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June 11, 2003

Another book I’m glad I didn’t copyedit
Posted by Teresa at 06:51 PM *

This time it’s the Book of Mormon, in particular Chapter 11 of The Book of Alma the Son of Alma, which has a discussion of the currency in use by the Nephites during the reign of King Mosiah.

Alma 11

[1] Now it was in the law of Mosiah that every man who was a judge of the law, or those who were appointed to be judges, should receive wages according to the time which they labored to judge those who were brought before them to be judged. …

[3] And the judge received for his wages according to his time—a senine of gold for a day, or a senum of silver, which is equal to a senine of gold; and this is according to the law which was given.

[4] Now these are the names of the different pieces of their gold, and of their silver, according to their value. And the names are given by the Nephites, for they did not reckon after the manner of the Jews who were at Jerusalem; neither did they measure after the manner of the Jews; but they altered their reckoning and their measure, according to the minds and the circumstances of the people, in every generation, until the reign of the judges, they having been established by king Mosiah.

[5] Now the reckoning is thus—a senine of gold, a seon of gold, a shum of gold, and a limnah of gold.

[6] A senum of silver, an amnor of silver, an ezrom of silver, and an onti of silver.

[7] A senum of silver was equal to a senine of gold, and either for a measure of barley, and also for a measure of every kind of grain.

[8] Now the amount of a seon of gold was twice the value of a senine.

[9] And a shum of gold was twice the value of a seon.

[10] And a limnah of gold was the value of them all.

[11] And an amnor of silver was as great as two senums.

[12] And an ezrom of silver was as great as four senums.

[13] And an onti was as great as them all.

[14] Now this is the value of the lesser numbers of their reckoning —

[15] A shiblon is half of a senum; therefore, a shiblon for half a measure of barley.

[16] And a shiblum is a half of a shiblon.

[17] And a leah is the half of a shiblum.

[18] Now this is their number, according to their reckoning.

[19] Now an antion of gold is equal to three shiblons.
(Unfortunately, at this point Alma’s narrative wanders away from this very promising story problem, gets itself entangled in a dull conversation between Amulek and Zeezrom, and never wanders back again.)

The challenge: Work out Nephite currency exchange rates.

Comments on Another book I'm glad I didn't copyedit:
#1 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: June 11, 2003, 08:23 PM:

Makes you wonder how Mormonism caught on, with Holy Book full of Word Problems.

"Awww, we're never going to use this stuff when we grow up!"

1 Senine(au) = 1 Senum ag = Measure of barley

1 Shum = 2 Seon(au) = 4 Senine = 4 Measures of barley

1 Limnah = ?

1 Ezrom = 2 Amnor = 2 Senums = 4 Shiblons = 8 Shiblums = 16 Leahs = 2 Measures of barley

1 Antion = 3 Shiblons

1 Onti = ?

". . . was as great as them all" is kind of vague.

Does this mean an onti is equal to: 1 leah + 1 shiblum + 1 shiblon + 1 senum?

#2 ::: --k. ::: (view all by) ::: June 11, 2003, 09:40 PM:

Nah. An onti is seven senums. Or a shum and three senines. I don't think petty cash is counted in "them all."

What's strange is that the senine and senum are of the same value. Which means a senum is volumetrically larger than a senine. And also that each step is of the same value. And of course the one-coins-to-rule-them-all are also equivalents. Though the onti's going to be much heavier in your pocket than the limnah.

And how much, pray tell, was a measure? --Why, the amount of grain you could get for a senum, that's what. Or a senine. Depending. What's the price of gold today, in silver?

The antion, though--the antion, I'm betting, was really the electrum piece from somebody's AD&D campaign that got mixed into the currency pool by mistake.

#3 ::: John M. Ford ::: (view all by) ::: June 11, 2003, 10:21 PM:

--And it came to pass, that the lords of the heathen lands did decree that an new coin should be strucken, and be the coin of all the peoples thereof, and its name was called the Yugo.

--Yet did the Nephites give not the tenth part of a shiblum therefor, nor an bucket of mouldy barley, and would not trade in it, nor did they follow the ways of the Keepers of the Keynes.

