RAMALLAH – Over 30 “anachronistic” words have been deleted from an updated dictionary of contemporary Palestinian Arabic, sparking unrest across the West Bank.
Among those culled from Sayyid Bashem’s ‘Concise Dictionary of Contemporary Palestinian Arabic – Revised and Updated to Reflect What A Truly Hopeless Hellhole Occupied Palestine Is’ are ‘hope’ (amal), ‘dignity’ (karama), ‘freedom’ (hurriyeh), and most controversially, all words derived from ‘child’ (tifl).
Whether one blames Palestinian leadership, Israel, or the international community, many Palestinians were resigned to the change, with Rasheeda, a mother from Nablus, telling The Mideast Beast: “I’m not surprised, really. ‘Hope’ is a word I haven’t used since the 1990s – I even had to Google it the other day. I’m not sure my daughter could even define it.”
Defending his decision, Professor Bashem – considered a world authority on Palestinian Arabic – said: “Although it breaks my heart, I must separate my feelings from my professionalism, and there’s simply no real use for ‘child,’ ‘children’ or ‘childhood’ when referring to Palestinians anymore. Instead, minors will be referred by an Arabic acronym for ‘born-to-die-youngers’ (BDY).”
Meanwhile, completely overshadowed by the day’s events was the introduction of 30 new words into the Bashem Dictionary, including ‘Vaping,’ and ‘Selfie,’ as well as two more synonyms for ‘hell’ and three for ‘suicide.’ Professor David Goldstein of the Israeli Pleonasm Society commented: “They think they have it hard there? Try imagining a world with 500 different words for ‘Jewish mother’.”