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Sometimes I long for those innocent days.

Yeah, bring back those good old nuclear attack drills.

"Air raid drills."
PS Kerry will be the hands-down winner in New Hampshire next week. My crystal ball, assisted by knowledge of the results from the most recent US polls, also tells me a Democrat will be the next President. Happy days are here again.

PS Sure, Kerry will probably win in New Hampshire, despite the obvious moral superiority of Joe Lieberman. The rest of your crystal ball's prediction is pure fantasy. You may as well ask questions of one of those 8-ball things.
What an ass Bush made of himself, reaffirming his idiocy, during his State of the Union address. Hard for me to decide whether to laugh orcry as I watched his performance.

The one who made an ass of himself was Ted Kennedy, but it played well in Kennedy-Kerry liberal-lefty Massachusetts, no doubt. As for Bush's performance, I applauded. Didn't you like the "permission slip" statement? And didn't you gag at the Democratic responses? Talk about weak.
But enough U. S. politics. You need to be here, Charles, IMO, to get the full flavor. So let us get back to poor Hortense. Where is "Hortense" today, besides in the middle of Matti's full name? Will "Jennifer," or "Ashley," or "Kaitlin" (of any spelling) or "McKenzie-McKenna-McSurname," or "Cameron-Lindsey-Jordan"(of either sex) have the same fate as "Hortense" in the not-too-distant future? (That is: Will those names be lost except in occasional middle-name slots? Will they be unpopular as anything but newsgroup topics?) Will "Mary," and "Elizabeth" and "Carol" and "Ruth" and "Charles" and "George" and "Ronald" and "Hughie," and "Dewey," and "Louie" make comebacks?

These are important, on-topic questions, and people expecting to name children within the immediate future need answers. To name one's children names the same as one-half of their kindergarten class is not good. To name one's children names that better suit the sex they are not is not good.
Let us help future parents and future children. It's the least aue can do.

Maria Conlon
I see. That made me check the Perseus Project, which has: Hortensia The daughter of the orator Hortensius (q.v.), who ... celebrated orator, who began to distinguish himself by his eloquence in the Roman Forum at the age of nineteen. >

Lempriere identifies several men named Hortensius, including the man who introduced the fashion for eating peacocks. 'Hortensia Lex', the Hortensian Law, was enacted by the Dictator Q. Hortensius to oblige the nobility to subject themselves to the laws passed by commoners.
John Dean
Oxford
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What an ass Bush made of himself, reaffirming his idiocy, ... whether to laugh or cry as I watched his performance.

The one who made an ass of himself was Ted Kennedy, but it played well in Kennedy-Kerry liberal-lefty Massachusetts, no doubt. As for Bush's performance, I applauded. Didn't you like the "permission slip" statement?

I agreed with it, but as it has no relevance to recent history (I didn't hear anyone say we should have asked permission to invade Afghanistan), I interpreted it as a further nauseating attempt to suggest, without the outright lie of saying so, that the invasion of Iraq was self-defense.
By the way, in the other sound bite I heard, Mr. Bush mentioned the "liberation of Iraq". Sorry, but a country being ruled by a foreign country is not free. There seems to be a pretty good chance that we'll stop ruling them even de facto, and some small chance that they won't immediately return to dictatorship. If that happens, it will be time to talk about liberation.
And didn't you gag at the Democratic responses? Talk about weak..

Missed 'em. "Weak" would not surprise me. (For one thing, they have to make some of it up themselves.) I take it nobody here heard my governor's response in Spanish? I sure didn't.

Jerry Friedman
I've still got two friends who are unselfconsciously called . It doesn't seem to present a problem.

My uncle named his two sons Peter and . I seem to be the only one who noticed.

John Varela
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Didn't you like the "permission slip" statement?

I agreed with it, but as it has no relevance to recent history (I didn't hear anyone say we should ... small chance that they won't immediately return to dictatorship. If that happens, it will be time to talk about liberation.

This is not the first time the President has used "liberation" as our reason for being there in Iraq. It is frightening to me that he will use these calls on the emotions of the WWII generation.
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I've still got two friends who are unselfconsciously called . It doesn't seem to present a problem.

My uncle named his two sons Peter and . I seem to be the only one who noticed.

Well, your name is the place where your cousins whip it out most often.

