May 23, 2013
May 19, 2013
“The Date underneath is that of the Declaration of Independence, and the words under it signify the beginning of the new American Æra which commences from that Date”, says Charles Thomson report on the design of the Great Seal to have become the accepted pattern.
Believably, the picture on the left is not suggestive of aprons or paganism, and the Great Seal may be associated with American executive powers. Charles Thomson, the author of the Great Seal design, was a staunch Presbyterian. Importantly, he was also a sound expert at Latin and Greek. His spelling would acknowledge the digraph “æ”, as may be seen in the preserved original presented on the right.
NOVUS ORDO SECLORUM, says the Seal. Could we really interpret the motto for an echo of Virgil or a secular expansionist foreboding, as Wikipedia points? Magnus ab integro sæclorum nascitur ordo, says Virgil.
Naturally, the Seal does not have a misspelling. The Latin form seclum is earlier; it preceded the forms saeclum and seculum. The forms were also used in ancient Rome and not only in the Middle Ages, as Wikipedia would say. The lexical item referred to people, a kind, and a generation, especially when combined with ordo: ex ordine meant “in succession”. In this light, the Seal does not prescribe on secularity, religion, or any world order. Needless to say, the phrase “We, the people” opens the Constitution.
I am not convinced by “direct translations” to render the Seal as saying “New Order of the Ages”. Telling the time by the people would have been an endeavor too haphazard even to the human as irrational as an ancient Roman.
Religious or expansionist interpretations would have been influenced by later, English uses. Let us compare ephemera. In Latin, the word “ephemeris” denoted a day-book. Today, something ephemeral is something especially short-lived. Naturally, no one kept day-books in ancient Rome having disposal of the notes for the very purpose.
Languages change, and etymology may not warrant on the meaning. There is another aspect of language use that we need to take into account interpreting mottoes. When we speak, we do not always refer our words to written resources ― do we say “morning!” early in the day because there would be a Whig journal to come with the Oxford Companion? Just the same, Latin experts are our human contemporaries; they are not people just to memorize dead text. This means that Latin experts are people capable of using Latin generatively.
Since Latin experts are able not only to interpret text, but also to produce novel strings of language, I believe Charles Thomson formed the motto himself. This would explain why his report does not provide a bibliographical reference and it gives a rendition of meaning ― Attat (!)
“Hailing the Nation: the American Great Seal” is another project of mine purposed to discard at least some of the bias and prejudice about the Democracy.
May 8, 2013
The government of the tongue has been elaborated on for centuries. Richard Allestree would belong with the recognized scope of religious thought. There would be a resource stern in criticizing the liberty of the tongue; freedom of speech would stand close to blasphemy and atheism in the writing. The book would be ascribed to Richard Allestree.
There are things that change about the humanity over time. There are respects with which humanity remains invariable.
We humans are mortal and realize this. No one may assert that he or she knows what happens after his or her death. Faith is not knowledge; no knowledge is all-encompassing. Therefore, the non-believer and believer would not be strict opposites.
The non-believer would not necessarily claim there is no God; he or she may decline concluding on the universe entire. Importantly, the believer would not propose a holistic resolve, either: religion does not offer a picture of the cosmos. The non-believer may live and work without a yearning for God’s existence as well as non-existence. The believer will live and work without God being his or her very focus a proportion of the time.
The resolve on belief or non-belief would remain equally with the individual. A non-believer, one might not be forced to deliberate on existence of a being not believed. A believer, one might feel that the comprehension on existence would remain with the very deity understood to have originated gnosis altogether.
Here are a few Greek words on existence, as for the matters that happen to change from time to time,
Therefore, a non-believer myself, I still do not intend to propose a resolve on God’s existence. The purpose of this post is to discuss freedom of speech in the light of the notion of the government of the tongue as derived from religious resources. My perspective will be philological and I will refer to the resource as “The Government”, since the book does not figure in the bibliographical notes for Richard Allestree.
The text attempts to support its fierce treatment of freedom of speech with frequent invocations of king Solomon. Let us look at two examples.
