Monday, January 18, 2010


Every time I write something about "19th C France's tiny Jewish community," I find myself picturing a community of tiny French Jews, complete with miniature berets and baguettes, and have to edit this to something like "France's Jewish minority," which fails to convey just how few Jews there were in France way back when, but which nevertheless does not make me picture an inch-long Léon Blum.


PG said...

Mini-minority? There's probably a term in legal literature for extraordinarily small groups (e.g. Mormons in Santa Fe, Texas), but I can't think of it. These would be the groups so few in number that they cannot obtain political power even through the formation of coalitions, because there aren't enough of them for potential allies to bother.

Anonymous said...

Sort of like orphan drugs?

PG said...

"Orphan drug" does have an accurate connotation, though, inasmuch as the status is given to medications to help the peculiarly unfortunate people with diseases so rare that pharmaceutical companies otherwise might not have a good incentive for bothering to find a drug. "Not only are you sick, what you have is too rare to bother researching!" The drugs are for particularly pitiable sufferers.