Alphadictionary.com

Our Sponsors

Technical Translation
Website Translation Clip Art
 

Ephemera

Miscellaneous Other Topics.

Ephemera

Postby sardith » Fri May 06, 2011 4:51 pm

Is it the correct usage of the word, 'Ephemera', in this internet site for archived information about the adultery trial of Henry Ward Beecher:

http://www.wheaton.edu/bgc/archives/GUIDES/128.htm#1

You see at the top the title word: Ephemera

Then farther down these sentences:

"Brief Description: Autograph, newspaper clippings, photograph, and booklet. Clippings include coverage of Beecher's trial in civil court for adultery in 1875, articles about him with sermon excerpts, reminiscences by his widow and posthumously published articles by Beecher. The 176-page booklet was published as part of the lawsuit and contains transcripts of the proceedings."

I don't understand why this has anything to do with ephemeral, when a court proceeding goes on for months at a time.

Can someone help me out? :?

Thanks,
Sardith :)
“The difference between the right word and the almost right word is the difference between lightning and a lightning bug.”
~Mark Twain, [pen name for Samuel Clemens], American author and humorist, (1835-1910)~
sardith
Lexiterian
 
Posts: 263
Joined: Fri Oct 16, 2009 10:21 am
Location: Central California

Postby Slava » Fri May 06, 2011 7:25 pm

Well, this one has lasting value, even if what it refers to does not. Ephemera in this usage relates to "stuff" that may or may not have any lasting value.

The ephemera of a US President's term(s) in office would include things like pens used to sign certain documents, pins worn at certain events, and the like.

I collect stamps, and have some random things that I have labelled ephemera, as they don't quite fit into a standard category. Or at least one that I use. Like my Chinese booklet of stamps issued for the Special Olympics. If I had a collection of such stamps, it would go there. I don't, so it's stamp-related ephemera to me.

You could think of ephemera as things that have meaning to the person involved, but not all that much meaning beyond that. In this sense they are related to ephemeral, in as much as they relate to only a person or event. Think of concert memorabilia; that's ephemera, too.

As to the Henry Ward Beecher site, this is all ephemera in that it is simply bare information. Until something is done with it to expand upon its significance, it doesn't really have any.
Life is like playing chess with chessmen who each have thoughts and feelings and motives of their own.
User avatar
Slava
Grand Panjandrum
 
Posts: 4755
Joined: Thu Sep 28, 2006 9:31 am
Location: Finger Lakes, NY

Ephemera

Postby sardith » Fri May 06, 2011 9:21 pm

Thank you, Slava.

You could think of ephemera as things that have meaning to the person involved, but not all that much meaning beyond that. In this sense they are related to ephemeral, in as much as they relate to only a person or event.


This is the part of what you said that did it for me. 8)

Sardith
“The difference between the right word and the almost right word is the difference between lightning and a lightning bug.”
~Mark Twain, [pen name for Samuel Clemens], American author and humorist, (1835-1910)~
sardith
Lexiterian
 
Posts: 263
Joined: Fri Oct 16, 2009 10:21 am
Location: Central California

Postby Stargzer » Thu May 26, 2011 12:50 am

From the Good Doctor's favorite dictionary:

e·phem·er·a ( ĭ-fĕm'-ər-ə)

NOUN:

A plural of ephemeron.


e·phem·er·on ( ĭ-fĕm' ə-rŏn' )

NOUN:
pl. e·phem·er·a (-ər-ə) or e·phem·er·ons
1. A short-lived thing.
2. ephemera Printed matter of passing interest.

ETYMOLOGY:
Greek ephēmeron, mayfly, from neuter of ephmeros, daily, short-lived ; see ephemeral



People collect ephemera (I've never seen the singular in use before just now), which includes things like newspaper articles (clippings), train schedules, postcards, political campaign buttons and bumper stickers -- anything that is meant for a passing usage but which at some later date may give some insight into time and place it was first used.

In the case you cited, it's not the trial that's ephemeral but the items mentioned: newspaper clippings, photographs, booklets, and so forth ARE the ephemera; the official court records would not be. Other categories of ephemera are letters, posters, postcards, menus, and just about anything that wasn't printed with the intention of it being kept. Go to E-Bay and search for Ephemera to see the types of things that fit this category. I suppose that the prayer cards one picks up at a funeral would also qualify.

I drove my mother to a humongous flea market in Kutztown, PA, many years ago to visit some friends (former neighbors) who had a booth their. They carried some ephemera which included items sent to listeners of the old "Lum and Abner" radio show. Another example would be the bill of sale for a sewing machine sold back in the 1930s, or a hospital bill from long ago.
Regards//Larry

"To preserve liberty, it is essential that the whole body of the people always possess arms, and be taught alike, especially when young, how to use them."
-- Attributed to Richard Henry Lee
User avatar
Stargzer
Grand Panjandrum
 
Posts: 2551
Joined: Tue Feb 15, 2005 3:56 pm
Location: Crownsville, MD


Return to Res Diversae

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests