End of Year Countdown….

Like Ryan Seacrest (or Dick Clark if you prefer) The Word Mavens are preparing for our first ever New Year’s Eve Countdown. Looking back over the old Google calendar, we think we’ve had a very good year. So as 2011 comes to a close, without further ado, here’s some of our vital statistics:

We started our blog, “Shmoozing With the Word Mavens” in April 2010. Unlike many other bloggers who start with enthusiasm, but then fall by the wayside (admit it, how many times have you clicked on a link to a recipe/travel/cultural musing blog and seen that their last post was April, 2008?) we’ve kept up faithfully writing, editing and posting.  We’ve made an effort to keep the enthusiasm, the writing and the jokes going –and we’re proud to say that this post will be number 61.

We still have fun writing together and we haven’t run out of things to say  — so look-out, number 62 will be up soon!

Our blog hosting site WordPress,  keeps all kinds of statistics about our blog.  According to WordPress, we’ve had 127 comments posted on things we’ve written – and not all of them were from friends and family! We hear from readers who are also bloggers and that leads us to read their blogs and then they comment back and before you know it we’re making fun connections all over cyberspace.

We’ve had 10,400 all time views –more than 10,000 people have clicked on our pages! Our most read day was March 10, 2011. Views of our blog usually go up when we have a piece in the Inky and on March 10,   86 people read our blog!

As of last week, blog views are trending up – 67.28% over the week before. That’s almost  as many views as the live “geyser cam” of Old Faithful at Yellowstone National Park.

Every time we speak at a synagogue, we ask our audience members for their email, so we can sign them up to receive our blog updates. Then they say to us, “What do we know from computers. We only do the Facebook to talk to our grandkids, girls.”

The Word Mavens tweet too. We have 73 followers on Twitter, including “Jewish bloggers” (who call their tweets, messages from the  “chosen bloggers”) InterfaithFamily ( a great resource and fave site of ours) and the Shiksa in the Kitchen, a fellow blogger who writes about Jewish cooking. She came upon our blog because we frequently write and schmooze about our favorite Jewish foods. She also does cooking demos at Zabar’s – one of our favorite establishments in the world, so our paths could easily intersect at 80th and Broadway, in the real world, as well as in cyberspace.

Borders has gone out of business and we’re sad there’s no place to buy a book in our neighborhood. We used to really enjoy going into Borders, heading for the Judaica section, hunting down our Dictionary of Jewish Words and then pulling it off the lower shelf — and placing it face out on a higher shelf, eye level with the potential customers.

Since it came out, our Dictionary has been on Amazon.com  You can now download the  Kindle edition or buy the app for your iphone so you’re never without a Yiddish insult when you need one.

In the past year, we’ve continued to present our “engaging, enlightening and entertaining” book talk to audiences at local synagogues. We meet lots of nice people who share funny stories of their family’s Jewish traditions, favorite foods and Yiddishisms gone wrong.

Most recently, Joyce attended a ceremony in which former Roman Catholic priest who had left the church to get married was “incardinated” as a priest into the more modern and inclusive Old Catholic Church of America. The ceremony was conducted by The Most Reverend Julius L. Licata, an Archbishop who was decked out in turquoise robes with magenta lining and wearing a gold and purple mitre. His sermon was running long. He looked at the crowd and said, “I always talk too much. I’m a yenta.” Joyce couldn’t believe her ears. She ran home and googled the guy to find out how he knew from “yentas.” Turns out he grew up in Brooklyn and must  have played stickballwith some Jewish boys.

the yenta bishop

A mother told us that her elementary-school age daughter, who shleps a big backpack to school, lets out an oy when she lifts it out of the car each morning. One day, the child asked her mom, “What do people who aren’t Jewish do when they need an oy?”

Good question, because The Word Mavens always say that sometimes a good oy just makes you feel better.

A public school teacher shared a story with us about an African-American student named Zipporah who always wore a large, gold Jewish star necklace. When the teacher inquired about the star, Zipporah explained that her family was Jewish and that she was one of eight children — all with biblical names. The oldest was Elijah, one sister was Zemira, and the eighth child, the youngest was named Dayenu. In Hebrew, dayenu means “enough.”  That is a true story – and the child wasn’t joking.

And now it’s time for us to say “dayenu.”  Enough writing. Enough reading. Go have a glass of champagne and welcome in the New Year. We wish you a wonderful 2012, filled with much mazel, nachas and all good things.

And keep reading (and commenting!)

This entry was posted in calendar, Dictionary of Jewish Words, New Year, The Word Mavens and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to End of Year Countdown….

  1. Hello, Word Mavens. To all your stories in this delightful post, I’ll add mine, which I’m sure many people whose parents spoke Yiddish can share on some level: when I was a kid, my parents encrypted things by speaking bits of Yiddish; not that they were so fluent, but it was nothing we could access as kids. When I asked them what they were saying, they told me to learn Yiddish, which of course I most certainly (regrettably) did not. Now my kids smugly use Spanish and Hebrew to talk “pver me” and what do I use on them? Bits of long-forgotten French. Lesson far from learned here, so if you know of a good place to learn rudimentary Yiddish so I can surprise my parents, please tell me!

    Thank you for your wisdom and humor this past year and may you enjoy more glowing reader statistics in 2012!



  2. Thank you for all your support and we are looking forward to bringing in 2012 with all of you Cheers.


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