--To which the heathen lords did say, what shall be the heck thereunto? Know ye not, that an strong shiblom findeth thine payments in the wanting balance, and a little butter leaveneth the whole mountain?

--But to them said Mosiah, seest thou that? And the men appointed to be judges, in name Lariah and Curloni, did whack the heathen upside the heads thereof, and cast them out of the temple with the other moneychangers.

--For as the Early Fathers' prophets spake, who is on the supply's side? And when the E. F. Prophets spake, did the people lasten.

-- The Book of the Men of Fried, verses 10-14

#4 ::: Robert L ::: (view all by) ::: June 12, 2003, 01:34 AM:

The idea of actually copy editing the Book of Mormon is a frightening thought (for us copy editors, anyway), yet I suppose that someone must have, after a fashion, when it was printed for the first time. And didn't you once tell me that the church has occasionally "edited" certain passages in subsequent editions?

Mr. Joseph Smith
General Delivery
Nauvoo, Illinois
Dear Mr. Smith,

I know I told you I'd have your manuscript all edited by July 15, but my cat has been very sick and I had to take her to the vet. Do you think I could have another week or so to finish up?

#5 ::: J Greely ::: (view all by) ::: June 12, 2003, 02:10 AM:

Personally, I never made it past 2 Nephi 5:21-25. I was willing to at least play along with the gag until I reached that bit.


#6 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: June 12, 2003, 03:00 AM:

"And how much, pray tell, was a measure?"

One third of a shitload.

A shitload being a bit more than what two people can reasonably carry.

One person can lug around a measure, but tip the guy a few shiblums, OK?

#7 ::: Avram ::: (view all by) ::: June 12, 2003, 03:03 AM:

I love the name "Mosiah". I'm not the only one; it made Merav laugh uncontrollably.

#8 ::: Larry Lurex ::: (view all by) ::: June 12, 2003, 07:20 AM:

Really this passage is kind of a weak justification for the existence of god: you just couldn't make it up.

#9 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: June 12, 2003, 08:44 AM:

I hate when people write pseudo-scripturally, and do it badly. Tolkein does it rather well. Smith just wasn't that good.

I don't mean to deny that it's the genuine Word O' God. But not, obviously, God's actual words.

#10 ::: Kathryn Cramer ::: (view all by) ::: June 12, 2003, 11:39 AM:

God was having an off day. He knew he could write better, but he just couldn't get up to speed. But he was committed to grind out those five pages a day, or else the darned thing would never get finished.

#11 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: June 12, 2003, 12:04 PM:

Hey, don't blame God. It was those magic translating spectacles.

#12 ::: Alison Scott ::: (view all by) ::: June 12, 2003, 12:32 PM:

You get the real impression God was being paid by the word here, don't you?

#13 ::: Paul Riddell ::: (view all by) ::: June 12, 2003, 01:40 PM:

A couple of years ago, I came across a book on the best science writing of the year 2000. The book itself was chock full of fascinating material, such as the exact breakdown of why smallpox is bad for you (the description of how the inner lining of the large intestine sloughs off like a snakeskin is enough to make any sane person demand better controls on smallpox samples), and an article on how the sport of camel racing is leading to fascinating developments in veterinary medicine. Well, the best story still had to be the tale of the number of Mormon archaeologists scouring the American Southwest and Mexico in search of any landmark that corresponds with those described in the Book of Mormon. The locals know that no such locales exist, but they're making fortunes by leading these poor deluded Mormons into jungle and prairie in the hope that the Book of Mormon will be accepted as a historical document on a level with the Bible and the Iliad.

Yes, it's sad, but no more deluded than that "Science of 'Star Wars'" book from a couple of years back. That latter title is still one of my favorite oxymorons...

#14 ::: John Farrell ::: (view all by) ::: June 12, 2003, 02:08 PM:

What I'd love to know, Teresa, is what are the books you wish you had copyedited....?


#15 ::: PiscusFiche ::: (view all by) ::: June 12, 2003, 03:00 PM:

I had blissfully forgotten the existence of that chapter until just now. It's like Leviticus and Numbers but worse. Thank you, Theresa. :)

#16 ::: PiscusFiche ::: (view all by) ::: June 12, 2003, 03:01 PM:

Sorry about spelling your name wrong. I really know better. Really.

