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December 25, 2006

Texts
Posted by Teresa at 12:01 AM *

Luke 2:1-14, Anglo-Saxon (via):

Soþlice on þam dagum wæs geworden gebod fram þam casere Augusto, þæt eall ymbehwyrft wære tomearcod. Þeos tomearcodnes wæs æryst geworden fram þam deman Syrige Cirino. And ealle hig eodon, and syndrige ferdon on hyra ceastre. Ða ferde Iosep fram Galilea of þære ceastre Nazareth on Iudeisce ceastre Dauides, seo is genemned Beþleem, for þam þe he wæs of Dauides huse and hirede; þæt he ferde mid Marian þe him beweddod wæs, and wæs geeacnod. Soþlice wæs geworden þa hi þar wæron, hire dagas wæron gefyllede þæt heo cende. And heo cende hyre frumcennedan sunu, and hine mid cildclaþum bewand, and hine on binne alede, for þam þe hig næfdon rum on cumena huse. And hyrdas wæron on þam ylcan rice waciende, and nihtwæccan healdende ofer heora heorda. Þa stod Drihtnes engel wiþ hig, and Godes beorhtnes him ymbe scean; and hi him mycelum ege adredon. And se engel him to cwæð, Nelle ge eow adrædan; soþlice nu ic eow bodie mycelne gefean, se bið eallum folce; for þam to dæg eow ys Hælend acenned, se is Drihten Crist, on Dauides ceastre. And þis tacen eow byð: Ge gemetað an cild hræglum bewunden, and on binne aled. And þa wæs færinga geworden mid þam engle mycelnes heofenlices werydes, God heriendra and þus cweþendra, Gode sy wuldor on heahnesse, and on eorðan sybb mannum godes willan.

Luke 2:1-20, tr. John Wycliffe, 1382

And it was don in tho daies, a maundement wente out fro the emperour August, that al the world schulde be discryued. :: This firste discryuyng was maad of Cyryn, iustice of Sirie. :: And alle men wenten to make professioun, ech in to his owne citee. :: And Joseph wente vp fro Galilee, fro the citee Nazareth, in to Judee, in to a citee of Dauid, that is clepid Bethleem, for that he was of the hous and of the meyne of Dauid, :: that he schulde knouleche with Marie, his wijf, that was weddid to hym, and was greet with child. :: And it was don, while thei weren there, the daies weren fulfillid, that sche schulde bere child. :: And sche bare hir first borun sone, and wlappide hym in clothis, and leide hym in a cratche, for ther was no place to hym in no chaumbir. :: And scheepherdis weren in the same cuntre, wakynge and kepynge the watchis of the nyyt on her flok. :: And lo! the aungel of the Lord stood bisidis hem, and the cleernesse of God schinede aboute hem; and thei dredden with greet drede. :: And the aungel seide to hem, Nyle ye drede; for lo! Y preche to you a greet ioye, that schal be to al puple. :: For a sauyoure is borun to dai to you, that is Crist the Lord, in the citee of Dauid. :: And this is a tokene to you; ye schulen fynde a yong child wlappid in clothis, and leid in a cratche. :: And sudenli ther was maad with the aungel a multitude of heuenli knyythod, heriynge God, :: and seiynge, Glorie be in the hiyeste thingis to God, and in erthe pees be to men of good wille. :: And it was don, as the aungelis passiden awei fro hem in to heuene, the scheephirdis spaken togider, and seiden, Go we ouer to Bethleem, and se we this word that is maad, which the Lord hath maad, and schewide to vs. :: And thei hiyynge camen, and founden Marie and Joseph, and the yong child leid in a cratche. :: And thei seynge, knewen of the word that was seid to hem of this child. :: And alle men that herden wondriden, and of these thingis that weren seid to hem of the scheephirdis. :: But Marie kepte alle these wordis, berynge togider in hir herte. :: And the scheepherdis turneden ayen, glorifyinge and heriynge God in alle thingis that thei hadden herd and seyn, as it was seid to hem.

Luke 2:1-20, tr. William Tyndale, 1530

And it chaunced in thoose dayes: yt ther went oute a comaundment from Auguste the Emperour that all the woorlde shuld be taxed. :: And this taxynge was ye fyrst and executed when Syrenius was leftenaut in Syria. :: And every man went vnto his awne citie to be taxed. :: And Ioseph also ascended from Galile oute of a cite called Nazareth into Iurie: vnto ye cite of David which is called Bethleem because he was of the housse and linage of David :: to be taxed with Mary his spoused wyfe which was with chylde. :: And it fortuned whyll they were there her tyme was come that she shuld be delyvered. :: And she brought forth her fyrst begotten sonne and wrapped him in swadlynge cloothes and layed him in a manger because ther was no roume for them within in the ynne. :: And ther were in the same region shepherdes abydinge in the felde and watching their flocke by nyght. :: And loo: the angell of ye lorde stode harde by the and the brightnes of ye lorde shone rounde aboute them and they were soare afrayed. :: But the angell sayd vnto them: Be not afrayed. For beholde I bringe you tydinges of greate ioye yt shal come to all ye people: :: for vnto you is borne this daye in the cite of David a saveoure which is Christ ye lorde. :: And take this for a signe: ye hall fynde ye chylde swadled and layed in a mager. :: And streight waye ther was with the angell a multitude of hevenly sowdiers laudynge God and sayinge: :: Glory to God an hye and peace on the erth: and vnto men reioysynge. :: And it fortuned assone as the angels were gone awaye fro them in to heven the shepherdes sayd one to another: let vs goo eve vnto Bethleem and se this thynge that is hapened which the Lorde hath shewed vnto vs. :: And they cam with haste and founde Mary and Ioseph and the babe layde in a mager. :: And when they had sene it they publisshed a brode the sayinge which was tolde them of that chylde. :: And all that hearde it wondred at those thinges which were tolde the of the shepherdes. :: But Mary kept all thoose sayinges and pondered them in hyr hert. :: And the shepherdes retourned praysinge and laudinge God for all that they had herde and sene evyn as it was told vnto them.

Luke 2:1-14, King James Version, 1611

And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be taxed. (And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.) And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city.

And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem (because he was of the house and lineage of David), to be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, she being great with child.

And so it was that while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered; and she brought forth her first-born son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes; and laid him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.

And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them, and they were sore afraid.

And the angel said unto them, Fear not; for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day, in the city of David, a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you: That ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, and lying in a manger.

And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host, praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.

Addendum: Clever Nick White has done the same thing, only his is in Greek. :: Sisuile posted hers in the Vulgate. :: Hot stuff: Lisa Spangenberg put it up in Gothic. :: Lee Sandlin posted it to the comment thread in Lowland Scots.

