Sunday, February 27, 2011

"There is nothing wrong in redefining words, since language evolves naturally"

Redefining value words is cheating.
Language evolvement is not natural, only connatural - as are both cheating and honesty.

The simplest example of how it is cheating to redefine words is money. If one € is no longer what buys you this much bread - say 400 g./1 pound - but only half as much, you have been cheated of the value of 50 c. from back when you saved the €.

So, does language evolve naturally? Not if you trust socio-linguistics. Even Jung-Grammarians, who tried to make language change a "natural science" admitted that sound laws apply to one language or dialect or collection of such and not another, during one limited period of time, not another. That f, th, s, kh, khw become v, dh, z, gh, (gh)w is not an universal law for all language, it is true for position not after Indo-European stressed syllable, non-geminated, not in contact with other voiceless consonant, but above all, it is only true for one pre-historic period of Germanic languages.

And such "evolution" was - if socio-linguistics is true - only due to double standards for quite a while, like the ple-NT-y vs. ple-NN-y standards in English of US today. There are lots of places where one sound or another as spelled in grammar comes in double standards for pronunciation. Like the sound which some recent codifiers of Romani have written rr - in most dialects it is pronounced like any other r. In such a double standard situation, either the old standard can outlast the more recent and prevail or the newer standard of the two can outlast the older one and oust it. Individuals in such times (there are such times anywhere but not right about the great issues of past language change or language preservation) do know and sometimes even use both standards, either changing between them as they grow or as they talk to different persons.

What applies to phonetics - f th s kh vs. v dh z gh, rr vs. r, plenty pritty vs. plenny purdy - equally applies to grammar and lexicon. The change of standards is no natural fatality, it is human choice. Only when one choice has been made throughout the whole language very systematically does it look in hindsight by an illusion of optics as something very mechanic and law-bound.

Now, a change in words is not systematic. It is very much closer to choice and thought than to mechanical system issues in a language. So, it is not natural but willed by man. It can be willed thoughtfully or thoughtlessly. It may be good or it may be bad. And it may concern a concept changing words or a word changing meaning.

Now, when a concept changes words, it may involve a new word in the language coming from another language where it is older. Or it may involve coining a new word or changing meanings of an old word.

Citizenship in ancient citystates was in Latin referred to as Civitas, also meaning the Citystate itself. But the root word was Cives, Citizen. A Quires or Romanus was Civis Romanae Rei Publicae. A Pompeianus was Civis Rei Publicae Pompeiae. And so on. But when phonetic change made Civitas, or its accusative Civitatem so much shorter as Città, Cité or City (no longer meaning citizenship, only meaning citystate), the word Civis was replaced by Cittadino, Citadin/Citoyen, Citizen. This is no real issue, since it is of same root.

A lot more interesting is that sælig has become silly. The word sælig like German seelig means blessed, blissful, and in Christian theology, having made it to heaven, enjoying eternal bliss. Once upon a time, when England was still Catholic, people who had conditions like Downs' syndrom - that and others maiming normal adult intelligence referred to as idiocy - they were considered guaranteed heaven once they were baptised, since unable to sin mortally. I mean to be really culpable for something you need to understand what evil you are doing, and that is what they cannot. So they were called sælig or seely because between baptism and death, unlike us others, they cannot loose heaven. Much later this word was so much softer than that, something to say about a stupid but innocuous mistake, and that is where the word is now. All three meanings are available by different words in Latin. Sælig is beatus. Seely is idiota. Silly, modern sense ... well, it is more gentle than stultus. Actually idiot is closer to stultus, now that idiota is neither called seely nor idiot but Mongoloid or Downer. Stultulus - "somewhat stupid, a little stupid" might be a good rendering of silly. But still, stultulus is a sadder and silly a happier word. Stultillus might do, but is as much a new word as silly. Christianity has changed the attitude to people who look for their goggles while having them raised on the forehead - not to mention goggles are themselves a Christian invention.

Here we have a word which gives a new concept birth by slight changes of nuance.

Now, what the person quoted in the title is suggesting is that a word like marriage could acquire a new nuance, allowing homosexuals also to enjoy it. What would then the Latin for this be? Well, marriage is matrimonium. I will not go into what the new concept would be translated as into Latin, since I think Latin should not be dishonest. A Latin writer nowadays, say a Pope condemning the new concept, might do well to insert "quod dicitur" - "as they say" - into whatever phrase will be Latin for "Homosexual Marriage".