The Philosopher and the Divine equally attest this: and Solomon (who was both) gives his suffrage also;
Solomon tells us Death and Life are in the power of the Tongue, and that not only directly in regard of the good or ill we may do to others, but reflexively also, in respect of what may rebound to ourselves. Let Moses then make the inference from Solomon’s premises, Therefore choose life, Deut. 30. 15. a proposal so reasonable, so agreeable to nature, that no flourishes can render it more inviting.
These would look definitely denominational, compared with the matter of the Gospel.
42 The queen of the south shall rise up in the judgment with this generation, and shall condemn it: for she came from the uttermost parts of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon; and, behold, a greater than Solomon is here (Matthew 12).
27 Consider the lilies how they grow: they toil not, they spin not; and yet I say unto you, that Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. (Luke 12)
The irresistible philological temptation is to compare the above with Wycliffe.
28 And of clothing what ben ye bisye? Biholde ye the lilies of the feeld, how thei wexen. Thei trauelen not, nether spynnen;29 and Y seie to you, Salomon in al his glorie was not keuered as oon of these. (Matheu 6)
42 The queene of the south shal rise in doom with this generacioun, and schal condempne it; for she cam fro the eendis of the erthe to here the wisdom of Salomon, and lo! here a gretter than Salomon. (Matheu 12)
Let us stay with temptation for a while. “The Government” would have “good” words and “bad” words. Temptation would be one of the “bad” words:
A man secluded from company can have but the Devil and himself to tempt him …
At the same time, the book would advocate memorizing texts,
But sure tis a pitiful pretence to ingenuity that can be thus kept up, there being little need of any other faculty but memory to be able to cap Texts.
Therefore, the text would advise memorizing what is good and what is bad, keeping guard:
The Tongue is so slippery, that it easily deceives a drowsy or heedless guard.
… so the childish parts of us, our passions, our fancies, all our mere animal faculties, can thrust our tongues into such disorder, as our reason cannot easily rectify. The due management therefore of this unruly member, may be rightly be esteemed on of the greatest mysteries of Wisdom and Virtue.
The relativism would blame language, not the language user. Speech is described as the force of all our other depravation, quoting the Old Testament. Fluency is outwardly condemned,
David uttered a bloody vow against Nabal, spake words smoother than oil to Uriah, when he had done him one injury, and designed him another. Twere endless to reckon up those several instances the Old Testament … amidst the universal depravation of our Faculties, there is none more notorious than that of speech.
Philologically, one notices a broken argument:
Other blasphemies level some at one Attribute, some another; but this by a more compendious impiety, shoots at his very being; and as if it scorned those piece-meal guilts, sets up a single monster big enough to devour them all: for all inferior profaneness is an much outdated by Atheism, as is religion itself. 2. Time was when the inveighing against this, would have been thought a very impertinent subject in a Christian nation, and men would have replied upon me as the Spartan Lady did, when she was asked what was the punishment for adulteresses, There are no such things here.
Whether adulteresses would have been things, or there would not have been punishment, the adversely influenced discourse would show most weakness in its treatment of the negative,
Secondly, it does not suffice that I do not know the falsity; for to make me a true speaker, tis necessary I know the truth of what I affirm. Nay, if the thing were never so true, yet if I knew it not to be so, its truth will not secure me from being a liar: and therefore, whoever endeavors to have that received for a certainty, which himself knows not to be so, offends against truth. The utmost that can consist with sincerity, is to represent it to others as doubtful as it appears to him: yet even that how consonant soever to truth, is not to Charity.
Now to apply these practices to our rule of duty, there will need no very close inspection to discern the obliquity.
The geographical interpretation on James’s stanzas would resound a grudge against Vespucci and Columbus, Europe having stood for the world entire to many people, before the discovery of America and other territories:
… it doth indeed pass all Geography to draw an exact Map of that world of iniquity, as St. James calls it.