And also: Below is the original Anglo-Saxon text I used in this post. I couldn’t find a text of the Gospel of Luke, so instead I used Bede’s account of Caedmon, and Caedmon’s Hymn. Then Harriet Culver posted exactly the text I’d wanted in the comment thread. I’ve swapped it out, but the Caedmon’s still cool (and appropriate, too), so here goes:

Caedmon, as told by the Venerable Bede, c. 731

…þa stod him sum mon æt þurh swefn ond hine halette ond grette ond hine be his noman nemnde: Cedmon, sing me hwæthwugu. :: Þa ondswarede he ond cwæð: Ne con ic noht singan; ond ic forþon of þeossum gebeorscipe uteode, ond hider gewat, forþon ic naht singan ne cuðe. :: Eft he cwæð se ðe wið hine sprecende wæs: Hwæðre þu meaht me singan. :: Þa cwæð he: Hwæt sceal ic singan? :: Cwæð he: Sing me frumsceaft. :: Þa he ða þas andsware onfeng, þa ongon he sona singan in herenesse Godes Scyppendes þa fers ond þa word þe he næfre gehyrde, þære endebyrdnesse þis is:

Nu sculon herigean heofonrices weard,
meotodes meahte ond his modgeþanc,
weorc wuldorfæder, swa he wundra gehwæs,
ece Drihten, or onstealde.
He ærest sceop eorðan bearnum
heofon to hrofe halig scyppend;
þa middangeard monncynnes weard,
ece Drihten, æfter teode
firum foldan, frea ælmihtig.

Þa aras he from þæm slæpe, ond eal þa þe he slæpende song fæste in gemynde hæfde. :: Ond þæm wordum sona monig word in þæt ilce gemet Gode wyrðes songes togeþeodde. :: Þa com he on morgenne to þæm tungerefan, þe his ealdormon wæs: sægde him hwylce gife he onfeng.

Comments on Texts:
#2 ::: Marna ::: (view all by) ::: December 25, 2006, 03:13 AM:

And also with you!

#3 ::: Lea ::: (view all by) ::: December 25, 2006, 03:15 AM:

and the cleernesse of God schinede aboute hem

This is quite frankly amazing.

I also love the heuenli knyythode -- but wow.

#4 ::: Larry Brennan ::: (view all by) ::: December 25, 2006, 03:33 AM:

Merry Christmas.

Thanks for this, Teresa. I would love to hear the Old English text spoken - for some reason I find that I can hear more of it than I can read.

#5 ::: Dave Langford ::: (view all by) ::: December 25, 2006, 04:13 AM:

Likewise ... Merry Christmas!

#6 ::: dan ::: (view all by) ::: December 25, 2006, 05:09 AM:

Merry Christmas!

#8 ::: Harry Payne ::: (view all by) ::: December 25, 2006, 07:01 AM:

Peace and Goodwill to all.

#9 ::: Harriet ::: (view all by) ::: December 25, 2006, 07:20 AM:

Merry Christmas!

For those whose curiosity (like mine) was aroused by the Caedmon/Bede, here's the OE Luke 2:1-14 (from
http://www.anglik.net/englishcomparison.htm)

Soþlice on þam dagum wæs geworden gebod fram þam casereAugusto, þæt eall ymbehwyrft wære tomearcod. Þeos tomearcodneswæs æryst geworden fram þam deman Syrige Cirino. And ealle hig eodon,and syndrige ferdon on hyra ceastre. Ða ferde Iosep fram Galilea of þæreceastre Nazareth on Iudeisce ceastre Dauides, seo is genemned Bethleem, for þam þe he wæs of Dauides huse and hirede; þæt he ferde mid Marianþe him beweddod wæs, and wæs geeacnod. Soþlice wæs geworden þa hi þar wæron, hire dagas wæron gefyllede þæt heo cende. And heo cende hyre frumcennedan sunu, and hine mid cildclaþum bewand, and hine on binne alede, for þam þe hig næfdon rum on cumena huse. And hyrdas wæron on þam ylcan rice waciende, and nihtwæccan healdende ofer heora heorda. Þa stod Drihtnes engel wiþ hig, and Godes beorhtnes him ymbe scean; and hi him mycelum ege adredon. And se engel him to cwæð, Nelle ge eow adrædan; soþlice nu ic eow bodie mycelne gefean, se bið eallum folce; for þam to dæg eow ys Hælend acenned, se is Drihten Crist, on Dauides ceastre. And þis tacen eow byð: Ge gemetað an cild hræglum bewunden, and on binne aled. And þa wæs færinga geworden mid þam engle mycelnes heofenlices werydes, God heriendra and þus cweþendra, Gode sy wuldor on heahnesse, and on eorðan sybb mannum godes willan.

#10 ::: Ken MacLeod ::: (view all by) ::: December 25, 2006, 07:38 AM:

Merry Christmas!

#11 ::: Jo Walton ::: (view all by) ::: December 25, 2006, 07:52 AM:

Merry Christmas!

#12 ::: Sisuile ::: (view all by) ::: December 25, 2006, 08:52 AM:

Vulgate: Luke 2:1-14

Factum est autem in diebus illis, exiit edictum a Cæsare Augusto ut describeretur universus orbis. Hæc descriptio prima facta est a præside Syriæ Cyrino: et ibant omnes ut profiterentur singuli in suam civitatem. Ascendit autem et Joseph a Galilæa de civitate Nazareth in Judæam, in civitatem David, quæ vocatur Bethlehem: eo quod esset de domo et familia David, ut profiteretur cum Maria desponsata sibi uxore prægnante. Factum est autem, cum essent ibi, impleti sunt dies ut pareret. Et peperit filium suum primogenitum, et pannis eum involvit, et reclinavit eum in præsepio: quia non erat eis locus in diversorio. Et pastores erant in regione eadem vigilantes, et custodientes vigilias noctis super gregem suum. Et ecce angelus Domini stetit juxta illos, et claritas Dei circumfulsit illos, et timuerunt timore magno. Et dixit illis angelus: Nolite timere: ecce enim evangelizo vobis gaudium magnum, quod erit omni populo: quia natus est vobis hodie Salvator, qui est Christus Dominus, in civitate David. Et hoc vobis signum: invenietis infantem pannis involutum, et positum in præsepio. Et subito facta est cum angelo multitudo militiæ cælestis laudantium Deum, et dicentium: [Gloria in altissimis Deo, et in terra pax hominibus bonæ voluntatis.]

Merry Christmas.

#13 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: December 25, 2006, 09:17 AM:

Merry Christmas, all. How are things in Reading and Colebrook and Edinburgh and Montreal, et al.?

We're bustling around with cooking and cleaning. It's a lovely clear day here, and Brooklyn continues to be unseasonably warm. I just went out in my bare feet to cut some rosemary.

And you?

#14 ::: Lila ::: (view all by) ::: December 25, 2006, 09:24 AM:

Merry Christmas from Georgia (46 degrees and pouring rain, a good day to stay inside and enjoy the company).

Safe travel to all who are traveling!

#15 ::: neotma ::: (view all by) ::: December 25, 2006, 09:51 AM:

It's slightly frustrating that I can read the Vulgate better than the Anglo-Saxon or middle English.

But it's wonderful to try...

#16 ::: Margaret Organ-Kean ::: (view all by) ::: December 25, 2006, 09:56 AM:

Merry Christmas!

From Seattle, where it's not too cold, and probably going to rain.

#17 ::: Debra Doyle ::: (view all by) ::: December 25, 2006, 10:00 AM:

Merry Christmas! (And as we used to say to each other first thing on Christmas morning, back where I grew up, Christmas Gift!)

