Madoff and the Name Game, in the Place Where Ponzi Schemes are a Way of Life

[ No Comments ] Posted on 01.28.09 under The Everglades Room

People sometimes change the way their names are pronounced, usually for personal reasons that may not be apparent. Like when Tony Dorsett announced that henceforth he would be called Dor-sett. Occasionally, the reason is obvious, like when Joe Theisman went from “Theez-man” to something that rhymed with Heisman (it didn’t work. He didn’t win)

I’m Jewish, and it always bugs me when other Jews do this, because they invariably pick a pronunciation that sounds “less Jewish,” which I’ve always taken as a sign of going uptown, selling out and trying to “pass” (when you’re white, a name adjustment may be all it takes). Like my friend Larry Levin, who became Lawrence Le-Vin. Accenting the last syllable made his name sound vaguely French, more sophisticated, upscale, and . . . less Jewish. In fairness, I suppose it was less of a sell-out than picking a new name entirely, like Lawrence Ou-est-la-bibliotheque.

Read the rest of this entry…

Alan’s Interview on Inside Scoop Live

[ No Comments ] Posted on 01.19.09 under Interviews

Podcast with Juanita Watson – Listen here