Let us invoke the strictly metaphorical use in the Gospel, along with the figurative reference on adultery “The Government” would be missing,
6 And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity: so is the tongue among our members, that it defileth the whole body, and setteth on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire of hell. (James, 3:6)
Patrick J. Hartin would say, Here one is using the tongue not to pray, but to make evil requests of God in prayer. Mr. Hartin’s discourse would not be lacking in the interpretation of the term “mochalides”, “adulteresses”:
The word moichalides (“adulteresses”) is used in the figurative sense of the biblical tradition, where Israel is the bride of God … (James: Sacra Pagina Series, Patrick J. Hartin)
Denying atheists conscience, “The Government” would be making selfish attempts, indeed:
Human spite is usually confined within some bounds, aims sometimes at the goods, sometimes at the fame, at most but at the life of our neighbor: but here is an accumulation of all those, backed with the most prodigious insolence. Tis God only that has power of annihilation, and we (vile worms) seek here to steal that incommunicable right, and retort it upon himself, and by an anticreative power would unmake him who has made us. Nay lastly, by this we have not only the utmost guilt of single rebels, but we become ringleaders also, draw in others to that accursed association: for tis only this liberty of Discourse that has propagated Atheism.
Their most bold Thesis, That there is no God, no judgement, no hell, is often met with an inward tremulous Hypothesis, What if there be? I dare in this remit me to themselves, and challenge (not their consciences, who profess to have none, but) their natural ingenuity to say, whether they have not sometimes such damps and shivering within them. If they shall say, that these are but the relics of prepossession and education, which their reason soon dissipates, Let me then ask them farther, whether they would not really give a considerable sum to be infallibly ascertained there were no such thing …
Importantly, the word atheist does not come from the word thesis. It relates to the Greek word “theos”, god. Perseus also shows the lexical items referring to theses. An affirmed atheist would not place disbelief with a term categorically to refer to theory. As I have already stated, I do not intend to resolve on the matter.
Returning to the “Government”, language deficit to be equaled with waging war on God,
I Begin with those which relate to God, this poor despicable member the tongue being of such a gigantic insolence, though not size, as even to make war with heaven. Tis true every disordered speech doth remotely so, as it is a violation of God’s law,
Wycliffe’s myrrh is yet not to be taken even with such an attempt:
A Third sort of impious discourse there is, which yet is bottomed on the most sacred, I mean those profane paraphrases that are usually make upon the holy Text, many making it the subject of their cavils, and others of their mirth.
King James Version translators relied for quality on Wycliffe’s Early Version.
Why did they do this? Simply put, in countless passages of the “Early Version”, both the poetry of the language and fidelity to the original Greek text are superior to that found in the “Later Version”, not only the Bible Gateway says.
With many regards, one may not agree to the status of language as only a tool to serve the “traffic and interchange” for “the notions and sentiments of a reasonable soul”, “the instrument to manage a commerce between the rational yet invisible powers of human souls”, as “The Government” would purport.
The Internet Archive also has Wycliffe downloads.
“The Government” front matter does not name the author. There is a circumstantial remark on a late Author within the text:
Men are indeed in all instances apt to speak ill of all things they understand not, but in none more than this. Their ignorance of local customs, Idioms of language, and several other circumstances, renders them incompetent judges, (as has been excellently evinced by a late Author).
Book titles happen to be the same, and “The Whole Duty of Man” itself has happened to be ascribed to 27 people so far. Therefore, my final comment will be that the text presents serious logical flaws and limited language functions in the interpretation of the figurative content of the Bible. This makes it not recommendable linguistically — I leave the parish to the parishioner.
The First Amendment shall remain an excellent piece of legislation, certainly not violating religious guidance.
“Looking to Wycliffe” is another of my projects, strictly philological, intended to show English as a live tongue:
May 4, 2013
The word “Bible” comes from the Greek “byblos”. The Greek “byblografia” was a “writing of books”. Regardless of who had odds or ends with papyrus, the question may remain — what is the word of God?
Natasha Kampus, Jaycee Lee Dugard, Elizabeth Smart — among many others, got kidnapped, the abductors claiming guidance coming from God. Could one really get such guidance on this Earth?
The Bible is made of the Old Testament and the New Testament. The Greek “telemation” and “eschaton” would have denoted lasting. The Old Testament Book of Job, recounting on ordeal, foretells a new arrangement between the god and the humanity.
There are four New Testament books by the four Apostles to tell about the life of Jesus Christ. This is the original Christian matter, the name “Christianity” coming from Christ. However, the word of God, Christ’s words, remain reported.