#18 ::: Scott Spiegelberg ::: (view all by) ::: December 25, 2006, 10:19 AM:

Merry Christmas! My wife had to drive in to Indianapolis this morning to be a chalice bearer, so the kids and I are waiting until she returns to open the non-Santa gifts. I'm blogging, listening to the Christ Church Cathedral Men and Boy's Choir singing Old English Christmas Carols, and watching the cats wrestle while the kids play a computer game.

#19 ::: xeger ::: (view all by) ::: December 25, 2006, 10:38 AM:

Merry Christmas indeed!

#20 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: December 25, 2006, 10:40 AM:

Io Saturnalia! I hope everyone gave and got nice gifts, of which the most important, I find, is to love and be loved in return.

#21 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: December 25, 2006, 10:48 AM:

Merry Christmas from the San Fernando Valley (where it doesn't appear to be windy today, yet)!

#22 ::: jennie ::: (view all by) ::: December 25, 2006, 10:54 AM:

Merry Christmas.

It's grey and warm in Toronto, possibly sleet later.

My work is done. I tidied up from Christmas-Eve dinner while listening to the strains of the choir floating out from the Church of St. Mary Magdalene, across the street, and woke this morning to an annoyed cat, a pile of clean dishes to put away, and three pots soaking.

This it's the other half of the family, but this time of quiet is mine to spend with cats, coffee, and the CBC.

Peace, love, good cheer, and goodwill to all.

#23 ::: Laina ::: (view all by) ::: December 25, 2006, 11:01 AM:

And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host, praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.

Merry Christmas from Heidelberg, where the temperatures have finally become seasonal. I scraped frost off the car windows before I drove to church last night - and again before I drove home in the fog. (Thankfully, a short drive over familiar city streets)

Peace and good will to all.

#24 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: December 25, 2006, 11:18 AM:

Whew. Sitting down for a quick break. Three pies in the oven, a ham all prepped and ready to go, and the almond cake got baked last night. Various veggie and salad things await.

This half-cold weather has agreed with my rosemary plant, which until I cut some three-foot-long branches was nearly as tall as I am. Now I have a vase of rosemary and white roses, which is pretty and smells wonderful.

We are now chanting the traditional pre-guest mantra: Nobody will come, and there won't be enough food.

#25 ::: James D. Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: December 25, 2006, 11:45 AM:

If we start now the Madhouse gang can be there in seven hours....

#26 ::: Avram ::: (view all by) ::: December 25, 2006, 12:10 PM:

Und it ceme-a tu pess in thuse-a deys, thet zeere-a vent oooot a decree-a frum Ceeser Oogoostoos thet ell zee vurld shuoold be-a texed. Bork bork bork!...

#27 ::: Bruce Baugh ::: (view all by) ::: December 25, 2006, 12:11 PM:

Merry Christmas, everyone.

Teresa, Mom laughed out loud at the pre-guest mantra, and agreed that that's just how it goes. She was also delighted with the Advent calendar you'd linked to early in the month, the parish one Jim found. She's commented on how easy it is for everything to feel disconnected and drifting through the first holidays after Dad's death, and these new manifestations of traditional things she loves are doing her a lot of good. Gift-giving of the best kind, I'd say. Thanks from both of us.

#28 ::: Avram ::: (view all by) ::: December 25, 2006, 12:16 PM:

Wait, a maundement? I thought that meant holy.

Oh, now I see the mistake. The holiday called Maundy Thursday by Protestants is sometimes called Holy Thursday by Roman Catholics and Eastern Orthodox. But it's not a translation, just a different name.

Looks like the word's related either to mandate or to mendicant.

#29 ::: Mary R ::: (view all by) ::: December 25, 2006, 12:21 PM:

Merry Christmas!

In honor of global warming, we are cooking steaks outdoors on the grill (in Boston).

Another version, from the Quran! Via DT at Daily Kos, who also points out that the Immaculate Conception of Mary is not in the Bible, but is in the Quran. Too bad I'm not dining with the Vatican II-hating side of the family today.


Remember when the angels said, "O Mary! truly God has chosen thee, and purified thee, and chosen thee above all the women of the worlds!"

Remember when the angel said, "O Mary! Verily God announces to thee the Word from Him: The child's name shall be, Messiah Jesus the son of Mary, illustrious in this world, and in the next, and one of those who have near access to God; And He shall speak to men alike when in the cradle and when grown up; And he shall be one of the just."

She said, "How, O my Lord! shall I have a son, when no man has touched me?"

The angel said, "God will create what He will; When He decrees a thing, He need only say, 'Be,' and it is.

And God will teach your child the Book, and the Wisdom, and the Law, and the Evangel; and he shall be an apostle to the children of Israel. "Now have I come," he will say, "to you with a sign from your Lord: Out of clay will I make for you, as it were, the figure of a bird: and I will breathe into it, and it shall become, by God's leave, a bird. And I will heal the blind, and the leper; and by God's leave will I quicken the dead; and I will tell you what ye eat, and what ye store up in your houses! Truly in this will be a sign for you, if ye are believers.

...

And Mary conceived the child, and retired with him to a far-off place.

#30 ::: Russell Letson ::: (view all by) ::: December 25, 2006, 12:27 PM:

I'm still trying to figure out which character set has the thorn, edh, and diagraph (but not, apparently, a yodh). Things have changed since I was in grad school. (Our computers burned peat and lacked anti-Viking protection.)

#31 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: December 25, 2006, 12:41 PM:

May whatever God or gods or Goddess or goddesses you believe in, credit, have renounced, or are skeptical of or cynical about, bless you this day, and all days until Spring (when I'll throw a new on at ya), an it be thine own True Will—or not if not, and Have a Nice Day.

Lots of people are happy today, especially children.

Children being happy is a Good Thing. I only wish all children could be happy most of the time.

Anyway, all that happiness is floating around the ether. The toddler downstairs is busy running from one end of their apartment to the other. And back. And forth. And back. And forth. Thud-thud-thud-thud-thud go her little feet. It makes me smile; she's a delightful child.

All that happiness, as I said before I went ooo, shiny again, is floating around. Whatever your beliefs (or lack thereof), reach out and grab some of it for yourself. There's plenty extra. Go on, give it a try.

Or not. :-)

#32 ::: Lisa Spangenberg ::: (view all by) ::: December 25, 2006, 12:47 PM:

Thorn is built into Windows, but really, if you want the yogh, you need Unicode.

I have Matthew 2 here in Old English. I'm probably going to post the Gothic version later today.

#33 ::: Dave Bell ::: (view all by) ::: December 25, 2006, 01:03 PM:

And Happy Hogswatch.

Susan thinks DEATH is claiming “‘humans need…fantasies to make life bearable.’ REALLY? AS IF IT WAS SOME KIND OF PINK PILL? NO. HUMANS NEED FANTASY TO BE HUMAN. TO BE THE PLACE WHERE THE FALLING ANGEL MEETS THE RISING APE. ‘Tooth fairies? Hogfathers?…’ YES. AS PRACTICE. YOU HAVE TO START OUT LEARNING TO BELIEVE THE LITTLE LIES. ‘So we can believe the big ones?’ YES. JUSTICE. MERCY. DUTY…”

#34 ::: Faren Miller ::: (view all by) ::: December 25, 2006, 01:14 PM:

From Prescott AZ, where the weather is mild after a snowy Friday, this hastily-written poem. (The lines that don't start with capital letters are supposed to be indented, but I couldn't figure out how to do it in this system.)