#17 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: June 12, 2003, 04:51 PM:

Robert, there's more than one issue in play here. Joseph Smith didn't so much write the Book of Mormon as dictate it. He was bright and inventive, but he'd been poorly educated and was only passably literate. In some ways that method is helpful for a beginning author; it means he can only go forward. On the other hand, he's working without a net. Joseph might have had some materials he could surreptitously refer to -- he had a piece of cloth strung up between himself and his secretary when he was dictating -- but he can't have had much. You pretty much have to figure that he was improvising, spinning a yarn as he went. So there's that.

Then there's the lost Book of Lehi. At one point Martin Harris, the man who'd been acting as Joseph's secretary, begged to be allowed to show part of the manuscript to his wife. Joseph was reluctant, but finally allowed it. That portion of the manuscript never came back. It's suspected that Mrs. Harris burned it. Trouble was, Joseph couldn't be sure she'd destroyed it. If he "retranslated" that section and she still had the first version, any inconsistencies between the first and second versions would be evidence that he was composing, not translating.

Joseph's answer, not an ideal one, was to abandon the Book of Lehi. He further patched over the problem by inserting an awkward short chapter called The Words of Mormon, and received a convenient revelation (Doctrine and Covenants 10) telling him not to retranslate the opening section. There's a good short article about the episode here. It reads a bit like a massive copyeditorial query.

A further issue is the book's long string of post-publication EAs. By Jerald and Sandra Tanner's count, as of 1996 there had been 3,913 of them. You'd like that article, too. It quotes some wonderful bits from John H. Gilbert, who typeset and printed the first edition. He said the Mormons who oversaw production, chiefly Hyrum Smith and Martin Harris, explicitly told him not to correct any errors in spelling or grammar.

Well. You know how that goes.

From time to time, church leaders have blamed Gilbert for all those errors in the book. Unfortunately for them, the matter had already been very thoroughly investigated by poor old B. H. Roberts, who was the church's first real historian and a man of great integrity. The printer's setting copy had survived, and Roberts read the first edition against it. He concluded:

"That errors of grammar and faults in dictation do exist in the Book of Mormon (and more especially and abundantly in the first edition) must be conceded; and what is more, while some of the errors may be referred to inefficient proof-reading, such as is to be expected in a country printing establishment, yet such is the nature of the errors in question, and so interwoven are they throughout the diction of the Book, that they may not be disposed of by saying they result from inefficient proof-reading, or referring them to the mischievous disposition of the 'typos' or the unfriendliness of the publishing house. The errors are constitutional in their character; they are of the web and woof of the style, and not such errors as may be classed as typographical. Indeed, the first edition of the Book of Mormon is singularly free from typographical errors."
That is, the subsequent changes are EAs, not PEs. The majority correct grammar or spelling errors, but they've also been tweaking the continuity.

This gets us into a fourth issue, probably the one you remember me ranting about: the church leadership's sly quiet alteration of texts, not because they were erroneous, but because they were inconvenient. The most blatant example of this is 2 Nephi 30:6. It's part of a series of prophecies concerning the Native American population. The original version said:

[5] And the gospel of Jesus Christ shall be declared among them; wherefore, they shall be restored unto the knowledge of their fathers, and also to the knowledge of Jesus Christ, which was had among their fathers.

[6] And then shall they rejoice; for they shall know that it is a blessing unto them from the hand of God; and their scales of darkness shall begin to fall from their eyes; and many generations shall not pass away among them, save they shall be a white and delightsome people. (Emphasis mine.)

That is, if they get True Religion, they will literally become a fair-skinned people. Sometime in the 1970s or early 1980s this embarrassing doctrine vanished in a puff of smoke, leaving the word "pure" where the word "white" had once been.

That made me angry. I'd long since ceased to be a believing Mormon, and even if I had believed, I wouldn't have regretted the loss of that doctrine. In part I was angered by the church leaders' failure to take responsibility for the change, or explain how and why it had been made. But the big reason was their bland assumption that we somehow weren't going to notice the disappearance of such a colorful prophecy, or the loss of a phrase as awkwardly memorable as "white and delightsome".