Now, Latin is a funny thing too. It is a legal language. It encodes law codes such as Sinai and Ten Commandments and Mount of Beatitudes, both in St Jerome's Translation, as intricate as Emperor Justinian and Pope Gelasius. Now, as obviously as no harm is done now by people calling each other "silly" for the flowers they chose on St Valentine's day although the word sælig meant "in Heaven", as obviously quite a lot of damage is done by tampering with legal terms. Coins and currency values being one big obvious example. Let us take another example: numbers ... it means one thing to Eratosthenes, and another thing to Gauss. Now, some of the things Gauss was talking about Eratosthenes also talked about and called numbers. Others, when he talked about them, he called relations. Numeric relations to be sure, but relations, not strictly numbers. Other things ... are they things at all? Eratosthenes did not talk about:

3i * 3i = -9

Are we even dealing with reality, when we let Gauss say or rather write such a thing?

Now, that is why it is important not to meddle with concepts. Redefining is depriving them of such meaning as they need to exclude in order not to make reality unreal. Or proposals, basically about reality, unreal.

"The spirit of the law" has been evoked against letting marriage remain marriage. On this video: "the spirit of the law is to allow a couple to love each other to marry and therefore gain certain legal rights" ... @ c.0:24 of the youtube. The reason why gays want marriage for non-heterosexual couples - as pointed out by the girl before that answer, the right to marriage in the usual sense already is there for people with homosexual feelings - is to gain those legal rights. Now, that is a bit like Gauss' "we need to make -9 a number so we can note it with numeral digits, and so we also need to make 3i a number, since all numbers, even negative ones, have a root". But if "-9" is not "minus-nine" as a concept but rather "minus" (meaning less, and how many less?) "nine", there is no need at all for any "minus-nine" to have a root, and so there is no need for any "3i" either.

Marriage is:
  • not for all couples who love each other:
    • not for close relatives who love each other for being that
    • not for Lancelot and Guinevere since she is already married to Arthur
    • AND not for underage
    • AND not for people and dogs
    • AND not for two men or two women
  • and also it is not only so they can enjoy their legal rights, but also so they can fulfill all marital functions:
    • one of which is fidelity - which is why societies without divorce can never let Guinevere marry Lancelot, and societies that have divorce at least make that a long process delaying the new marriage,
    • another one is procreating - though a legal authorisation to do so will not restore fertility to an old couple without children - and raising their children together
    • and this involves having sex more often than you actually manage to procreate. Sex, not sodomy. When Bill Clinton swore an oath he had had no sex with Monica Lewinsky he committed no perjury. Why? What he got from her "that is not sex". The marital act involves a vagina and a penis without contraceptives.

What about listening to Mr Clinton when for once he says something sensible? Hey!

But the function of fidelity is one reason why two gay men should not marry each other. US legislation allows divorce, but if two gay men need to get a divorce before either of them can go and do the right thing, like marry the woman he made pregnant (yes, gay men sometimes do that), such a "marriage" would be an obstacle to the marriage that would be a real duty and a real virtue. Even more so if divorce and remarriage was out of the question. For a lesbian made pregnant, keeping her child, and marrying the father the step to a normal marriage may be even easier, and should be left legally open. That is why - or one major reason why, not excluding other ones - a relation between two men or between two women cannot become the moral and should not become the legal equivalent of a marriage between a man and a woman.

Hans-Georg Lundahl
BpI Georges Pompidou
Paris, Dimanche le

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Rom ou Rrom?

Le mot est emprunté de leur propre langue, le Rromani et doit alors s'écrire Rrom, selon cet article: Rom ou Rrom? sur Café Babel. Apparemment il y a même au debut des mots* (comme en Espagnol pour l'interieur, mais un R initial* est automatiquement prononcé RR en Espagnol) l'opposition R vs. RR. L'exemple donné dans l'article est rani=dame vs rrani=branche.

Sauf que d'autres appellent la langue Romani. Si la langue est Romani et pas Rromani, apparemment le mot est Rom et pas Rrom. Alors, probablement, il s'agit d'une autre prononciation du mot ou encore plus probablement d'une orthographe qui ne reflète pas l'opposition entre rani et rrani au debut des mots. C'est ce qui me semble mais je peux me tromper, enfin j'ai appris vingt mot en cette langue et j'en ai oublié la moitié. Voir ce pdf ci: (cliquer ici). Par Yaron Matras, à Manchester.

Gheorghe Sarău écrit "Roma children" en s'exprimant en anglais, mais utilise la forme "limba rromani" en roumain.

Mais enfin, pourquoi pas consulter la wikipédie sur l'orthographe?

Finally, the representation of the phoneme /ɻ/ (the reflex of the Sanskrit retroflex series[citation needed]), which in several dialects has been merged with /r/, tends to vary between rr, ř and rh, and sometimes even gh, with the first two being the most frequently found variants.

Source, de la wiki anglaise.