Let There Be

Light through the brittle spears of pampas grass
Light through the hawk's red tail
as he scythes the air, easily
Sun warm on the cat's white belly
Sun weaving shadows
like fine lace

Even amid winter
(foul or fair)
Give pause
To celebrate
The day.

#35 ::: Debra Doyle ::: (view all by) ::: December 25, 2006, 01:15 PM:

An Old English font pack is available for free at http://www.engl.virginia.edu/OE/Fonts.About.html.

#36 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: December 25, 2006, 01:26 PM:

Faren (34):   puts in a space that the system won't take out. So:

Let There Be

Light through the brittle spears of pampas grass
Light through the hawk's red tail
  as he scythes the air, easily
Sun warm on the cat's white belly
Sun weaving shadows
  like fine lace

Even amid winter
  (foul or fair)
Give pause
To celebrate
The day.

#37 ::: Madeleine Robins ::: (view all by) ::: December 25, 2006, 01:34 PM:

Teresa, you are more than swell.

San Francisco's sky is a pinkish gray which, anywhere else, would mean snow. I think it means rain, eventually. All the packages have been opened, the family fed, the dog is exhausted with having played with her new toys and has fallen asleep on the couch. The inlaws are dressing, the crown pork roast is airing before it goes into the oven, and Aunt Beryl's fruit cake--reworked with gluten-free flour for my sister-in-law, who has Celiac disease--is baked and waiting. So far it's been a swell day.

Merry Christmas to you and Patrick, and a glorious New Year.

Love and quiche, Mad

#38 ::: lalouve ::: (view all by) ::: December 25, 2006, 01:34 PM:

Traditional announcement of the Christmas peace in Abo (or is it Helsinki?), translated in a way that, alas, does not capture the archaic turns of the original. This is read every Christmas Eve - I tend to watch it on TV to get in a Chrostmas mood.

Tomorrow, God willing, will be our Lord and Saviour's gracious birthday celebration, and thus let it be known that a general Christmas peace is announced and commanded, with a warning to all and sundry to celebrate this holiday with proper piety, and observe a quiet and peaceful demeanor, since he who breaks this peace and besmirches the Christmas celebration with any illegal or immoral act, is subject to the severest form of punishment which laws and regulation demand for each crime and misdemeanor. Finally all who inhabit this country are wished a merry Christmas.

#39 ::: Audrey ::: (view all by) ::: December 25, 2006, 01:42 PM:

Merry Christmas! It's rainy and not too cold in Portland, and we're sitting around knitting and playing video games and watching the cats try to eat the wrapping paper.

#40 ::: Larry Brennan ::: (view all by) ::: December 25, 2006, 01:50 PM:

It's a fine morning here in Seattle - it may rain later, as Margaret @16 pointed out, but right this instant we're having a magnificent sun break, revealing how low to the horizon the sun is on this festive day at this latitude.

This holiday, I made food in to-go mode, and the audience is elsewhere and captive. My main concern is What if nobody eats, and what if they don't like it?

Whether you're with friends, family, or on your own, and even if you don't celebrate today, be happy, safe and well.

#41 ::: Linkmeister ::: (view all by) ::: December 25, 2006, 01:59 PM:

Merry Christmas (or Mele Kalikimaka, as we say out here) to all.

Bright clear skies and about 80 degrees in Honolulu. I'm used to it but not reconciled. Christmas should at least be cold!

#42 ::: Sam Kelly ::: (view all by) ::: December 25, 2006, 02:03 PM:

It's a still, soft evening in East London, with a gentle lavender-sepia sky settling in for the night, and a few green leaves still on the pollarded trees lining my road.

Best of wishes to all of you, and to everyone you care about.

#43 ::: fidelio ::: (view all by) ::: December 25, 2006, 02:18 PM:

Merry Christmas, and happy every other seasonal holiday that applies.

We had a thunderstorm this morning in Nashville. Where are the snows of yesteryear?

#44 ::: oliviacw ::: (view all by) ::: December 25, 2006, 02:28 PM:

Merry Christmas from the greater Portland metropolitan area! 46 degrees and overcast, and the turkey is browning happily in the oven. I am snacking on homemade marshmallows and biscotti* along with coffee as we listen to the Christmas music on a local bluesy station.

*Since I asked for a biscotti recipe here earlier (on the fruitcake thread), I'll note that I eventually used the one for chocolate almond biscotti from joyofbaking.com. I intend to make it with butterscotch chips and pecans later, as well.

#45 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: December 25, 2006, 02:44 PM:

Not a ballade, but, inspired by Fidelio:

Where's Juliet, that Italian dame,
whom Shakespeare gave immortal fame?
Where's Gloriana, the bard's great Queen?
It's a long time since ever she was seen.
Where's Ninon whose memoirs seem to burn?
None of these ladies now will ever return.
Where's the Armouress? And, as I wend,
where are the snows of last week-end?

Where's Aphra Behn, who once so fine did write?
Where's Milton's wife, who the great poet did spite?
Where's Lady Winchelsea? I must enquire.
It seems that all have gone into the fire.
Where's Fanny Burney, who though rather short,
gave finest service to the King at court?
Where's that barmaid? And, as I wend,
where are the snows of last week-end?

Where's George Sand, who disguised as a man,
seduced both women and that chap Chopin?
Where's George Eliot, who, and it's a loss,
covered up the name of Mary Ann Cross?
Where's Harriet Stowe, who thought slavery a sin
and told us all in Uncle Tom's Cabin?
Where's that hot whore? And as I wend,
where are the snows of last week-end?

Where's Hanna Arendt, who against the night
looked to the ancient Greeks for proper light?
Where's Beauvoir, who continues still to vex
all sexists who must read The Second Sex
Where's Angela Carter, she who lightly wrote
such things as many men would blush to quote?
Where's Anaïs Nin? And as I wend,
where are the snows of last week-end?

Princess, who sits and watches at the gate,
keep us from falling into most ignoble fate.
We wish we'd known great ladies such as these,
but Dame Nature has set us as she must please.
Where's dear Mae West? And as I wend,
where are the snows of last week-end?

#46 ::: Claude Muncey ::: (view all by) ::: December 25, 2006, 02:56 PM:

We had the traditional white Christmas here in the San Joaquin Valley -- a dense fog advisory through noon with highway warnings. Just got back from my sister's and am going to Mass at the facility we visit. (We hope the fog will have cleared there and it isn't locked down as a result.) Later on, back to my sister's for ham and prime rib.

A safe and blessed Christmas to you all!

#47 ::: Lizzy L ::: (view all by) ::: December 25, 2006, 02:59 PM:

Merry Christmas! Last night I heard Jonathan Winter read a radio adaptation of A Christmas Carol. I attended 10 am Mass at my church today, and sang with joy and gusto all my favorite carols: Joy to the World, Hark the Herald Angels Sing, Angels We Have Heard on High, O Come All Ye Faithful... I now return to sit with my dying mother. She is not quite conscious, and not in any pain. She is taking her own sweet time on this journey. She told me last week, when she could still speak, that she was ready to go, and I know my father Richard, whom she loved more than anyone in the world or out of it, is waiting patiently (are they ever impatient, the heaven-dwellers?) for her. Her name is Winifred: please remember her in your prayers.

