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This is the same sort of thing that led Michelangelo to depict Moses with horns rather than with a halo....r

Where do you get a halo from? Ex 34:29/35 talk about the skin of his face "giving off rays/beams (literally 'horns') of light". (Hebrew "karan")

It seems that that has been discussed long ago; for instance, in Sir Thomas Browne's Pseudodoxia Epidemica V:ix (pp. 286-288)(1646; 6th ed., 1672):


"The ground of this absurdity, was surely a mistake of the Hebrew Text, in the History of Moses, when he descended from the mount; upon the affinity of Kæren and Karan, that is, an horn, and to shine, which is one quality of horn"
Footnote:"Exod. 34.29, 35. (The Hebrew word Nrq is a Qal verb form (i.e., "Perfect" state) and occurs as such only in this passage. It cannot be (properly) translated by the English "with horns"; Ælfric translates the Latin cornuta as "gehyrned", "behorned". The Septuagint has dedo/castai; Aquila, as Ross says, has keratw&dhj h(n. That Jerome did not mean anything that we would call "horns" is usually demonstrated by a passage from his Commentary on Ezechial: "denique post quadraginta dies, vultum Moysi vulgus ignobile caliganttibus oculis non videbat, quia 'glorificata erat,' sive, ut in hebraico continetur, 'cornuta', facies Moysi".

See Mellinkoff, pp. 77-87, for a discussion of the horns from the perspective of translators and commentators. Süring (page 428) points out the improbability of Moses' being ignorant of horns, which, as she also remarks, are said to come not from the forehead, but from the face.")
ObAUE: I see that Browne writes "an horn". Is the H in horn mute in some dialects?
Saludos cordiales
Mood conjugation:
I enjoy a drop
You never say no
He is an alcoholic
(Craig Brown)
Not every animal, or even most: chicken/chicken, duck/duck, fish/fish, shrimp/shrimp, etc.

Unless my belly has been lying to me, there are several different kinds of fish (canned, pecan encrusted) and duck (Peking, shot by neighbor). But only one kind of chicken and shrimp (different sizes).
Teachers: We supply a list of EFL job vacancies
Sunsweet, for example: http://www.sunsweet.com/gifts.cfm?price=0%2C5 The page cited seems to use ... and taste like prunes. I liked them a lot, though.)

Not a bad marketing idea to come up with a new lexical item for a new product.

The name change was undertaken primarily to reverse the decline which had been occurring in the sale of prunes, and it appears to have successfully done so. It was necessary for growers to petition the Food and Drug Administration to approve the change.

According to the article at
http://abcnews.go.com/sections/living/DailyNews/prune plums020101.html

"Prune juice will still be prune juice, however. Dried fruit juice would be a contradiction in terms, the industry was told by the Food and Drug Administration."
And, "By agreement with the FDA, the term 'pitted prunes' will continue to appear on packages in small letters for the next two years."
That page mentions that the renaming is aimed at the US market only. Exported prunes will continue to be labeled "prunes."

See also
http://www.cnn.com/2000/FOOD/news/09/13/prunes.reut /

"'People have told us that dried plums evoke a more positive "fresh fruit goodness" image. They've said they're more likely to eat dried plums than prunes,' said Richard Peterson, executive director of the California Prune Board. But he had no plans to rename his group the California Dried Plum Board."

Both Web pages mention the renaming of the "Chinese gooseberry" as the "kiwifruit."

Raymond S. Wise
Minneapolis, Minnesota USA
E-mail: mplsray @ yahoo . com
That explanation is doubtful. The following is from "The Bible: A History of Composition and Interpretation" by Dr. Thomas L. Long:

"In addition, scholars comparing different manuscripts can detect instances where a scribe has omitted or erroneously added letters or words or phrases. For example, some biblical scholars (as early as the ancient patristic Christian interpreters) have suggested that Jesus' proverb that it was easier for a camel (Greek: kamelos ) to pass through the needle's eye than for a rich man to enter heaven, might have resulted from a scribal error for the Greek word kamilos, which means 'rope.' (Later form criticism has rejected this assertion, contending that the hyperbole of a camel trying to pass through a needle's eye is quite consistent with Jewish proverbs.)"

I once met a couple here in Minneapolis who had been translating the Bible into the language of a people living on an island in the South Pacific. The couple also believed that Jesus did not use the word "camel," but was instead talking of something that was difficult but not impossible. So, they said, they translated the passage in question with "as difficult as a pregnant woman walking downhill"!

Raymond S. Wise
Minneapolis, Minnesota USA
E-mail: mplsray @ yahoo . com
"Harlan Messinger" (Email Removed)
Anyway, French doesn't even have words for toe or potato.

"Toe" is "orteil". You may be thinking of Spanish, which I think has"dedo de pie".

"Doigt de pied" is commonly used as well.
Students: Are you brave enough to let our tutors analyse your pronunciation?
The Belgian fries places that sprouted all over the Village ... offered is "mayonnaise," which has nothing to do with Hellman's.)

Well, as the Belgians are the inventors of the French fries, they may have something to say about it. But ... "patates frites" in France. Here in Amsterdam there are a few shops selling "Vlaamse frieten", but we call it "patat".

The 'Vlaamse Frieten' seems to be a rapidly expanding chain. In a few years every little town will have one.
They may even push out McDonalds,
(1) Infinite in the mathematical sense: given a number of ... words are not uncommon. They even occur in spell-checking dictionaries.

The longest I have in one of my online dictionaries is: levensverzekeringsmaatschappijen which is even quite common.

Grepping an easily accessible source
(the Dutch spelling dictionary that came with Excalibur, which comes with many TeX implementations for Mac) finds lots of 25 letter words, a handful of 30 letter ones, and indeed the longest at 32, 'levensverzekeringsmaatschappijen'. (life insurance companies)
The dictionary seems to have beeen obtained by sampling real usage.

there is no such thing as a longest word in ... of letters you can invent a word that is longer.

That's not "'infinite' in the mathematical sense". A mathematician would say "there's no upper bound on the length of Dutch words" or "Dutch words can be of arbitrarily long length" (different from "of arbitrary length" which implies also that they can be of one letter).

Not for mathematicians among themselves,
but it is about what you can expect
when a mathematician tries to explain
the (Aristotelian) difference
between an actual and a potential infinite
to a layman.
And indeed, unlike French or English,
Dutch sadly lacks one-letter words,
which make a pi-rhyme in Dutch very difficult.

"Que j'aime a faire .."
Students: We have free audio pronunciation exercises.
(1) Apparently his own; tradition has it that Moses himself took down the words of the Pentateuch, which leads to questions about the last few verses of Deuteronomy describing the circumstances of his death..

One of Stephen Leacock's stories ends with something like: "I fell ill. I died. I buried myself."

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