What a bunch of amateurs.

If you're interested, there's a big stash of articles about Mormonism on the Tanners' website. I assume you'll find them interesting, but not quite as interesting as I do. I could be wrong about that, though. Some of the stuff I take for granted because I grew up with it has astonished my friends. I still have the series of letters -- dispatches from the theological front lines -- I got from Jim Macdonald when he was reading the King Follet Discourse.

#18 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: June 12, 2003, 05:44 PM:

Don't worry, PF; everyone does it once in a while.

John, I seldom read a book where that thought doesn't cross my mind in some form. I can't remember the title of the one I most wish I had copyedited. It's around here somewhere, probably in a box. It's a historical novel, published iirc in the first quarter of the twentieth century, and the author hung out with a bunch of literary big names.

I stole my copy from IKEA. I'd gotten stuck waiting there for a couple of hours; long story. Anyway, IKEA had evidently bought a remaindered carton of copies of this title to use as set dressing in their displays, along with a carton each of a book about coal production and one about duck hunting. I pulled one copy off a stack of them and settled down to read.

The novel was a reprint, issued by some small but respectable press -- academic, I think. The back-cover copy was enthusiastic. It was that rare thing: an already-published book plucked from moribund obscurity and given a second chance.

It had the worst punctuation I've ever seen in otherwise passable prose.

Imagine a long, reflective, somewhat meandering descriptive sentence, not exactly punchy but not unattractive either, that's loosely strung together with commas. Got that in your head?

Now put a semicolon after the opening clause and replace the rest of the commas with colons.

It read like kids playing with garbage can lids. I don't know whether that punctuation was from the original edition, or whether something uniquely awful happened to the book when it was being prepared for reprinting, but it was utterly unreadable. If I concentrated very very hard on a paragraph I could just barely make out what it was supposed to sound like, but that was as much as I could manage.

If that book had been moribund before, it was now as dead as Jacob Marley. Who's going to touch it? It's gone from being obscure to being an unreadable text with a record of failure. I stole that copy out of horror and pity, and to keep around to remind me of the bad things can happen to books when no one's taking proper care of them.

#19 ::: Claude Muncey ::: (view all by) ::: June 12, 2003, 06:11 PM:

Many thanks for the link to the Tanners -- for some reason I had never thought to google for them.

My wife spent some of her teenage years in Roy, and has always had wonderfully mixed feelings about the Latter Day Saints. Her mother sent her to Catholic schools (although her family was not then Catholic -- something Marilee and I took care of later) to keep her out of the local "public" schools. Many of her friends were "Saints" and when her mother died (she was 16) her LDS neighbors were very compassionate and practical with help. (Minnesota apparently has nothing on Utah where hot dish is concerned, and we all have heard about the green jello . . .).

When we married [mutter] years ago, she had the big, thick, legal size photo offset and post bound version of the Tanners' book -- what I have always referred to as the samizdat edition. Fascinating reading.

#20 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: June 12, 2003, 07:45 PM:

Isn't it just? I love the Tanners' website.

Did the local Mormons bring casseroles when your wife's mother died? It's our number-one reaction to illness, grief, loss, and hard times. Probably next on the list is helping clean up, or taking care of the kids. We're practical, if maybe a shade inarticulate.

Religion's one thing, culture's another and in that sense I'll always be a Mormon. Every year at Pentecost, St. Augustine's has a grand trilingual (I count five languages in it, but never mind) Mass, followed by the annual parish potluck picnic. Even when we're not celebrating the gift of tongues, we're a polyglot parish, with two English, one Spanish, and one Haitian Kreol service every Sunday, and a weekly bulletin that looks like the Rosetta Stone.

(The Haitian choir is cooler than we are. You could do a dance remix of their version of the Sanctus.)

Anyway, on account of it being Pentecost and us being in Brooklyn, Father Bob always encourages people to bring the characteristic dishes of their native lands. So every year, I bring a big tupperware container of Jello. Nobody else gets the joke, but the Jello goes over pretty well, so it's okay.

