Monday, November 14, 2005

Pluralism and Floralism

My son Moshe was reading a history textbook the other day. He encountered a word that he has heard often, but did not know its meaning. "Dad, what does floralism mean?", he asked.

I immediately understood that he was talking about pluralism, and explained to him, that in the context of what he was reading it means:
A condition in which numerous distinct ethnic, religious, or cultural groups are present and tolerated within a society.
I then went on to say that the word is "pluralism" and not "floralism." (When the word is spelled in Hebrew letters, one who is not familiar with the word could vocalize it as Moshe and many other Israelis do.) When you say "floralism", I continued to explain to him, it sounds like you are talking about flowers.

"Thanks for the explanation Dad. Now I know what floralism is."

"Pluralism, not floralism!", I said, raising my voice in frustration.

"Dad, everybody says floralism," replied Moshe.

I gave up.


Batya said...

His teacher probably says "floralism," too.

Litvshe said...

I sort of have the same problem. Our family name begins with a P. Which means all the Israelis, by default, pronounce it with an F. Can get annoying at times.

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