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There's No Right Way to Spell This Word

Rabbis agree it doesn't matter
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 20, 2008 1:28 PM CST

(Newser) – There's definitely an “H,” an “N” and a “K” in there, but beyond that, spellings of the upcoming Jewish holiday differ significantly. Conservative rabbis tell the New York Post not to worry, though, because all English spellings all wrong. The correct one is in Hebrew. English spellings have "solely to do with how it gets transliterated,” says one rabbi. “And it’s different for everyone.”

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The Post tested that theory by asking several New Yorkers their preferred spellings. Here’s a taste:

  • HANNUKAH – “It’s the more phonetic way.”
  • HANUKKAH – “‘Chanukah’ seems so old-fashioned and early Brooklyn. Hanukkah with an ‘H’ seems happy, hip and generous!”
  • CHANUKAH – “We the Chosen People have got to own that guttural 'CH' sound whenever possible, lest it be lost to us and reserved only for throat-clearing and loogie-hocking.”
  • CHANNUKAH – “The ‘CH’ is more Jew-y.”
(Read more chanukah stories.)

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