Jewish NBA owner’s ‘Yiddish’ snafu

Talk about auto-correct fails.

In an email to team employees, the Jewish owner of a pro basketball team said he wanted to learn “hoodish.” He apparently meant to write “Yiddish.”

Golden State Warriors co-owner Peter Guber sent out a follow-up email clarifying that the use of “hoodish” (which this writer’s auto-correct keeps trying to change to “goodish”) was not intended as a slur, the San Jose Mercury News reported.

The original email, responding to news that several new players are from foreign countries, said, ”I’m taking rosetta stone to learn Hungarian Serbian Australian swahili and hoodish This year. But it’s nice.”

As the Mercury News noted, the emails come on the heels of controversies in which Jewish NBA owners (Bruce Levenson and Donald Sterling) made racially offensive statements.

Sadly, if Guber is serious about wanting to learn Yiddish, he’ll have to use some resource other than Rosetta Stone. The company offers computerized lessons in 29 languages and dialects, including Hebrew, but no Yiddish. Nor, for that matter, are Hungarian or Serbian included.

In addition, we’re hoping Guber is aware not only that there is no “hoodish” language (on Rosetta Stone or elsewhere), but that Australians speak English (albeit with their own distinctive accent) and not “Australian.”

French groups drop suit against Google

French groups have settled a lawsuit accusing Google of violating French anti-racism laws because of a function that they say perpetuated anti-Semitic stereotypes.

Google’s “autocomplete” feature suggests the word “juif” or “Jewish” as a top choice in connection with public figures such as Rupert Murdoch, chief executive of News Corp., The New York Times reported.

The terms of the settlement came after court-ordered mediation and are confidential, the newspaper reported. Google has not said whether it would change the feature, but said it will work with the suit’s plaintiffs on efforts to combat anti-racism and anti-Semitism, the paper added.

Among the groups suing Google were SOS Racisme and the French Union of Jewish Students. They argued that by using the term juif, Google was furthering ideas about Jewish conspiracies.

Google has said the feature’s terms are generated by an automatic algorithm that includes frequency of searches linking items.