That Word’s Taboo, Describing Flu!

By Stanley Siegelman

Published May 28, 2009.

NEWS ITEM: Israel’s deputy health minister, at a press conference dealing with the influenza problem, scrupulously avoided using the phrase “swine flu.” Ultra-Orthodox, he apparently regarded that expression as non-kosher and thus unfit for utterance; instead, he stuck to “Mexican flu.”


We must confront, we can’t eschew
The current epidemic, flu,
An illness which the docs define
As emanating from the swine.

But swine’s a word that’s infra dig
To people sworn to shun the pig
The very sound of “oink,” to them,
Offensive is to Adoshem.

In Israel: absurdity:
A spokesman for Health Ministry
Refused the hated word to use
In public, among fellow Jews.

Instead of “swine,” this gentleman
Described the flu as “Mexican.”
But this maneuver, somewhat crude,
Revealed him as a verbal prude.

He played it cautiously and safe,
The verbiage itself deemed treyf!
“Avoid a reference to swine
By accident or by design!”
His stance is clear and adamant:
The word is a contaminant!

The Mother Tongue, it is inferred
May neither taste nor say the word.



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