Thursday, August 17, 2006

Almagor-Ramon - Rega Shel Ivrit

Ruth Almagor-Ramon, the language adviser at Israel Radio, is the editor of the radio feature "Rega Shel Ivrit." In 2001, a book was published based on these segments, and is reviewed here:

Ruth Almagor-Ramon. A Moment of Hebrew (Rega shel Ivrit). Tzivonim Publishing. Jerusalem , 2001

Everyone who listens to the radio in Israel recognizes the dulcet tones of Menahem Peri, the fellow who comes on for one minute a day to tell us about words newly sanctioned by the Hebrew Language Academy , older words whose meanings may be lost on us, and words and expressions that have tickled the fancy of Ruth Almagor-Ramon, the editor of Kol Yisrael's program Rega shel Ivrit. If you've ever longed for a copy of the script of these pieces, then you're in luck. Slightly edited for the printed page, this new book contains the text of 300 of these programs. The selections are brief enough to be read when you have only a moment to spare. They are meaty enough to stay with you the whole day. By the way, as Almagor-Ramon reminds us, that one minute a day is, as they say, "not exactly." At times it means, "the blink of an eye"; at others it means "as long as it takes to say the word "rega." On the radio it means "as long as it takes to perform a segment of Rega shel Ivrit. And then there's Sallah Shabbati, the fictional character who made famous the expression for "Hold it a second," Rega, hoshvim.

While much of the book focuses on prescriptive grammar and pronunciation, there is a good deal of etymological information as well.

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