Seems to me your folks and your uncle need a woodshedding. But it is a bit late.
I've been having fun following all sorts of leads, and I can tell you that what appear to be two different women in that French letter are really one and the same: Hortense Lepaute, wife of the royal clockmaker, Mme Nicole Reine Lepeaute, celebrated mathematician all one person. Her full name was Nicole-Reine Etable de la Briere Hortense Lepaute; I haven't actually been able to establish whether she used her middle name "Hortense" publicly at the time or not. She was more than a mathematician:
(From a "Women in Astronomy" site)
NICOLE-REINE LEPAUTE: Nicole-Reine was born in
France in 1723. Not much is known of her childhood. She married Jean-Andre Lepaute (1720-89) who was the royal clockmaker. Nicole studied the oscillations of pendulums of different lengths, and her results were published by her husband in his Traite D'horlogerie in 1755.
She was hired by J.J. Lalande, the director
of the Paris Observatory, to help Clairaut determine the nature of the gravitational attraction of
Jupiter and Saturn on Halley's Comet and calculate the exact time of its return in 1759. Lalande gave Nicole full credit for her work. She went on to
calculate the path of the 1764 eclipse of the sun
for all of Europe and the chart was published by the French government. for 15 years, from 1759 to 1774, she helped Lalande with an almanac for use by
astronomers and navigators, published by the
Academie des Sciences, and then from 1774 to 1783, she worked ont he 7th and 8th volumes of the
Ephemeris, calculating the positions of the sun,
moon, and planets covering the decade from 1784 to
1794.She dies a quiet death in 1788 and a crater
on the moon is named after her.
I think that French post you gave probably has the gist of the case right. Some flower was named by Commerson or someone else in honor of Mme. Lepaute; that post has "peautia caelestina" and I've seen it as "Lepautia caelestina". Celestial, get it? (I can't find any official record of the name.) Then the same person or someone else decided that the Lepautia plant was really a Hortensia, an already-existing genus, and so changed its name. That sort of realization and name change happens fairly often. Yet it is just tricky enough that it might have confused the OED.
The French botanist Commerson's got his own dramatic story he took his girlfriend Jeanne along on the big 1766 expedition run by Bougainville. She disguised herself as a man and worked on the crew, and the deception wasn't discovered until Tahiti. She and Commerson left the ship at Mauritius (near Madagascar), where Commerson still did what he could for the natural sciences until his death five years later. So, he never got back to France.
Either way, it seems like an awfully convenient name for ... or belonging to a garden' (f. hortus 'garden').

Precisely why Commerson created the flower name "Hortensia" is still unknown to me. Probably the "garden" meaning. But maybe in honor of someone. Or both.

Best Donna Richoux
PS Kerry will be the hands-down winner in New Hampshire next week. My crystal ball, assisted by knowledge of the results from the most recent US polls, also tells me a Democrat will be the next President.

I note that that statement can still be true if Bush wins in November.

Evan Kirshenbaum + HP Laboratories >So when can we quit passing laws and
1501 Page Mill Road, 1U, MS 1141 >raising taxes? When can we say ofPalo Alto, CA 94304 >our political system, "Stick a fork

http://www.kirshenbaum.net /
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Evan Kirshenbaum filted:
PS Kerry will be the hands-down winner in New ... also tells me a Democrat will be the next President.

I note that that statement can still be true if Bush wins in November.

That occurred to me as well...this year, there are four possible outcomes: (1) Bush wins, pushing the "next President" question into 2008 (2) A Democrat wins, making Charles's crystal ball correct immediately (3) A third-party candidate wins, a first in US Presidential politics, or (4) Bush is not the Republican candidate in November...given his current approval rating and the traditional edge an incumbent has both in primaries and in the general election, it's unlikely that he'll fail to be nominated by his party unless something dire happens (the last time the party favorite missed appearing on the ballot was 1968, a tragic and more importantly uncommon occurrence)..
Let's set aside possibilities 3 and 4 at this point..

Now if it goes to 2008, Dububbya will be ineligible to run under the provisions of the 22nd Amendment, and the likely choice of the GOP at that time will be Cheney...the party in the White House has nominated either its incumbent President or its Vice-President in every election since 1956 and things have, if anything, become even more hidebound since...all those months in an "undisclosed location" and out of the limelight can't but hurt Cheney's appeal to voters, and if the Democrats lose this time out they'll have four years to concentrate their efforts on further building their base and positioning a genuinely strong candidate to run...whoever they pick in '08 (my crystal ball is dark on this point) will be a virtual shoo-in..r
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