Peace to all.

#48 ::: Kathryn from Sunnyvale ::: (view all by) ::: December 25, 2006, 03:07 PM:

Merry Christmas,

Looking out the window at Mississagua near Toronto, the only difference today between here and Sunnyvale is the height of the sun (and that only helps if I know what time it is. My body does not- we flew in yesterday). And that the trees here have completely rather than mostly lost their leaves.

None of the large cities in Ontario will have a white Christmas this year- so announced yesterday's papers. No city near Toronto has had a deep Christmas snow for a generation. (An ice-9.1 that melts at 4 degrees C could be useful.)

Inside the house are drifts and piles of presents, finely wrapped and ribboned thanks to our hosts and their fluorosphere.

[Raises glass] To our fine hosts, a Merry Christmas!

#49 ::: Mac ::: (view all by) ::: December 25, 2006, 03:17 PM:

Merry Christmas! I'm very grateful for this place, and all of you. Teresa, you've my thanks and my admiration.

#50 ::: JESR ::: (view all by) ::: December 25, 2006, 03:41 PM:

Merry Christmas! The sun will come back!

In Lacey, WA, the sun is being filtered through high clouds, and shining on the opening buds of Hamamellis X intermedia "Diane" spangled with half-thawed drops which have hung unchanged through three days of windless wet.

Off to my sister's in a bit to open presents with The Only Nephew and his parents and whatever random cousins wander by, and eat home-raised and custom-cured ham.

Apparently Santa thinks I need to build more shelves, as I had an all action figure Christmas morning: Jane Austen, Rosie the Riveter, Faith (last name, according to Joss Whedon, Lehane), and The Prom set with Buffy, Angel, and the Class Protector Award. And a talking Yoda who has a sensor function which I may use to train the cat to stop messing about with my beading supplies.

Contributions to the festivitive feast: salad, rolls, Almond Tart, and Sweet Potatoes Anna.

#51 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: December 25, 2006, 03:48 PM:

OK, my mother sent me a red sweatshirt with something that looks like "Fhy fabulae!" on it. Along with a little Christmas tree.

Anybody know what that means?

I suppose it could also by "Phy" or even "Shy," that script being what it is. Mepf. Any ideas?

#52 ::: joann ::: (view all by) ::: December 25, 2006, 04:00 PM:

It's a sunny 50F in Austin, with achingly clear air after two days of much-needed rain. Presents unwrapped (much Venice-related stuff, as usual, to my delight), cat dozing in sun on cushion in upstairs window-seat, John Rutter carol arrangements on the radio, beef-and-Yorkshire dinner consumed last night, and we'll be off in a couple of hours to friends, bearing tiramisu, madeleines, prosecco and gifts.

The child next door appears to have gone mobile; he was out pedaling a toy tractor under the admiring gaze of parents and friends. His first independent wheeled object; we'll have to start watching the street more carefully.

One of the best presents was totally impromptu: a color scan/print of the map of Venice contained in my 1906 Baedeker Italy.

#53 ::: Kathryn from Sunnyvale ::: (view all by) ::: December 25, 2006, 04:11 PM:

Xopher,

Yer mum's thinking you'd like to spread the word about Greek mythology, hence G.J.Hyginus's Fabulae. The illustration is of a Mithras tree.

#54 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: December 25, 2006, 04:18 PM:

Well...she does know I like Greek mythology. You almost had me buying it until the Mithras tree. If I said "Mithras" to my mother, she would say "Myth what?"

#55 ::: Lila ::: (view all by) ::: December 25, 2006, 04:40 PM:

Xopher, I suspect an attempt at "Bah, humbug!" in Latin. ('Phy' not 'Fhy')

#56 ::: Lisa Spangenberg ::: (view all by) ::: December 25, 2006, 05:12 PM:

And the Gothic is here.

#57 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: December 25, 2006, 05:19 PM:

Lila (55): Yep.

That also explains why my mom would get it for me. She has a good sense of humor, and knows mine well.

Thanks!

#58 ::: Marilee ::: (view all by) ::: December 25, 2006, 05:37 PM:

It's been rainy and dark near DC, but my upstairs neighbor's little white lights on his balcony are twinkling and I can see them in the sliding glass doors across the street.

Here comes the Sun, and I say, it's all right!

#59 ::: John Stanning ::: (view all by) ::: December 25, 2006, 05:46 PM:

A Merry Christmas to us all, my dears.

'God bless us every one'

#60 ::: JennR ::: (view all by) ::: December 25, 2006, 05:52 PM:

And a Happy Christmas to all!

We are returned from our Christmas trip over the river and through the woods. In the rain. Daggone it, it's not supposed to rain on Christmas! There was at least a heavy frost last night, but then it warmed up.

My mom did most of the food, and I brought the baby tomatoes (I went to the store after she did....), the nutbreads and the fruitcake. The apricot bread is one that -my- grandmother used to make (mum says she got it in a flour box sometime in the late 30s); the fruitcake is a 'Methodist' fruitcake (no alcohol, even in the macerating liquid), the recipe for which has been handed down in my husband's family for over a century; the cranberry/nut bread is one I found about 10 years ago and have been making ever since.

#61 ::: MD² ::: (view all by) ::: December 25, 2006, 06:35 PM:

Merry merriness to all, in the name (and verb) of all that is mirthful and gay (or under the influence)(while I think about it add also adjectives for good measure)(no adverbs if you can avoid, pretty please... for me ?).

Too bad about James Brown though. Spoiled my cooking morning.

Thankfully you can always count on a good homemade cake to save the day, especially if it comes with a bunch of people you love.

Damn, would have loved some rain for Christmas...

#62 ::: Dena Shunra ::: (view all by) ::: December 25, 2006, 06:42 PM:

Merry Christmas from Port Townsend, where my sweetie and I saw two eagles flying over the bluff that overlooks downtown from uptown, this morning.

We stood and watched in the glorious morning sunshine, and heard (for the first time ever)
them speak to each other, a clear speech-for-communication. They have high pitched chirps and clicks, not at all the booming bass
of Sam the American Eagle), which you'd expect of birds so big and powerful. Alas, we chose to walk cameralessly today.

We've never before seen two together cavort in the sky for so long, and they swooped and they soared and they swam in the blue-beyond-the-blue, sometimes chased by a particularly foolish gull and sometimes overshadowing crows, always lovely, always looking strong enough to carry the whole
world on their broad, broad shoulders.

And a translation of the text into modern Hebrew is available from The Unbound Bible (URL: http://unbound.biola.edu/ and the A tag doesn't work in the preview) which says: כבוד במרומים לאלהים ובארץ שלום בבני אדם רצונו׃ - or in modern English, "Honor above to God and on earth peace among men is His will".

#63 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: December 25, 2006, 06:56 PM:

MD² : We had rain most of the day in Atlanta.

