Jan 29, 2014

the mayor who refuses to be a tadpole

In what might be considered a strange announcement, Mayor of Netanya Miriam Fireberg said she refuses to be a tadpole.

Not too long ago the Academy of the Hebrew Language introduced some new words into the Hebrew language, as it does on occasion. One of those words was a feminized version of an existing word. The word for head, rosh, was adjusted for women to roshat - the usage being in the word for mayor or prime minister - instead of having a woman be called "rosh ir" or rosh memshala", a woman could, or maybe should, be called "roshat ir" or "roshat memshala".

Fireberg protests the new title, and even did so when she was introduced as "roshet ir Netanya" before her speech at an academic institution in Netanya. Fireberg said "I am not a roshat, not a roshan, but a rosh ir". A roshan is a tadpole. Later, on radio, Fireberg said again that she disapproves of the new words - she is just a rosh ir she said - "what is a roshat? I am not a tadpole." Fireberg said she should be called "rosh ir" and that's it, or she could be called Giveret Rosh Ir - Ms. Mayor, but she is not a rosha, a tadpole or a frog.

I just thought it was funny that Fireberg is protesting the similarity of the new title for its similarity to the word for tadpole. But she even has support for Dr. Avshalom Kor - probably the most famous linguist in Israel and the foremost expert on the Hebrew language and grammar.

Kor said Fireberg is really right - the word is not correct or necessary. The Academy created it due to social needs and wants, and they based it on a single source in Tanakh where the word "rosh" was feminized, but the reality is that the noun rosh does not have a feminine form - the word rosh is used in both male and female forms.
source: Ynet 


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