So This Schmuck Tries to Interview a Famous Putz...

More

From the Goldblog in-box, which overfloweth with mail about Sister Mary Schmuck:

I'm Peter Schmuck, the lead sports columnist for the Baltimore Sun. Enjoyed your article on the good sister (I have an aunt who is also a Schmuck and a nun, but not the same one), and thought you'd enjoy this anecdote.
 
      A few years ago, I tried to interview baseball relief pitcher J.J. Putz. Thought it was a natural column, but he wouldn't cooperate. Claimed his name was pronounced "Pootz." I wrote the column anyway, wondering at the end whether I was peeved "at the fact that he wouldn't own up to the proper pronunciation of his name or that I never thought to tell everyone that my last name is SMOOK."
 
      There also was a famous New York Supreme Court justice named Peter Schmuck in the 1930s and 40s, who -- legend has it -- used to declined name change petitions from the bench by telling applicants that (I'm paraphrasing) "if I can live with my name, you can live with yours."
 
      Don't know about anybody else, but the name has always been an asset for me.

Presented by

Jeffrey Goldberg is a national correspondent for The Atlantic and a recipient of the National Magazine Award for Reporting. He is the author of Prisoners: A Story of Friendship and Terror. More

Before joining The Atlantic in 2007, Goldberg was a Middle East correspondent, and the Washington correspondent, for The New Yorker. He was previouslly a correspondent for The New York Times Magazine and New York magazine. He has also written for the Jewish Daily Forward and was a columnist for The Jerusalem Post.

Goldberg's book Prisoners was hailed as one of the best books of 2006 by the Los Angeles Times, The New York Times, The Washington Post, Slate, The Progressive, Washingtonian magazine, and Playboy. He received the 2003 National Magazine Award for Reporting for his coverage of Islamic terrorism and the 2005 Anti-Defamation League Daniel Pearl Prize. He is also the winner of the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists prize for best international investigative journalist; the Overseas Press Club award for best human-rights reporting; and the Abraham Cahan Prize in Journalism.

In 2001, Goldberg was appointed the Syrkin Fellow in Letters of the Jerusalem Foundation, and in 2002 he became a public-policy scholar at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, D.C.

Get Today's Top Stories in Your Inbox (preview)

CrossFit Versus Yoga: Choose a Side

How a workout becomes a social identity


Video

CrossFit Versus Yoga: Choose a Side

How a workout becomes a social identity

Video

Is Technology Making Us Better Storytellers?

The minds behind House of Cards and The Moth weigh in.

Video

A Short Film That Skewers Hollywood

A studio executive concocts an animated blockbuster. Who cares about the story?

Video

In Online Dating, Everyone's a Little Bit Racist

The co-founder of OKCupid shares findings from his analysis of millions of users' data.

Video

What Is a Sandwich?

We're overthinking sandwiches, so you don't have to.

Video

Let's Talk About Not Smoking

Why does smoking maintain its allure? James Hamblin seeks the wisdom of a cool person.

Writers

Up
Down

More in National

From This Author

Just In