Tag Archives: English language

A Lesson From Grad School: Building Your Own Lexicon

In grad school as a Master of Theology student, I was taught in one class to keep a journal handy for when you start making your own lexicon. Now, as much as I hate neologisms since many of them bring me #FACEPALMS, the English language does not have a word to express every feeling or event or action. That’s why it’s always changing (and another good reason why I don’t believe in English-onlyism).

So, here are a few terms I am working on:

Black-Collar Crime– Crimes involving clergymen and religious leaders. The difference is that these are a violations of the law, as well as the trust that people expect socially from those who “wear the collar.” I also hope to expand on this definition, so we don’t just see these as fodder for gossip columns, so that we start taking ethics in the pulpit seriously.

Infame– Like its counterpart fame, only being famous for the wrong reasons, like reality television or “christians” like Doug Wilson of Christianity Today.

Corporate Junta– I am still working on this one, but it is the abrasive politics of control corporations and other local economic entities (local businesses and trades historical favored by a particular state, oil for example) whereby the economic security of the very few is placed above all else (much like in military juntas).

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A Case Of the Mondays

English: Carl Crawford between innings in an A...

One of my favorite quotes from the movie Office Space is, “Looks like someone has a case of the Mondays!”

Welp, apparently in the North Eastern part of the United States, there’s a new racial slur , are you ready? Mondays. Yup, that’s right, Mondays, as I have always suspected are racist! So, remember, whenever you quote Office Space, do not say it around, you know, people who look like me. Thank you, Urban Dictionary.com

Turns out a police officer has been fired for saying “I hate Mondays” when referring to Carl Crawford, a baseball player and outfielder for the BoSox. Leominster Mayor Dean Mazzarella terminated John Perrault. In Perrault’s defense, he said he was using the words to refer to ““Crawford for being a bad player, not because he was a black man.”

PAUSE! Wait a second, what does being a Monday have to do with being a bad baseball player? I am a life-long baseball and there is not folklore that I know of where players are curse on Mondays (the second day of the week). I mean, unless you are a member of the Chicago Cubs. then you are cursed everyday. So no, um, this is not a valid excuse. Perrault coulda said, I hate Mondays because it’s the more boring day of the week, and my minor league team never wins. But noooooooooooooooooo. He meant it because of the way Crawford plays. Give me a break. In this case, Monday was used as a racist slur.

You’re welcome. Class dismissed.

For more, go to the Washington Post: Massachusetts Mayor fires Police Officer using racial slur

Edit; UPDATED: This video was shared by a friend on Twitter; I guess the Boomtown Rats’ “I Don’t Like Mondays” is now racist, huh?:

 

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What Now Shall I Read: A Case for the ESV

The Codex Gigas from the 13th century, held at...
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A very special thank you to Jason from Pastoral Musings for joining us in this project, “What now Shall I Read?” Previous entries are here: Intro , NIV , NRSV , NAB and NLT. And now, let’s give Jason a very warm political Jesus welcome as he tells me why he uses the ESV version.

First of all, I must say that I primarily use the King James Version.  I am a former King James Only-ite.

The English Standard Version (henceforth ESV) was one of the first translations other than the KJV that I took seriously.  The NKJV simply didn’t leave me feeling comfortable.  As one friend stated, reading the NKJV after the KJV is like kissing one’s cousin.

I truly like the NASB, but there’s a certain stuffiness about it that I can’t explain.  I like the reading, because it’s pretty clear.  It simply doesn’t have the cadence that the KJV has.  The ESV has retained much of that cadence.

The ESV has managed to capture a good deal of the beauty of the KJV while still updating the archaic language.  It is also an understandable translation.  There is one very unfortunate place in the Old Testament that I dislike.  I hope that they will correct it later.

For a person who is leaving the KJV as his only Bible, the ESV is something that I highly recommend, as it will leave that person relatively comfortable.

The ESV is readable, too.  It’s not difficult to me.  I like that.  I also like a translation that seeks to be “essentially literal” (to use the words of Leland Ryken), or a formal equivalence translation.  The ESV does a good job, I think, and is a good English translation.

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