#64 ::: Nona ::: (view all by) ::: December 25, 2006, 08:09 PM:

Someone terribly thoughtful has uploaded A Muppet Christmas Carol, in its entirety, to Youtube. If you haven't got it on DVD, or find yourself stuck in transit somewhere on the way home from festivities, it's an awfully pleasant way to pass the time.

#65 ::: Dave Luckett ::: (view all by) ::: December 25, 2006, 09:05 PM:

It's thirty-three degrees celsius, about ninety fahrenheit in Perth, but in Melbourne the Boxing Day Test Match has been rained off, while in the mountains of Victoria there has actually been a white Christmas, which is against the order of nature. Rats. And typical, for Melbourne.

#66 ::: creeley ::: (view all by) ::: December 25, 2006, 10:43 PM:

A small gift in thanks for this lovely site: even though I am not Christian, I don't live in California, and I own no cows, it is my favorite poem for this time of year.

Merriment, joy, and peace to all.


Advent, Kenneth Rexroth

For Brother Antonius

Rorate coeli, desuper, et nubes pluant justum.
Aperiatur terra, et germinet Salvatorem.

The year draws down. In the meadows
And high pastures, the green grass veins
The grey. Already the stubble
Fields are green. Orion stands
Another year over California,
Simple and lucent, guarding the full moon.
Dew descends from heaven
Good pours from the clouds.
The earth wavers on its whirling track.
We milk by lantern light. The shadows
Of the cattle are illimitable.
The lantern light knots in gouts of gold.
As the sun retreats, and the moon
Turns its face away and back again,
Following the spinning earth
Like our following lanterns
Through the dark, back to the white breath
Of the cattle, back to the smell
Of hay and dung and milk,
Back to the placental
Dark in the abandoned ruins,
God goes again to birth.

#67 ::: kate ::: (view all by) ::: December 25, 2006, 11:25 PM:

Lizzy, I don't pray in the usual Christian sense, but I'll remember her when I'm singing.

Peace to her.

#68 ::: Lila ::: (view all by) ::: December 25, 2006, 11:30 PM:

Lizzy, my prayers for you and your mother.

#69 ::: Madeleine Robins ::: (view all by) ::: December 25, 2006, 11:39 PM:

Lizzy--I'll be thinking of you and your mother.

#70 ::: S. Dawson ::: (view all by) ::: December 25, 2006, 11:42 PM:

Avram,

I believe it's called Maundy Thursday because it was on the Thursday before his death that Jesus gave his disciples the commandment to love one another.

It's also called Holy Thursday because it's the Thursday that falls in Holy Week.

#71 ::: Bruce E. Durocher II ::: (view all by) ::: December 26, 2006, 12:23 AM:

The best of the holidays to all: we made it this far, so, Excelsior!

#72 ::: Paula Helm Murray ::: (view all by) ::: December 26, 2006, 12:29 AM:

Lizzy L, prayers and good thought your way. Been there, done that. It's different for everyone, just be patient and be patient with yourself afterward.

It's still weirdly warm in KC (well, above freezing, yesterday it went up to over 50... our path to Lawrence, KS, takes us past a row of apartments where people were hang-drying their laundry!!! in late December!!!).

My current favorite 'new' Christmas carol is The Christians and the Pagans by Dar Williams

http://www.sendspace.com/file/drm9e0

You may have to copy and past that, my html fu sucks.

#73 ::: Lee Sandlin ::: (view all by) ::: December 26, 2006, 01:11 AM:

About this time the Emperor Augustus pat furth an edick ordeinin at aa the fowk i the haill warld suid be registrate. This wis whan Quirinius wis Governor o Syria, an it wis the first time at siccan a thing hed been dune. Sae aabodie gaed tae be registrate, ilkane til his ain toun, Joseph amang the lave.
He belanged til the stock an faimlie o Dauvit, an sae it was wis tae Dauvit's Toun, Bethlehem in Judaea, at he gaed doun frae Nazareth in Galilee for tae gie in his name, takkin Mary, at wis haundfastit til him, wi him. She wis boukin gin this; an whan they war in Bethlehem, she cam til her time an brocht hame her first-born son. She swealed the bairn in a barrie an beddit him in a heck, sin there wis nae room for them intil the inn.
Nou, i that same pairt the war a wheen herds bidin thereout on the hill an keepin gaird owre their hrisel at nicht. Suddent an angel o the Lord cam an stuid afore them, an the glorie o the Lord shined about them, an they war uncolie frichtit. But the angel said tae them: Binna nane afeard, I bring ye guid news o gryte blytheness for the haill fowk -- this day in Dauvit's Town a saviour hes born til ye, Christ the Lord! This gate ye s'ken it is een as I say: ye will finnd a new-born bairn swealed in a barrie an liggin intil a heck.
Syne in a gliff an unco thrang o the airmies o hieven kythed aside the angel, glein laud tae God an liltin:
Glore tae God i the heicht o heiven,
an peace on the yird tae men he delytes in!

#74 ::: Jo Walton ::: (view all by) ::: December 26, 2006, 07:25 AM:

Lizzy -- thinking of you, and of your mother. And I'll read -- what it is longest since I've read -- I'll read A Different Light tonight so I'll be sure to keep thinking of you and your vigil.

Teresa -- the sun shone, but it was above freezing, but we have five centimetres of snow predicted for today. We had a duck on Christmas Eve, and duck soup and cold sucking pig (from Atwater market) for dinner yesterday.

#75 ::: Faren Miller ::: (view all by) ::: December 26, 2006, 09:42 AM:

Xopher (#36): Thanks for adding those indents! And creeley (#66): That Rexroth poem is beautiful. (I remember -- more or less -- the days when Brother A. was a notable figure in Northern California.)

#76 ::: Lizzy L ::: (view all by) ::: December 26, 2006, 10:30 AM:

My dear friends and companions on the journey -- thank you for your kindness and your prayers. Winifred Lynn died peacefully (thanks to God and Hospice) at 8:05 pm on Christmas Day. No more suffering. I am grieving and rejoicing.

Blessed are You, Lord our God, King of the Universe.

By his word he brings on the evening twilight; in wisdom he opens the gates of dawn, and with foresight makes time pass and seasons change, according to his plan. He creates day and night, turning light into darkness and darkness into light. He makes the day fade away and brings on the night, and separates day and night, for he is the Lord of the hosts of heaven.

Blessed are you, Lord, who bring on the evening twilight. Amen.

#77 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: December 26, 2006, 11:38 AM:

Lizzy #76: May she walk in joy.

#78 ::: LauraJMixon ::: (view all by) ::: December 26, 2006, 01:06 PM:

Sending my thoughts and prayers to you and your family, Lizzy L.

#79 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: December 26, 2006, 02:10 PM:

Lizzy L #76: My condolences. You are in my thoughts.

#80 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: December 26, 2006, 02:25 PM:

Lizzy L @76

I am sorry for your loss, but thankful that you see her death as - at least partly - a blessing. May that buoy you up in the days to come.

You're in my prayers.

