Thursday, November 22, 2012

A Little Thanksgiving Tsuris

tsuris: n., trouble or woe; aggravation (from the New Oxford American Dictionary)

Our friend Hattie really likes the word "tsuris."  She's used it in 63 of her reviews.  Some examples:

"Ruby wins the raffle for a free trip, but wonders if she will be sailing with endless tsuris from the aggravation she expects from her companions."  Since this one is about a rabbi's wife, one might argue the term is appropriate.  But later in this review, Hattie dumps just about every Yiddish word she knows: "The third Rabbi's wife mystery, DON'T CRY FOR ME, HOT PASTRAMI, is an amusing who-done-it due to the internal sufferings and asides of Ruby. The story line is fun though a reader might wonder why Ruby puts up with Essie Sue, a professional nudnick. Essie Sue is as aggressive a character one will find in a cozy while the Rabbi needs to borrow some of her chutzpah so he will not continue to look like a putz. Fans of an ethnic who-done-it will enjoy this tale that requires noshing a bagel while reading it."  (link)

"With a nod to Buffy, this whimsical chick-lit urban fantasy is an entertaining tale due to the heroine who wants to live life as an ordinary teen, but fate keeps forcing her to use her paranormal skills to perform good deeds. She shares the same problems as any teen supplemented by tsuris due to what she can see with her third eye and has a sixth sense that works overtime. A quirky support cast, a reluctant heroine and a spell caster who doesn't know the consequences of his actions makes this a character driven charmer."  Really?  "Tsuris" in a book for teens?  (link)

"With a pointed cover and filled with heart felt kvetching that hit home, readers will commiserate with the tsuris, laugh with the exposing of those who deserve hemorrhoids named for them, and kvetch with Ms. Frankel as this is an amusing stress releaser that affirms laugher is a great healer."  Now we have "kvetching" too.  Also, all typos (laugher) are Hattie's. (link)

Apparently "tsuris" is particularly appropriate in an urban fantasy setting:
"forbidden lovers whose bonding causes tsuris" (link)
"all the tsuris she and her friends suddenly face" (link)
"Still Eric in spite of his tumultuous tsuris" (link)

Bonus on that last one: a "still Eric" and also a "sh*tty."

"he refuses to meet with her as he does not need her tsuris" (link(Reviewing graphic novels...with TSURIS!)

"The protagonists seem real as they struggle with numbing tsurisOh, Hattie, the tsuris you give me is numbing, too.  (Also, "tsuris" in another book for teens.)  (link)

"refuses to allow his beloved the tsuris of dealing with someone with a potential death sentence."  TSURIS for the Amish! (link)

"his personal life seems ready to engulf him with tsuris" TSURIS for Texans! (link)

"That enchanting generalization also detracts slightly from the specificity of the tsuris like Brian's terror of going bankrupt, Victoria's fear of inadequacy and Amy's efforts to be a working single mom."  TSURIS for the British! (link)

Well, Hattie, thanks for the vocabulary lesson.  However, I'll leave you with the words of Hippocrates: "The chief virtue that language can have is clearness, and nothing detracts from it so much as the use of unfamiliar words."

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