Si j'ai bien lu le signe IPA, il s'agit de qqc qui sonne donc en certains dialectes comme r et en d'autres plus conservateurs comme rl pour le parler suédois de Stockholm**? En effet je crois avoir lu mal, il s'agit du r anglais. Et pas du tout qqc comme le RR espagnol? Bon, alors je comprends très bien pourquoi la plupart des dialactes le prononcent exactement comme r. Et, puisque le Romani a été très longtemps une langue parlé et non écrite, pourquoi l'emprunt a été phonétique, et donc épélé comme ça sonne pour la langue qui reçoit.

Avant la révolution française, la prononciation correcte de boîte n'était pas bwatte mais bwètte. En suédois, pour horlogerie, ça s'épèle boett - c à d bou-ette.*** Et je n'ai jamais entendu que les français s'en plaignent et qu'ils exigent qu'on épelle boett comme boîte - quoique je le fais volontairement, ce qu'on faisait pendant l'ancien régime en Suède, avant le bal de maschérade.**** Et ceux qui parlent et s'appellent English ne se plaignent pas d'être appelés anglais avec leur langue.

Il me semble donc poli d'écrire Rrom ou Rhom, mais pas impoli d'écrire Rom.

Hans-Georg Lundahl
Buffon, Paris V

*Pour ceux qui ne sont pas familiers avec "initial" à propos des lettres ou phonèmes, "initial" veut dire "au debut". pour ceux qui ne savent pas la différence entre lettre et phonème, l'Espagnol donne des différents lettres pour peró et pour perro, un r vs deux r, mais si rosa a la même lettre que peró au debut, c'est quand même le même phonème qu'en perro.
**Le parler suédois de Malmö a les r comme les r français, et "rl" s'y prononce "r" français plus "l", pas du tout comme un seul son. Le parler de Helsinki a les r italiens comme à Stockholm, mais les prononcent séparément des dentales, donc "rl" y devient "r" italien plus "l". Mais à Stockholm, "rl" se prononce comme un son. Romani, proche de Lomavren, Domari, ça s'explique si à la base ça commence avec le même son. Et un son qui peut devenir r, l ou d devrait être comme "rl" de Stockholm.
***En contextes hormis l'horlogérie boîte s'appelle låda (lau-da). Ce n'est évidemment pas un mot emprunté du français du tout.
****Après le décès de Gustave III, on a eu un régime de tuteurs du roi, qui ont été influencés par les idées de la Révolution. Quand Gustave IV Adolphe se range pour les Bourbons après le meurtre du Duc d'Enghien, il est déjà un peu en arrière-garde dans la politique suédoise, et la perte de Finlande à Russie, en 1809, a exigé son départ et une nouvelle constitution, bientôt rempli par les Bernadottes. Gustave III a inspiré le coup de brumaire de Napoléon, mais lui il rétablit au départ la constitution des Wasa, les exiles de Gustave IV Adolphe et de Charles X s'inspirent les deux de celui du vénérable pénitent Jacques VII et II chez son cousin Louis XIV après 1688.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Sects, Historical Critical Method, Post-Confessional Christianity

Cardinal Lubomyr Husar was consecreated by Cardinal Slipiy who was no doubt an orthodoxly Catholic Martyr Bishop. That was some while ago.

Now he heads Ukrainean Greek Catholic Church, I have seen some texts from Ukrainean Orthodox Greek Catholic Church, of whom bishop Elias is now known for speaking up against Assisi III plans and plans for Canonising or Beatifying John Paul II, and he calls them a Sect, they say he promotes Apostasy by Historical Critical Method and by Post-Confessional Christianity and that by calling them a Sect, he spreads hatred against them.


Does it mean people who kidnap, poison, brainwash and reprogram people? Then Illuminati, as portraied by Conspiracy Theorists are a Sect. KGB and psychiatry in many countries at least are sects, so is the Mafia. Back when régimes spoke out against Free Masons, they were a Sect like that.

Or is it Continental European for Cult? Some describe Conspiracy Theorists as being such then. In France you may be called sectarian by the fact of refusing to believe Evolution or of refusing to believe Heliocentrism with Einstein. You may be called sectarian for opposing psychiatry, as do Scientologists, who are described as a sect, or for using medicine which the faculty of Medicine of nearest or most highly rated University opposes. You may be called a sect if you live together in a village without electricity or where electricity is reserved for the dentist, and if you refuse to watch television and listen to the radio, as do the Amish in US and a certain group in Russia. Whether you also cut yourself off from Internet or Internet is a main source of information to you, in France boycotting the established media makes you prone to be called sectarian.

Here as there the word is used to promote an atmosphere of suspicion and of "ok, be nice to them, but don't hang around with them too much". I suspect that in an ex-Communist country where Christianity was persecuted as sectarian the word carries a harsher connotation than here. It has happened now and then in France too, but not so recently and harshly as in Russia. In 1905 Catholics were killed for refusing to hand over Church property, Holy Things, to the police of a secularist state.

