Peter Berger writes:
I had encountered this before. My first full-time teaching job was at the Woman’s College of the University of North Carolina. Residents of the state paid little tuition, so most of the students came from small towns in North Carolina. (At the time there was nothing that could be called a metropolitan area.) The English department was the hub of local sophistication. Young faculty and students sat together in the student union, talking loudly about matters that nobody outside the little group could understand. Inevitably some shacked up. This was quite dangerous—then as now the faculty person risked job and career (though the rationale of course was different—then overlapping bourgeois and Christian morality, now gender exploitation. If you stick around long enough everything comes back). I knew the illicit couple: She came from a small town on the Piedmont and was also in one of my sociology classes; the young English professor was from New York (Columbia) and was not Jewish, but might pass. As this drama continued, I could observe a strange transformation in the language of the student: Her local dialect persisted, but it acquired a strange overlay of quasi-BBC English, with a Jewish intonation (dim communal memories of long-vanished yeshivas), and bits and pieces of Yiddish vocabulary.
From the comments:
Woody Allen lives in an English-style townhouse on the Upper East Side, making him trayf.
And someone needs to invent a contraption I’ll dub, in advance, the “Cringe-Brace”:
Mr. Berger, great article. I’m a 58-year-old Christian WASP and I’m so very conscious of & grateful for the contributions that Jews have made to America; far too many to list here. (Not crazy about their Leftist-leanings but you don’t get everything on your wish-list;…)