#21 ::: Mary Kay ::: (view all by) ::: June 12, 2003, 08:14 PM:

Bringing casseroles when somebody dies isn't just a Mormon thing, as you no doubt know. It was practiced in the Oklahoma of my youth as well. Supplemented by cakes and pies if you could bake. After my grandfather died (the only one that happned when I was still living with my parents) we had enough food for a month. Mostly brought by my mom's friends none of whom knew my grandfather...

Speaking of copyediting, we really need to do that. You wanna take it to email, AIM, or the phone?


#22 ::: Jon H ::: (view all by) ::: June 13, 2003, 12:18 AM:

Mary Kay wrote: "Bringing casseroles when somebody dies isn't just a Mormon thing, as you no doubt know. It was practiced in the Oklahoma of my youth as well."

Did the Mormons pass through on the way to Utah and leave some Culture behind?

#23 ::: Robert L ::: (view all by) ::: June 13, 2003, 01:09 AM:

Teresa, your comments bring to mind an even scarier thought--=line editing= the Book of Mormon! I will check out those articles (it's late and gotta go to bed so i can get up and edit restaurant reviews...)
Book I proofread, and copy edited after a fashion, that was truly a nightmare to work on, though I thoroughly enjoyed reading it: Tristram Shandy

Book I am proud to have proofread and fixed a lot of little things in: Under a Hoodoo Moon, by Dr. John [Mac Rebennack]--the downest, dirtiest, nastiest rock autobiograhy of all time

Weirdest all-round job that I simultaneously copy edited and proofread: American Psycho by Bret Easton Ellis

Books I wish I'd copy edited I guess fall into 2 categories: books that I read and find a lot of problems in, causing me to think "if they'd only come to me..."; and books that are just fun to read. Actually, Story of O might be one book it would've been fun to write author queries for...

#24 ::: pericat ::: (view all by) ::: June 13, 2003, 01:15 AM:

Did the Mormons pass through on the way to Utah and leave some Culture behind?

and if they did, have any Mormon archaeologists been back to survey it?

#25 ::: Claude Muncey ::: (view all by) ::: June 13, 2003, 01:42 AM:

Re: Casseroles -- of course they did, and my wife still remembers them. And she asks, what color jello?

#26 ::: Kevin Andrew Murphy ::: (view all by) ::: June 13, 2003, 03:04 AM:

Not only is this a word problem, but it's a biodiversity problem.

Barley, as any ethnobotonist will tell you, did not reach the New World until sometime after 1492. The foxtails we have growing by the roadside are wild Spanish barley, the seeds of which had caught in the tails of the burros and horses that were brought over.

Not only has no one turned up any seinums or shiblums or amnors anywhere in the New World (and given the tradeability of coinage, they would), but one can assume that if people bought and sold barley, they actually grew it, and even if they didn't intend to grow it, a few grains would have got lost and sprouted and propogated themselves because, well, that's what seeds do.

But so far as making up his own D&D world, I think JS was doing a bang-up job. Amnors and whatnot are a lot more colorful than just having gold and silverpieces in single denominations.

#27 ::: janeyolen ::: (view all by) ::: June 13, 2003, 03:06 AM:

Jews always bring food to houses of grief. In fact we DON'T bring flowers. Or send them. I am sure there's a religious reason for that. But underneath, it's pure help.

Casseroles and cakes and pies and salads. No jello, though. Because we are not a white and delightsome people, I guess!

#28 ::: Alan Hamilton ::: (view all by) ::: June 13, 2003, 03:53 AM:

The whole "pure" to "white" thing was part of the fallout from the 1978 revelation to let all races into the priesthood. My dad was sure ticked at that. I pretty much exited the church a few years after that. That's what I get for reading too much Asimov.

#29 ::: John Farrell ::: (view all by) ::: June 13, 2003, 09:00 AM:

Scenes I'd Like To See Department--if only because it might make a great short story: an Irish wake where no one who doesn't bring liquor isn't allowed in to pay their last respects. The deceased's roaring drunk brother won't allow any food. ("Fook that!")

Mock dilemma: The most beautiful widow in the parish shows up at the door with a cake.

(but it's a rum cake)

[Sorry—I've been overdosing on short stories recently, Tales from the Irish Club by Lester Goran being the latest collection.]

