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Re: [Czechlist] Re: CHAT: witnesseth

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  • JPKIRCHNER@aol.com
    ... It s a basic principle of historical linguistics that a researcher has to assume that any religious text is written in somewhat archaic language, because
    Message 1 of 1 , Mar 27, 2001
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      In a message dated 3/27/01 3:26:21 PM, rachelandsimon@... writes:

      >> FWIW, it was written (translated) using consciously archaic language,
      >> perhaps to convey a feeling of timelessness.

      It's a basic principle of historical linguistics that a researcher has to
      assume that any religious text is written in somewhat archaic language,
      because most societies consider old-fashioned language to be more appropriate
      to the dignity of scripture or religious ritual. So, when you run across a
      Bible translation, or something like that, you have to assume that the
      character of the language reflects not the time it was written, but the state
      of the language 100 years earlier or more.

      Note that there are some modern-day English speakers who chafe at "Thou"
      being changed to "You" in prayers, thinking that it ruins the formality of
      the language, while not knowing that "thou" was actually an informal form.
      There is one Catholic prayer that contains the words, "...as it was in the
      beginning, is now, and ever shall be...," and this has widely been replaced
      with, "...always will be...", and even though I know better than to have fits
      over such things, it sends me up the wall to hear the modern wording.

      Jamie
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