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Thursday, December 10, 2009

Robert Herrick, Ben Jonson, et al, kvetching with style

The Yiddish verb for complaining, kvetch—literally to squeeze or to crush—has an onomatopoetic quality to my ear. All of those consonant sounds, squashed into a single syllable, surrounding the explosive grunt of the short E sound, to me, like the prolonged insistence of a grievance. And who has not occasionally been a kvetch, the noun—a relentless complainer?
Robert Pinsky writes about the complaining masters at

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