Importantly, the New Testament affirms the Old with the respect: the Old Testament also reports on God. The God did not write it himself. More, the Old Testament is not all about God’s advice. It is intended to tell a parable about the beginnings of human kind.
Lot left Zoar to live in the mountains. The older daughter spoke to the younger then (Genesis 19:31). The older daughter would have mothered the Moab. The younger would have brought fourth the Ammon, dependants of Assyria.
God does not tell you what to do. You may seek counsel with the Bible, your conscience — as well as your learning and comprehension — being your responsibility.
So much for now about reading books.
Some time ago, it might have been revolutionary to criticize Shakespeare as hardly anyone had done it before. Today, holding the Bard cheap would be like crediting an outlook of a dweller of an imaginary sleepy town, where everyone would wear the same clothes, eat the same food and, as a result, have the same dreams. Naturally, one would need to imagine that there would be a formula for making dreams merely out of garment and viands.
Washington Allston coined the phrase “objective correlative” in his Lectures on Art. His primary tool being his painter’s brush I could hardly imagine used to the graceful Impressionist effect ever, Allston would have looked to vegetables, judging on human emotion.
Take an example from one of the lower forms of organic life,—a common vegetable. Will any one assert that the surrounding inorganic elements of air, earth, heat, and water produce its peculiar form? Though some, or all, of these may be essential to its developement, they are so only as its predetermined correlatives, without which its existence could not be manifested; and in like manner must the peculiar form of the vegetable preexist in its life, —in its idea,—in order to evolve by these assimilants its own proper organism.
No possible modification in the degrees or proportion of these elements can change the specific form of a plant,―for instance, a cabbage into a cauliflower; it must ever remain a cabbage, small or large, good or bad. So, too, is the external world to the mind; which needs, also, as the condition of its manifestation, its objective correlative. Hence the presence of some outward object, predetermined to correspond to the preexisting idea in its living power, is essential to the evolution of its proper end,―the pleasurable emotion.
There have been theories on vegetables and light: veg can have more sugar under some red or blue auras ― the color is hardly relevant, as the cost of the shine would hatchet production. Should one harbor especially vindictive feelings about music, tune playing might be also purported to elevate plant mood before the thing is eaten ― all the above having no possible relation to human feelings except meal times.
T.S. Eliot proceeded with making the jacket for the potato. In Hamlet and His Problems, Eliot states,
Hamlet is a stratification, (…) it represents the efforts of a series of men, each making what he could out of the work of his predecessors. The Hamlet of Shakespeare will appear to us very differently if, instead of treating the whole action of the play as due to Shakespeare’s design, we perceive his Hamlet to be superposed upon much cruder material which persists even in the final form.
Eliot also says,
The only way of expressing emotion in the form of art is by finding an “objective correlative”; in other words, a set of objects, a situation, a chain of events which shall be the formula of that particular emotion; such that when the external facts, which must terminate in sensory experience, are given, the emotion is immediately evoked.
Hardly sound on literary grounds, the criticism may be psychologically revealing about Eliot himself. In his critical endeavors, Eliot referred to the thing theory, mimesis and diegesis, as well as pathetic fallacy. All these frameworks would involve the agent-patient relations that T.S. Eliot would have had some difficulty grasping.
The thing theory would alienate perception, objects becoming things when in focus. The approach to mimesis would seek equanimity in having the object for the medium. The pathetic fallacy would quantify and thus deny sentiment.
Both the emotionally “objective” authors, Allston as well as Eliot, had own emotional problems. Allston is reported to have suffered from melancholia. Eliot had an aboulic stage in life. Both would have been seeking ― a non-existent ― mechanism to produce feelings. And feelings objectively would be non-correlative with mere utility.
Needless to say, animacy would have such an “objective” actually reism linguistically only for a plaything. And well, I can agree both with haters and lovers of potatoes ― feel welcome to see my Potato nut.
April 13, 2013
Martin Buber would envision the human being in a bit of an embryonic role. I can agree that human cognition has its limitations, yet an embryonic status about human minds looks exaggerated. The matter evidently evolves round personal pronouns.
The philosopher, whose earnestness of study I do not mean to question, would yet see humans as entities in incessant ties; he would only differentiate this persistent condition into the I-You and I-It relationship. Simply speaking, every human would be an “I”. And every human would be always in a relationship, to a “You” or to an “It” — like an embryo, incapable of independent living.