Of course, the word sect has another meaning too: something that contains followers. The early Christians were called a sect and they were called dangerous by Pagans, but not on the same ground. A Sect - well Plato, Aristotle, Zenon, Epicurus all had their sects. Dangerous, that was quite another accusation. And to Roman Ecclesiastic language both Free Masons and Amish are sects in so far that both profess teachings foreign to the Church of God or a discipline foreign to the Church as Christ instituted it. Or, in these two cases both. That also is a heavy accusation, but not quite the same as being a Mob of Mafiosi or of Templars treading on the Cross for initiation. Still, one accusation to recuse if one can.

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"Historical Critical Method of Bible Studies"

It has been promoted by John Paul II. It has been promoted within limits already by Pope Pius XII in Divino Afflante Spiritu, 1943. And I think John Paul II or some Pope between Pius XII and himself abolished the limits or some of them set in that encyclical.

I have used it myself, for a particular purpose: how is the word Jew used in synoptics and in Gospel of St John, and why? In the synoptics when Christ adresses his enemies, it is often "Christ said: 'Woe ye, ye Pharisees and Sadducees, for ...' et c" but in St John it is more often "Christ said to the Jews: 'Woe ye, for ...' et c". And when Christ uses the ethnonym himself, he uses it in another way.

To me this fact proves that the Gospel of St John was written after the enemies of Christ usurped the word Jews for themselves at Jamnia, but by a man who remembered how the word had been used by Jesus, by the Christ, way back before Jamnia. It also is probable proof that all three synoptics were written much earlier, before Jamnia, when one could not yet use the word Jew to name the enemies of Our Lord, when it still mattered which of the different anti-Christian factions in what was still or still had been till recently his nation he was talking to.

Similarily, why do St Matthew and St Mark but not the two other Gospels name the episode when Our Lord cited the beginning of Psalm 22, though not as the Jews now write it? My guess by this method is that Saint Matthew wrote for Jews to convert them, they knew what it meant, St Mark wrote partly for gentiles who needed more of an explanation, St Luke and St John wrote when conversions from the beginnings of Judaism were getting rare.

Other persons have made other uses of this method. I do not know why a Christian, as opposed to an Atheist or a Jew, would want to make the Gospels appear late, the synoptics as late as traditionnally the Fourth Gospel, but some who claim to be Christians and claim to be using this Historical Critical Method do claim this is their conclusion. Much spectacular use of this so-called method does indeed claim that this or that Bible book was written too late to be accurate.

Synoptics around Jamnia? Well, Our Lord did prophesy the fall of Jerusalem in them, there are some who are either infidels or blockheads who take that as proof they were written late enough to put a prophesy after the event in the mouth of Our Lord.

Torah from Babylonic Captivity? Just takes an over-estimation of importance of literacy among the people, such as the criticism of clergy and faithful relation in Western Europe of the Middle Ages - IV Council of Lateran gave a right to the poor to study to be clerks, not at all any duty for everyone to study even if they wanted to be cobblers - or Russias up to Revolution and afterwards. Up to Babylonic Captivity, literacy was not all that common among Jews. They knew The Law not from reading it, but from listening to the priests who read it each seven years. Between Babylonic Captivity and shortly before the destruction of Jerusalem, it was still optional for Jews, and Pharisees looked down on Galileans for neglecting it. If you claim out of prejudice that a people knowing its holy scriptures only through its clergy will be fooled about their content, if you add a belief that Adam and Eve, Noah and the Ark all never existed, you end up using the Historic Critical Method to "prove" that Genesis must have been written originally or changed very much in Babylon, since "incorporating Babylonic Mythology". But that does not follow from the Historiocal Critical Method, it follows from your prejudice about the necessity of popular literacy for accurate transmission, it follows from un-belief in a recent Creation and a special Creation for mankind, recently having occurred, and from your unbelief in a Universal Flood, and from your refusal to take Babylonic, Greek, Northern, several other Pagan Myths as independent though garbled confirmation of the facts rather than as widespread literary invention. But neither Genesis, nor Enuma Elish, nor Deukalion and Pyrrha pose as a purely literary phenomenon read for entertainment without any serious puropose of instruction.

So, a Torah dating from Babylonic Captivity or Gospels dating all after or maybe just St Mark very shortly before the destructions wrought by Titus in Palestine, both ideas are not the essence but a by-product of Historical-Critical Method. Got at by people who were not believing rightly but headstrongly believing wrongly on these matters even before using this method.

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"Post-Confessional Christianity"

Which confessions are included in its making? What is left out of each confession? What kind of Eastern Orthodox Theologoumena are included, is it St Nikolas Kabasilas or moderate proponents of Romanides? They are not the same and should not be thought of as the same.

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Hans-Georg Lundahl
Mouffetard/Paris V
Day of St Gabinus and other saints (19-II)
Y o o L 2011