#81 ::: John Stanning ::: (view all by) ::: December 26, 2006, 05:54 PM:

Avram #28 and S.Dawson #70:

In Arabia and the Indian subcontinent, a maund is a unit of weight whose value varies in different regions.  But in Anglo-Saxon a maund was a small hand basket.  It occurs in Shakespeare's poem A Lover's Complaint:

A thousand favours from a maund she drew,
Of amber, crystal and of beaded jet,
Which, one by one, she in a river threw...
So the maund was the small basket or purse in which the monarch gave alms to selected poor people on Holy Thursday (as well as, at one time, washing their feet), so the maundy was the ceremony of giving the maunds, so the day became Maundy Thursday.

#82 ::: adamsj ::: (view all by) ::: December 26, 2006, 06:05 PM:

Speaking of texts and creeley, I note that the recently issued "new" Kerouac work has a cover blurb advertising a foreword by Robert Creely. Not my favorite such--there's a Houghton Mifflin edition of Lonesome Traveler: A Novel--but good still.

We had a nice Arkansaw Xmas.

First, Christmas Eve with the in-laws (the wife's mom and dad, her sister and her sister's husband, and their three kids).

The brother-in-law got the idea that we should all dress for Christmas dinner, which gave us a chance to mock him for leaving his dress shoes (both pairs!) at work. The mother-in-law thought the men in the family (that's me! I'm one of them! I love being called that!) should read stories on Christmas Eve, and (as they know I'm not religous), I got the most secular of the batch, The Gift of the Magi, which I thought was thoughtful. I wish I hadn't given it a cold read--I stumbled more than once.

After breakfast the next morning, we had an uneventful drive up to my folks' house, where we had a pleasant dinner. We've got a couple of days here, where we hope to see some family and friends, especially one friend's little seven-month-old sprout.

This was a good Christmas, all in all. Most of them are, but this one was especially.

#83 ::: JESR ::: (view all by) ::: December 26, 2006, 06:20 PM:

Lizzie, my mother died ten years ago this morning, a brief time after sending left-overs from the dinner for a dozen she'd served the night before home with her guests.

There is no good way to lose one's mother; mine did not suffer for days or months of pain and fear. Neither did we get to say goodbye; she was just gone.

In my dreams we meet picking Blue Lake pole beans in the garden my sister still keeps, and try to work out what was left unsettled between us. I hope you can put your dream-time to better purpose.

#84 ::: Lee Sandlin ::: (view all by) ::: December 26, 2006, 07:22 PM:

Oops -- forgot to say, my post #73 is from "The New Testament in Scots," translated by William Laughton Lorimer, an astonishing work that should be seen by all lovers of the NT and all lovers of language.

#85 ::: Marilee ::: (view all by) ::: December 26, 2006, 07:29 PM:

Lizzy, I hope you find comfort.

#86 ::: CHip ::: (view all by) ::: December 26, 2006, 10:04 PM:

I've finally woken up from tryptophan torpor #2 (our host decided to do Mexican this year, built around turkey mole') and am puzzling over the number of variants of "pax hominibus bonae voluntatis". I was brought up with the King James version ("peace and good will toward men"), then persuaded the Tyndale was closer at least to the Latin ("peace to men of good will") but see a number of other renditions here. Can anyone quote the original Greek and give a plausible translation? Additional comments on the reliability of the quoted Greek (per comments that parts of the New Testament were clearly written by people with less than perfect command of koine) would be fascinating.

#87 ::: Lizzy L ::: (view all by) ::: December 26, 2006, 11:53 PM:

Thank you, all.

CHip, Richmond Lattimore's translation of The New Testament renders it as: "Peace on earth among men of good will." And in Eugene Peterson's "contemporary language" version of The New Testament, called The Message, he offers: "Glory to God in the heavenly heights, Peace to all men and women who please him."

#88 ::: James D. Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: December 27, 2006, 12:03 AM:

For more English versions, see also:

ymbehwyrft

#89 ::: Lee Sandlin ::: (view all by) ::: December 27, 2006, 12:39 AM:

To Chip in #86:

The Greek manuscripts differ, and the text is ambiguous anyway. The KJV used a ms. that reads, "en anthropois eudokia." There've got to be better scholars of koine than me out there, but I'll suck up my courage and suggest that it literally translates as something like "towards men, good will" -- but it could also mean just "in men, good will." ("Good will" isn't really right, either, but Ancient Greek words for mental states just don't translate neatly). Modern editors prefer a ms. that reads "en anthropois eudokias," which means something more like "well-pleasing men." So the phrase could mean "good will towards men," or "men who have good will," or "men that God is pleased by."

#90 ::: xeger ::: (view all by) ::: December 27, 2006, 01:04 AM:

#76 ::: Lizzy L - my sympathies to you.

Cael enaint a braint berwiach - gwiw nowsaidd
Gan Jesu yn gynnesach
Ffynnon Gwenfrewi ffeiniach
A wna'r enaid yn iach.

To have a lively and privileged life force
A worthy tenderness made warmer by Jesus
Winefride's fine well
Cleanses the soul.

#91 ::: Jeffrey Smith ::: (view all by) ::: December 27, 2006, 10:38 AM:

Having been mostly offline the past couple days, I have just read this thread, which was even more wonderful than most threads here. As an atheist who reads the Bible (it's a good book, even if not the Good Book), I enjoyed all the translations that I nonetheless couldn't understand. Didn't matter; they were marvelous (carefully chosen word) anyway.

Lizzy, my best wishes. My own mother died in the fall (not this fall, many falls ago), not at Christmastime, but Christmas was her favorite part of the year, and it's at Christmas that I most remember her. Your posts here brought a flood of memories, and I thank you and yours for that.

Enjoy the rest of the holidays, all.

#92 ::: Sean D. Schaffer ::: (view all by) ::: December 27, 2006, 11:23 AM:

I like your post. One thing I would correct, though:

The 1611 King James Version was slightly different in spelling than the King James Version that people use today. I forget when they re-did the KJV, but the differences are quite noticeable.

One of the common differences I've seen between the 1611 and the later KJV, is certain letters have been replaced by others. A good example of this is the letter 'u' in the 1611 where the more modern version would use a 'v'. Also, a 'j' where an 'i' should go, and vice-versa, and an 'f' instead of an 's'.

Of course these are just general observations, and I mean nothing bad by them. I just thought it would be interesting to point out the differences between the 1611 KJV and the later one.

I hope you all had a wonderful holiday. :)

#93 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: December 27, 2006, 11:28 AM:

Sorrow and peace, Lizzy, and a good end.

#94 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: December 27, 2006, 11:31 AM:

Sean @ 92:
Not 'an "f" instead of an "s"'! If you look, there's no crossbar: that's a 'long s'. It was in use up to the 19th century (and in handwriting until nearly the end of it). I think the others are also mostly typography rather than spelling; it looks very strange to us, but we're not used to it any more.

#95 ::: Lisa Spangenberg ::: (view all by) ::: December 27, 2006, 02:39 PM:

Re: 94 and 92; yes, it's typography and you can date individual press runs by whether or not a u or v is used -- you'll even see uu or vv for w. It had a lot to do with how many copies of a particular letter a printer had available, as well.

#96 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: December 27, 2006, 02:42 PM:

Lisa @ 85:

I've had occasion to look at early 18th-century German written records (much easier to read than the more modern stuff) and they were using 'ij' where we'd use 'i'. Looks almost like a 'y' with both arms dotted sometimes.