Buber’s famous essay on existence, Ich und Du, has been about as famously translated into I and Thou. Arguments on philosophical intricacies have not convinced me on the alleged non-existence of an English word for the German ‘du’. It would not be just me, looking to the translation for Bist du bei mir — If you are with me.
There a few more unconvincing “details” about Buber philosophy and its followers. Let us think about the word “being”. It is construed with the third person singular, “it”. However, if we modify this word with the adjective “human”, we refer to the “human being” as “him” or “her”.
According to Buber, the world would be an It. We yet may think about a world as by a man or by a woman, in which case the semantics would play its good trick and add male or female attributes to the notion of the world. Naturally, everyone may try own perception on The World According to Garp.
Semantics is the language matter about meaning. This meaning may be not bound by singular, isolated lexical items. A “human being” may be a male or a female. A “world” can be a male or female world.
Languages also happen to have arbitrary, grammatical gender. In French or Spanish, a “book” is going to be a “him”. In Russian, a book is going to be a “her”. Ancient Romans had a day-book or diary for an “ephemeris”, a “her”. This arbitrary gender has had nothing to do with recognizing sex, since the beginning of time: mostly males were literate in ancient Rome.
Let us think about reference to countries: English would speak about a country as an “it”. French or Spanish would have their “pays” or “pais” for “males”. As regards home countries, the legitimate Italian “she”, “patria”, would keep company to the legal French “patrie”, Germans remaining unpersuadable on their “Vaterland” : there would be “Muttersprache”, but “Mutterland” would mean the country of origin, not the home country. American English would allow both fatherland and motherland, the home country or homeland prevailing.
Importantly, whether fatherland or motherland, when we go back in our thoughts, we use the third person singular again, “it”. We would say, “My fatherland, it …” We would not say, “My fatherland, he …” We also can say, and the vast majority would say, “America in its time …”
Well, America is a name of a country, same as Germany, France, Italy, or any other name of a country, fair and square. Concluding, human thought is not reducible to three pronouns, “I”, “you”, and “it”. Already the pronouns may have and often do have connotations to other pronouns, which — though potentially arbitrary — is a real factor to influence the way we formulate our thoughts.
March 28, 2013
The disclaimer: the adjacent — colored meaningfully yellow — graphic piffle is not intended to mean the Union Jack proper. It is the British grammar nazis logo on Facebook.
Now, I can go on about meaning generally, like the meaning of life. Some guys would be as void of any semantics, as to be afraid of living without a kink. This inherent emptiness, which might be related to the inner speech deficiency characteristic in people of severe literacy impediments, would result in abreaction on the computer screen. The Facebook grammar nazis meet all the criteria for the deep intellective handicap sketched on here.
Naturally, for the functionally illiterate, there is still the verbal tradition, and the spoken lore has a lot on British losses in WWII, Hitler’s miserable linguistic stand, as well as his crude intonation many people would not pay a cent to hear. There is no sense to bring these up, therefore. In case, one can go BBC archives and mind to have the subtitles off, should they suggest the frustrating written language reality.
The literate may agree that Hitler does not deserve admiration as a strategist. Germany might have gotten away — as long as the various Chamberlains of Europe stayed at power — with the invasions on the Austrian, the Czech, as well as Poland and Alsace. Arguments that he had to turn the military power somewhere cannot stand a look at a map of Europe. Attacking Russia and England, as well as getting America involved, Hitler made way for the ruin, poverty, and partition that Germany had to face after the war. The madness of the WWII genocide obviously could not get along with any literary pursuit, either. So much for Hitler, the meaning of life, and intellect. Let me focus on the statistics for the handicap.
The site has about 50 K ‘likes’. Taking the British population alone — and the ‘likes’ could have come from various sympathizers, empathizers and other similars — that would make the maximum of 50 thousand functionally illiterate among about 63 million people. Some might say it’s not so bad, it’s not even 1 per cent. This is fundamentally not my business, as I am not staying in England or planning to go there. Whoever yet would, you’d better think when literacy might be necessary.
