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Saturday, September 17, 2011


     Welcome back to the meatpacking corner of the blog. Last time, my shameless free association for a blog was likened to making sausage- a lot of unwholesome ideas being wrapped into an unhealthy meat. I don't want be repetitive, so we'll say that this is the written equivalent of making hot dogs.
     Teaching the Parts of Speech to older students is not its own reward, but it occurred to me that it would present an opportunity to wreak intellectual havoc. If I were to ask beginning or ESL students what part of speech the word "God" falls under, they would probably agree that it is a noun.
 I would respond,"A noun is a person, place, or thing though." They would get demoralized quickly.
     "In western culture, we really don't believe that the God of Abraham is a man-Mormons excepted- and obviously we don't believe God is a place." A lone student may argue that God is a spirit, and a spirit is a thing, but if questioned he may not feel comfortable describing God as a "thing." By most accounts, God has a character or personality, but He is more than that too. As spirit-which is a thing- and more, God would qualify as a noun, but if we have to invent a new part of speech for Him, I'd like credit.
   Now, I'd like to address something far less interesting and relevant: interesting word combinations I heard this week.
1 Meccan Idolators: These Meccans were the Arabs in the city of Mecca before Mohamed and Islam had completely dominated the Arab world and Middle East. I don't care about that-I like the metallic, vibratory sound of the words "Meccan Idolators."
                              2 Tackle Box: I guess the idea of a box holding a "tackle" is an amusing concept. The verb/noun tackle is a violent one. I'd heard of tackle boxes for fishermen, but I hadn't heard it used to refer to an area on the American football field until just today-I guess its something to do with a quarterback's danger zone?

Lastly, one more thought on the binding power of names: In the English language, it is wildly inappropriate to name your son "Jesus." Similarly, speakers of German, English, or other European languages should not name their offspring "Adolph."

1 comment:

  1. unless you're Latin American and / or Catholic. it's pronounced hey-seuss.unless you're Latin American and / or Catholic. it's pronounced hey-seuss.