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Goys Into Wasps

In response to:

Point of Departure from the March 4, 1982 issue

To the Editors:

Re: Diane Johnson’s use of the acronym WASP in the following sentence [NYR, March 4]: “It’s hard to remember that Corde himself is a WASP, a Huguenot from a distinguished old family.” No wonder it’s hard to remember!

Or has WASP simply come to mean goy?

Hayden N. Pelliccia

Litchfield, Connecticut

Diane Johnson replies:

I think that Mr. Pelliccia is right about the general meaning of WASP, if “goy” means any non-Jewish white person, including, presumably, Catholics. In the case of Huguenots—French Protestants who were more likely Saxon than Celt—I figure that since they married the local Anglos when they came to this country before the Revolutionary War, they’d by now be, WASPs in the strict sense.

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