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peter

Use this forum to suggest Good Words for Professor Beard.

peter

Postby Winblad » Mon Jun 03, 2013 8:17 am

Hi -

thanks very much for today's good word! I was extremely delighted about it, given that my first name is Ruth. :D
Now I'd very much like to suggest "peter" as a good word. That would be very interesting, I think.

Many thanks again
Ruth Baldwin aka Winblad
We must imagine Sisyphus happy.
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Re: peter

Postby Philip Hudson » Tue Jun 04, 2013 1:52 am

The word peter has several uses other than as a personal name. To “peter out” means to dwindle, to tail off or to diminish to nothing. It was originally used as a mining term to indicate that a mine was no longer productive. Saltpeter refers to any of several nitrogen-containing compounds such as potassium nitrate. In both of these cases the origin of the word is from the Latin word petra which in turn comes from the Greek. The word means rock in English. Thus saltpeter was so named because it is mined from rocks. Peter out (probably) came from the idea that the vein of ore that was contained in a rock strata had come to be unproductive.

The name Peter is a translation of the Aramaic name Cephas. It simply means rock. Don’t let anyone pull a word play on you between “rock” and “little rock”. Jesus spoke Aramaic, not Greek, and there is no room for this word play in Aramaic. If the Apostle Peter were here today, his friends would call him Rocky. Peter was the leading Disciple of Jesus. In the Bible Jesus said, “And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it.” (Matthew 16:18 NIV). The difference in the interpretation of this verse is a major difference between the Roman Catholic Church and the Protestant Churches. Since Peter means rock, Catholics interpret this verse to mean that Jesus was building the Church upon Peter himself, thus appointing him as the first Christian Pope. Most Protestants refer to the previous verses in which Peter confessed his belief that Jesus was the Messiah or the Christ. They say that Peter’s confession is the rock on which the church is built. In my opinion, as a disinterested outside observer (I’m a Baptist and thus neither a Catholic or a Protestant), both interpretations have some merit. The early Christian Fathers, however, were almost unanimous in the “protestant” interpretation. As a Christian, I believe this point is not one that determines Christian fellowship. Catholics, Protestants and Baptists are all Christians if they are actually believers. People who have a religion and call it Christian but do not believe the confession of Peter are, by definition, not Christians. I say this with respect for the rights of everyone to make her/his own spiritual, or non-spiritual decisions.
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Re: peter

Postby Winblad » Tue Jun 04, 2013 7:54 am

Hello Philip -

That was quick! Many thanks!
Could you tell me when it was posted originally? I tried to find it in the archives but didn't succeed. There is no aplphabetical search option, only in the dictionary.

Best regards
Winblad
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Re: peter

Postby Philip Hudson » Tue Jun 04, 2013 8:35 am

Winblad: I am not much good at finding my way amongst the files of Alphadictionary. I think Slava is the expert. Perhaps he will answer your request for a previous posting of Peter as a Good Word.
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Re: peter

Postby Slava » Tue Jun 04, 2013 11:27 am

I'm no expert, but I can tell you some things.

A while back, the version of phpBB software that runs this site was changed. This so-called upgrade does not allow searches in anything prior to that date.

However, on the alphadictionary home page there is a dictionary of all the words treated. Peter is not among them.

Here is a write-up on peter out from Michael Quinion's World Wide Words.
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Re: peter

Postby Winblad » Tue Jun 04, 2013 12:07 pm

Slava: Thank you very much! You are a mind reader! Before I even could find the time to formulate an email message to you, you have already replied to it.
Incidentally, I tried to send yesterday's good word to a friend via your website, but it never arrived. I'm mentioning this only because I've read on the website that this is a new feature and you are not quite sure whether it works or not. Your upgrade seems to be a typical example of "when it works, don't fix it".
Nevertheless, it's always a pleasure to return to the alphadictionary website. It conjures up pictures of many, many people out there, sitting at their desks and pondering about (torturing themselves with) linguistic problems. So one feels never alone with alphadictionary.com.
Many thanks again
Winblad
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Re: peter

Postby Slava » Tue Jun 04, 2013 12:20 pm

Winblad wrote:Incidentally, I tried to send yesterday's good word to a friend via your website, but it never arrived.
Just to clarify one point: I have no official connection to the site. I'm just a long-time user who has picked up a few things along the way. So there's no "me" in "your website".

If you sign up for the e-mail version, you can always just forward it to interested parties. Maybe they will sign up, too. And join the Agora, also.
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Re: peter

Postby Perry Lassiter » Tue Jun 04, 2013 2:21 pm

I have a question for Winblad and a comment for Philip.

Why must we imagine Sysyphus happy?

Philip, certainly we Baptists are Protestants, or at the least protesters. We regularly protest everything in sight and have from the beginning!

On the Peter thing, I once spoke at the anniversary (100?) of a local Catholic church with the bishop and many clergy present. I felt impelled (by my sensayuma, not divine leadership) to speak on that Matthean verse. My point was to look at the subject and predicate. Jesus said HE would build the church. I had to leave early, but I was told the bishop kept referring to my point.
pl
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Re: peter

Postby Winblad » Tue Jun 04, 2013 4:27 pm

Hello Perry -

this is a very good question. Of course, nobody must do anything, unless they have to.

It's just that I have noticed quite some time ago that this Camus quote says it all in a nutshell for me. If we want to understand Sisyphus, we must imagine him happy. But if you don't want to or have no need to understand him, you are of course free to imagine him a poor sod or things to that effect.

Thanks very much for your question!
All the best
Winblad
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Re: peter

Postby Perry Lassiter » Tue Jun 04, 2013 9:08 pm

In that case, wouldn't the god who condemned him to that punishment be himself frustrated beyond endurance. I thought the idea was eternal punishment. Of course, he can be seen as a parable for assembly-line or cubicle workers.
pl
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Re: peter

Postby Philip Hudson » Wed Jun 05, 2013 1:04 am

Having shared a cubicle in my early professional days, I can testify that it was somewhat Sysyphusian. But I managed to be happy. I was once assaulted and battered by my cubicle-mate over some minor incident. He was a new hire and it was his first day at work. Having realized what he had done, he expected his job to be terminated immediately. Since there was no one around to witness the assault, I suggested we forget it. I have been told I could be pretty irritating to a cubicle mate. When I was given a private office, I never really knew if I earned one or had been banished to one.

Perry: I thought I would get a rebuff from you on Baptists not being Protestants. Since Luther became the first Protestant by posting his thesis on the Wittenberg Gate, I assume those who follow in his train to be Protestants. Baptists protested the Anglican Church that in itself is not a Protestant church. Baptists are not descended from any traditional Protestant churches. Beside all that, my Mother, the great iconoclast, would turn over in her grave if she thought I had admitted to being a Protestant.

But enough of this, or Slava will slap our hands for not discussing the English language.
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Re: peter

Postby Winblad » Wed Jun 05, 2013 2:27 am

Perry Lassiter wrote:In that case, wouldn't the god who condemned him to that punishment be himself frustrated beyond endurance. I thought the idea was eternal punishment. Of course, he can be seen as a parable for assembly-line or cubicle workers.


Just goes to show the vanity and absurdity of human attempts to explain godly reasoning. But it seems mankind has never been able to do without. That's fine by me, as long as they don't claim to be in possession of the one and only truth. Good morning and a great day to everybody.
We must imagine Sisyphus happy.
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