Sure you anyway need to resemble your passport photo, and you can get a taxi waving your hand. Shopping, you needn’t worry about anyone’s ability to read labels, as products have bar codes. In hotels, you always remember to tick all relevant boxes and, at least theoretically, you can try hanging your jogging hat on the doorknob to get some peace and quiet. However, when it comes to mailing letters, get the recorded: they have ID strips. If seeking directions with a map, approach people with newspapers: there are odds they can read them. Never ever leave your books or papers, especially open: they might be taken for other utilities.
So much for the handicap statistics. The human ‘specimens’ exhibiting the symptoms are not of my interest as lacking individuality by choice. Important: a search for ‘American grammar nazis’ threw up more or less nothing, and there ain’t the piffle — cheered me up.
Feel welcome to visit my grammar grapevine
and my grammar web log
March 27, 2013
March 5, 2013
The Grammar Girl forbidding progress with love may be disclosed. She would hate you going on. The Grammar Girl is the Mignon Fogarty.
Mignon Fogarty says, ‘The issue at hand is whether verbs like “to love” can be conjugated in a progressive tense, which you use to indicate that something is happening at the moment and is continuing around the time to which you refer’.
Without trying to make the French ashamed about the Statue of Liberty, I need to mind the hours, minutes, and seconds here. I will for a while.
Mignon Fogarty says, ‘It turns out that when it comes to progressive tenses, English is divided into two groups of verbs: dynamic and stative’.
The French, however they might be right next to the Casanova bad fame for superficiality, wouldn’t be ever honestly telling that you never say love round the time you feel it. Well, the emotional difference would be American?
Mignon Fogarty says, ‘Dynamic verbs relate an action or a process. Common dynamic verbs are “to walk,” “to yell,” and “to read.” These verbs can be conjugated in progressive tenses, so it’s fine to say, “I will be walking all day” and “He was yelling at me’.
Divorce is my thought now — stats can’t be denied. It’s statistics in word use to tell the standard.
Finally, Mignon Fogarty gives the ‘verdict’:
‘That said, it’s still probably best for ESL teachers to continue to advise their students not to say, “I’m loving it” or to use other potentially incorrect stative verbs in progressive tenses. ESL teachers should point out, though, that students will hear native speakers using stative verbs in progressive tenses when the moment seems right.’
I do not like presuming on what I should with language and what I will hear (I’m picky). No way I’d go into fractions of milliseconds or ‘continue’ doing what I’ve never done. Fortunately, there’s cognitive mapping:
August 20, 2012
One happens to subscribe to those human rights newsletters, and one happens to be disappointed. The members of the Russian punk band “P*y Riot” got a jail sentence. I do not support the jail sentence. I’m disappointed with the comment by the Human Rights First.
I am quite used to the tabloid style for vociferation: the more copies sold, the better, never mind if the milk followed gravity spilling. The Human Rights First, however, “is an independent advocacy and action organization that challenges America to live up to its ideals”, says its mission statement.
Innokenty Grekov would write, “This is the latest example of how Russia uses laws that are meant to combat hate crimes—extremism, incitement, and hostility or hatred statutes—to prosecute artists, independent media, and LGBT and other civil society groups. This and other politically motivated cases need to be exposed for what they are — systematic attempts to silence dissent.” Mr. Grekov would refer to the Russian judicial proceedings, as “the sham trial of members of the feminist punk band”.
Well, these “feminists”, “artists”, and “dissenters” actually raided the main cathedral in Moscow wearing balaclavas. Balaclavas would be especially offensive in the context.
Could this have been really feminist? Recently, I browsed literally hundreds of pages over the Amazon looking for a suit with a long skirt. Men talking business — and this is for brains to do — still would look more natural. I could only find suits with pants.
The “feminists” would be wearing short dresses to kick their legs up high, maybe in the hope to encourage female equality reforming the can-can …
The “artists” would be shrieking along frenetic drumming, only more or less even meter. I cannot persuade myself to recommend a link; there should be something over the youtube.
The “dissenters” would be a communist’s dream on harassing believers: hardly an American ideal, thinking about missions and statements.
I wouldn’t jail the band members, however. I’d fine them for trespassing and assign obligatory courses on dress codes, history, and music.