You'd think Brian Williams would be busy enough being the anchor and managing editor of the "NBC Nightly News," plus blogging at The Daily Nightly, accepting various awards, and infuriating a whole whack of bloggers. But no, he has time to engage in one of those back-and-forth online email exchanges at Slate, clearly delighted to be blogging about the final season of The Sopranos.* Williams engaged in spirited back-and-forthery with Slate's Timothy Noah and the New Yorker's Jeffrey Goldberg and has so far contributed two dispatches to the conversation (here and here), wherein we learn that he used to wear tight pants, makes a better Beach Boys joke than John McCain, was a volunteer firefighter, has both Jersey AND mob bona fides (but not bones-making bona fides, we assume) and didn't ever drink at bars while in high school, no surely not ever. We also learn that he can be mushy, and when he is, he uses the word "mushy." And also there's stuff about The Sopranos.
But — for those who watch such things, there was also an interesting catch:
By the way, for those of you on Judaica Watch: Where did "tsoris" come from during Christopher's impromptu stairwell AA after-meeting? I was rocked by it. Was I alone?
As it turns out, he was — Goldberg, who is Jewish,** did not pick it up. The Forward, however, which is Jewish (full name: "The Jewish Daily Forward") did pick it up, and wondered whether this meant that tsoris had made it into the mainstream Amercian vernacular, like schlep or schmuck or putz. (NB: Up 'til now ETP has spelled it "tsuris" — as it is spelled in Born To Kvetch by Michael Wex, ahem — but which is spelled "tsores" in From Shmear To Eternity by Fred Kogos). The Forward's Gabriel Sanders asked Williams if he thought tsoris rose to the level of recognizability of, say, chutzpah: "That's pretty entry level," Williams said. "This goes with ponim, mishpokhe, shpilkes and keynehoreh. This is for the pros. This is Triple-A ball." The suggestion seemed to give Williams tsoris.
In closing, we would just like to say "a kluger farshtait fun ain vort tsvai" — that is to say, "A wise man hears one word and understands two." But we're meshuggenah, what do we know.
*This probably drives Vinny near-apoplectic, since all you really need to blog about a TV show (besides a TV) is — what's that phrase? Ah, yes — "an opinion, a modem, and a bathrobe." Though of course, the bathrobe is optional.
**Has a more superfluous phrase ever been written, we wonder.
***But not in a creepy way, he assures us.