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Mortgage crisis is crying ‘shonda’

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Trillions of words have been written about the housing, mortgage and foreclosure crisis. But perhaps it's not too late for me to add another commentary to the collection. It's important to speak out because there is one word that still needs to be said, and that is "shonda." If I had to sum up the crisis in just one word, shonda would be my top choice. It's a Yiddish word, which isn't all that surprising since Yiddish is an exceptionally expressive language that has contributed a wealth of other barely translatable words to the English language. We'd all be bereft were it not for such beauties as chutzpah, glitch, klutz, nosh, schlep, schmooze, spiel and shtick, to offer just a few examples. My friend Steve Lipman, who has a master's degree in Jewish education from Hebrew Union College in Los Angeles, tells me that shonda means "a criminal shame or something that brings (or should bring) great embarrassment to someone or the community." And he offers this...