Home / News / Guests and Blogs / Letter: “Two Letters, Big Difference”?
University of Colorado Boulder Program in Jewish Studies

Letter: “Two Letters, Big Difference”?

To the Editor:

CU’s Spring 2019 Coloradan featured an article about Hebrew. The piece, written by Sam Linnerooth, is called “Two Letters, Big Difference.”  The title is a misnomer.

Linnerooth’s article explains how a “third gender” for Hebrew words is created by adding the “eh suffix.”  The “eh” ending, though, is a vowel sound. “Two letters” were not added.

The Hebrew example in the piece (the Hebrew word for student) shows the feminine form of the word retaining the last letter—hey–or the “h”. The vowel before the hey changed from a kamatz  ( “ah” sound typically used in the feminine form of the word) to a segol (“eh” sound typically used in the masculine form of the word). In short, the “eh” ending blends masculine and feminine endings, but the “e” is not a Hebrew letter.I hope CU’s alumni publication will clarify the issue and make a correction. (And, for the record, there should have been a dagesh (a dot) in the tav–the first Hebrew letter in the word for student.)

E. Bell, a CU graduate who used to work for Congregation Har HaShemHouston, TX

Bar/Bat Mitzvah Prep

About Staff

They call me "NewsHound III," because I'm a smart Cookie, sniffing out stories all over the Boulder area. I love Jewish holidays because the food is GREAT, especially the brisket. Well all the food. I was adopted from the Humane Society of Boulder Valley and have many friends there also looking for homes.

Check Also

Happy 10th New Year from Israel

This piece is the first in a series from our many contributors over the last …

Ancient Emojis Discovered in the Talmud

I always thought that emojis were a recent thing. So, imagine my shock when this morning I was studying tractate Ketubot in the Talmud, written in 200 CE, and the discussion was about smiley face emojis!