sites…


!שבת שלום ומבורך


  1. Funny how some mistakes are the same whatever the language.

  2. Ilana-Davita - Do French teenagers also deliberately misspell on Facebook?

    Batya - Exactly! :-) When are you coming home IY"H?

    Shabbat Shalom!

  3. So how did your kids let you see their facebooks?

  4. This entry had me rolling on the floor. Especially liked the homage to the goose from Charlott'es Web.

  5. Anonymous - YZG and I told the kids that one of the nonnegotiable conditions for joining Facebook is that they must befriend both of us.

    Malke - Thanks! :-)

  6. Do French teenagers also deliberately misspell on Facebook?
    I am not sure whether it is deliberate or not but mispelling is widely spread on FB. Not to say that it is the norm!


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