#97 ::: Howard Peirce ::: (view all by) ::: December 27, 2006, 03:58 PM:

ij remains standard orthography in modern Dutch:

1 En het geschiedde in diezelfde dagen, dat er een gebod uitging van den Keizer Augustus, dat de gehele wereld beschreven zou worden.

2 Deze eerste beschrijving geschiedde, als Cyrenius over Syrië stadhouder was.

3 En zij gingen allen om beschreven te worden, een iegelijk naar zijn eigen stad.

--Lukas 2, de Statenvertaling Bijbel

I've never studied Dutch, but after toughing out the Anglo-Saxon and Gothic, modern Dutch is a piece of cake.

#98 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: December 27, 2006, 04:10 PM:

Howard Pierce @97

I've never studied Dutch, but after toughing out the Anglo-Saxon and Gothic, modern Dutch is a piece of cake.

I am studying Dutch, with nothing other than a taste for obscure English and a rough knowledge of modern Scots, and it is a piece of cake.

Except for the idiomatic usages.

#99 ::: Howard Peirce ::: (view all by) ::: December 27, 2006, 04:32 PM:

Abi, just to clarify, I was only referring to getting through Luke 2. I've certainly been thoroughly stymied by unfamiliar passages in Dutch.

I have heard that many modern Dutch speakers are fooled into thinking their English is better than it is, by virtue of the similarities in grammar and vocabulary. But their lack of knowledge of idiom and cultural norms gets them in trouble. This ad* (NSFW!) for Soesman Language Training in the Netherlands demonstrates. Engels leren?

* Probably belongs in the Advertising Art thread, rather than the bible thread. Now I feel blasphemous.

#100 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: December 27, 2006, 04:40 PM:

Howard Pierce @99

Thank you for that link. It made my husband (Scottish but raised in the Netherlands) laugh.

The Hub says that when he studied English in the Dutch schools, he felt that it was very close to French.

I am certainly prone to thinking my Dutch is better than it is, due to the similarities in grammar and vocabulary.

(Actually, this discussion continues from the thread on Eddie Izzard's Mongrel Nation, particularly the bit with the Fresian farmer and the brown cow.)

#101 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: December 27, 2006, 05:25 PM:

Abi #98: En de spelling.

#102 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: December 27, 2006, 05:34 PM:

Fragano @101

Actually, the Dutch spelling system is pleasantly regular, mostly because they keep fixing it as pronunciation shifts.

The main problem I have is that I still can't hear the differences between some of the vowel sounds. It's the pronunciation that is a heel moelijk, you see, particularly when you factor in word stress.

#103 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: December 27, 2006, 06:47 PM:

Abi #102: Not to mention regional differences (and accents from the Antilles, Aruba, and Surinam).

#104 ::: Lisa Spangenberg ::: (view all by) ::: December 27, 2006, 08:49 PM:

P J Evans @ 96, oh, you can't compare written and printed German and English; too many variables. And you will see not only a completely different basic hand, but different orthographic conventions . . . so much so that you can identify a Latin ms. that was copied in Germany or by German speakers/writers.

#105 ::: CHip ::: (view all by) ::: December 27, 2006, 10:20 PM:

Lee@#89: so even the originals are disputed? I should have expected it....

#106 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: December 27, 2006, 10:54 PM:

Lisa @ 104
It was a church register from the period 1700-1738, and actually much closer to English writing (of the modern style) than I would have expected. It was - is, it's been microfilmed - quite legible. Earlier than that, now, that's a problem: I couldn't read the earlier section of the register, the small letters were so small (and all looked alike), in relation to the capitals.

#107 ::: Lee Sandlin ::: (view all by) ::: December 28, 2006, 12:35 AM:

CHip #105: Oh, "disputed" is an understatement. There are a lot of early Greek manuscripts of the gospels, and there are hundreds and hundreds of differences among them. Most are trivial, but some of them are pretty big. Studying them can be kind of an upsetting experience for people who need to believe the text is absolutely fixed and inerrant.

#108 ::: Jeffrey Smith ::: (view all by) ::: December 28, 2006, 01:26 AM:

Misquoting Jesus by Bart D. Ehrman is a good book for the layman on the problems with the various texts of the Gospels.

He goes through a lot of the discrepancies, talking about which might just be copiests' errors and which might be deliberate distortions, and how scholars determine which vesions might be closer to the originals.

#109 ::: John Stanning ::: (view all by) ::: December 28, 2006, 06:53 AM:

#96 et seq.: as far as I can make out, the Dutch and old German 'ij' is a letter y with two dots over it (not an umlaut, however).  I can only suppose that when the Dutch started using movable type, they didn't bother to make the extra letter but just used ij instead.  It's always joined in handwriting, and often in painted signs, especially as a capital Y.

In English we use 'i' to represent different sounds in different words,* but 'i' in Dutch and German is normally the sound in English 'minim', whereas the sound in English 'mine' is closer to Dutch 'ij' or German 'ei'.

* as we do with all our vowels, which must make English beastly hard to learn for people who have grown up with a language that is spelt logically.

#110 ::: MD² ::: (view all by) ::: January 03, 2007, 05:29 PM:

Fragano Ledgister (#63): Hope you enjoyed the rain as I would, or that it did not spoil the celebration in any way (I won't be complaining myself, as I had a rainy first day of the year, which means basically that I had the streets of Paris all to myself).

@Lizzy a bit late, but I added a candle for your mother. I Hope she's having the best possible time.

#111 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: January 03, 2007, 06:57 PM:

MD² #110: It didn't spoil the celebration, and it has been followed by several springlike days. The rainy streets of Paris all to yourself sounds like a scene from a film.

#112 ::: bill wringe ::: (view all by) ::: December 25, 2007, 08:22 AM:

Lee @ 89

I've got no koine, but only classical Greek. Can you really use 'en' for movement towards (as opposed to fixed position) in koine?

#113 ::: bill wringe ::: (view all by) ::: December 25, 2007, 08:26 AM:

Lee @ 89

I've got no koine, but only classical Greek. Can you really use 'en' for movement towards (as opposed to fixed position) in koine?

#114 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: December 25, 2007, 12:47 PM:

Merry Christmas.
Happy Mithras Day.
Happy St Anastasia's Day.

Although I'm not a Xtian, let me contribute this, from John's rather than Luke's gospel:

Inna di bigginin, ben di Wud, an di Wud ben wid Big Massa, and di Wud ben Big Massa. Dat a di case fram di bigginin wid Big Massa. A Him mek ebryting, an nuttin dat Him doh mek exis. Him hab di life; an di life ben de light fi all di piipl-dem. An di light a shine inna di daakness, an di daakness cyaa ovacum i'.

#115 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: December 25, 2007, 12:48 PM:

Merry Christmas.
Happy Mithras Day.
Happy St Anastasia's Day.

Although I'm not a Xtian, let me contribute this, from John's rather than Luke's gospel:

Inna di bigginin, ben di Wud, an di Wud ben wid Big Massa, and di Wud ben Big Massa. Dat a di case fram di bigginin wid Big Massa. A Him mek ebryting, an nuttin dat Him doh mek exis. Him hab di life; an di life ben de light fi all di piipl-dem. An di light a shine inna di daakness, an di daakness cyaa ovacum i'.

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