#30 ::: Lois Fundis ::: (view all by) ::: June 13, 2003, 10:38 AM:

In my family (Methodists mostly), my impression is that a lot of people bring desserts: cakes, pies, etc., rather than casseroles/"hot dish". I have no idea why.

Green Jello, Claude. Mostly with something else suspended inside it -- cream cheese? fruit? No, if it's fruit it's probably red Jello. Or maybe yellow Jello.

#31 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: June 13, 2003, 11:03 AM:

Every year at Pentecost, St. Augustine's has a grand trilingual (I count five languages in it, but never mind) Mass, followed by the annual parish potluck picnic. Even when we're not celebrating the gift of tongues...

I once wrote a setting of the bit of Acts that starts "Loquebantur variis linguis Apostoli..." ("The apostles were speaking in various tongues..."), and had the Tenors sing in Latin, the Altos in English, the Sopranos in French, and the Basses in German. It all came (sort of) together on the Aleluia/Hallelujah.

It was too hard to sing, though. Triple against duple all over the place.

#32 ::: David Frazer ::: (view all by) ::: June 13, 2003, 11:22 AM:

I see that the Tanners have reprinted the books written by my apostate Mormon ancestors.

Most of what I know about Mormonism comes from reading Fanny Stenhouse's Tell It All (in a 1970s reprint)...

#33 ::: PiscusFiche ::: (view all by) ::: June 13, 2003, 12:21 PM:

Speaking of Jell-O, there's a recent film made by some LDS folk about Utah culture called The Singles Ward. (Which I made my boyfriend watch because I figured it was the quickest way to immerse him in the whacky culture from whence I sprang--he found it highly amusing, although not in the ways intended by the filmmakers.) One of the features on the DVD is Jell-O recipes. Seriously. I shit you not.

#34 ::: Janet Croft ::: (view all by) ::: June 13, 2003, 02:16 PM:

Jello! With stuff in it!

I must refer you to Lilek's Gallery of Regrettable Food -- see the Knox cookbook at and the Jello cookbook at Not for the faint of stomach, some of this...

#35 ::: Bill Woods ::: (view all by) ::: June 13, 2003, 04:31 PM:

Stefan Jones:

1 Ezrom = 2 Amnor = 2 Senums = 4 Shiblons = 8 Shiblums = 16 Leahs = 2 Measures of barley

You dropped a factor of two; it should be

1 Ezrom = 2 Amnor = 4 Senums = 8 Shiblons = 16 Shiblums = 32 Leahs = 4 Measures of barley (or other grain)

Apparently binary is God's base.

#36 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: June 13, 2003, 04:32 PM:

And all your base are belong to us.

#37 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: June 13, 2003, 04:47 PM:

Claude: Red, for Pentecost. It's a strawberry jello fruit salad. My family was never all that big on lime jello. We were certainly familiar with it, but it wasn't something we'd go out of our way to wish on ourselves.

#38 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: June 13, 2003, 04:49 PM:

PF, of course they'd put jello recipes on the DVD. That seems perfectly logical. I'm just wondering how they could leave out the recipe for Funeral Potatoes.

#39 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: June 13, 2003, 04:50 PM:

I'm going to have to do a post about this.

#40 ::: Berni ::: (view all by) ::: June 13, 2003, 09:03 PM:

Mary Kay's comment about Oklahoma made me think of my uncle's funeral. My father's family are all Southern Baptists. At the reception at the house after the funeral, all I could think of was that I'd never seen so much fried chicken and jello mold (jelly salad in a molded form, not jello with mold growing on it) in my life.

#41 ::: Robert L ::: (view all by) ::: June 14, 2003, 02:14 AM:

OK, I went back and read about the changes in the Book of Mormon inn more detail It's surprising (or perhaps not surprising at all, depending on your point of view) how many of the expressions that were changed come across as colloquial (backwoods, if you will) ways of speaking that are standardized. Many people today will still say "they was" or "was a going"--and one could argue that if, as you say, Joseph Smith was not a particularly educated man, he translated the plates into his own idiom. Or even that this language made it easier to communicate with followers of a similar background.
On the other hand, this strikes me as possibly an actual typo (that is, a repeated line, which usually occurs when they eye focuses on the same word or words in different places and backtracks) that has been introduced in the later edition:

On page 501 of the first edition this statement appears:

a0a0a0 "... for thou shalt forget the shame of thy youth, and shalt not remember the reproach of thy widowhood any more."
a0a0a0 In the 1964 reprint (3 Nephi 22:4) nine words have been added:

a0a0a0 "... for thou shalt forget the shame of thy youth, and shalt not remember the reproach of thy youth, and shalt not remember the reproach of thy widowhood any more."

This brings to mind, of course, the famous editions of the Bible with typos, such as the so-called "Evil Bible," an English edition that actually got the printer put in jail because it said "Thou shalt commit adultery." ("See, honey, you can see it says so right here in the Bible.") I also have seen an edition of the Koran which I believe erroneously left off "In the name of Allah, the Merciful" etc. from the beginning of one of the Suras.
No doubt the first typesetter said to someone or to himself that same statement that I learned early on in my career in publishing: "[world-weary sigh] That's the way they want it..."

#42 ::: Mary Kay ::: (view all by) ::: June 14, 2003, 12:12 PM:

Lois: A rundown of jello uses from my culture. Green jello is for salad type things. You might, for example, mix cottage cheese into it. Red jello was mostly eaten plain with whipped topping. Sometimes you might mix apple and nuts with red jello in a sort of faux Waldorf salad effect. Grape jello had bananas suspended in it. And my favorite: orange jello with shredded carrots suspended it it. So far as I can remember, we never used yellow jello at all. I currently have a number of boxes of bright blue jello sitting in my cabinet which I bought several years ago when it first came out intending to do something bizarre and creative with it. I mean, gosh, blue food! It's still waiting


#43 ::: Avram ::: (view all by) ::: June 14, 2003, 02:32 PM:

St. Augustine's has a grand trilingual (I count five languages in it, but never mind) Mass

That's clearly the same tri as in trilogy.

#44 ::: BSD ::: (view all by) ::: June 14, 2003, 09:23 PM:

Re: Post Funeral Food.

For shiva-sitting, whatever else was brought by visitors, I have always seen (in my family) a nigh-identical pair of platters, one a particular arrangement of smoked fish, the other a particular arrangement of rugelach. I'm still puzzling out how the same arrangements can be obtained in NYC (likely, the original), Boca, and Chicago. Hopefully, I won't have to find out for a while yet.

Hot food has rarely been involved, as it's got to sit out all day, and anything uneaten will return the next.

#45 ::: Madeline ::: (view all by) ::: June 14, 2003, 10:31 PM:

I think my family's been vaguely agnostic for three generations, but I was raised that it's absolutely one's duty to bring to houses of bereavement solid food that can be put in the freezer and then warmed in the oven whenever it's needed (thus, casseroles). I was, at first, baffled when I encountered the idea of bringing desserts.

#46 ::: bryan ::: (view all by) ::: June 15, 2003, 10:49 AM:

I suppose no one knows about this or it would have been mentioned in thread earlier, but I could swear that mark twain wrote an article criticizing the Book of Mormon's 'style', and that I read it about 10 years ago, if anyone knows where one can find a copy of such an article I would appreciate it.

#47 ::: Robert L ::: (view all by) ::: June 15, 2003, 12:28 PM:

Mark Twain's comments on the Book of Moemon can be found in his humorous travel book Roughing It.

#48 ::: John M. Ford ::: (view all by) ::: June 18, 2003, 06:15 PM:

Robert, " name Lariah and Curloni" was a, you know, jest, as in, This is your pilate speaking.

I think, anyway. The trouble with parodying religious texts is the sneaking feeling that someone beat you to it, probably on a slow night at Qumran.

Excuse me, Dispatch says I am needed in Syria, there to give somebody named Antilochus an ass-and-his-oxen-yea-and-all-his-goats-kicking. Okay, X-IV already.

#49 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: June 20, 2003, 07:49 AM:

Mike, I was in no doubt as to the nature of that sacred text. But I couldn't think of anything to match it; and who wants to follow a good joke with a feeble one?

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