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SACRILEGIOUS

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SACRILEGIOUS

Postby Dr. Goodword » Thu Mar 12, 2009 11:47 pm

• sacrilegious •


Pronunciation: sæ-krê-li-jês • Hear it!

Part of Speech: Adjective

Meaning: Profaning or desecrating that which is held to be sacred.

Notes: This word is especially good at trapping even the best of spellers. Despite the obvious semantic relation, today's Word History shows that this word is wholly unrelated to religious. This explains what seems to be the metathesis (switch) of the E and I: sacrilegious vs. religious. Today's word comes from sacrilege "desecration, profanation", not religious!

In Play: In most religions it is considered sacrilegious to utter the name of the deity. The Jewish faith holds men entering the temple with the head uncovered sacrilegious, while Christians think it sacrilegious for men to enter a church with the head covered. In fact, it might be sacrilegious to play around with this word, but let's see what we can do with it. It is often used in the sense of simply "highly discouraged": "It is considered sacrilegious to mention the name of a competitor's product in our office."

Word History: Today's is yet another word from Latin via French, this time from sacrilegus "someone who steals sacred things", a compound based on sacer "sacred" + legere "to pick out, collect". The meaning of the Proto-Indo-European root leg-/log- roved over a broad semantic spectrum: "pick, collect" (Latin lignum "firewood, that which is collected"), "speak, word" (lexicon), "read" (legible), and "law" (legislature). The sense of "read" and "speak" are trivially related, since reading was often done aloud in the past. The leap from "word" to "law" is quite curious, though: was the law seen as a collection of things or as the word of the king? What do you think?
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Re: SACRILEGIOUS

Postby Slava » Thu Sep 20, 2012 11:17 pm

When did "pick, collect" come to mean steal? Do not all interpreters of all holy texts also "pick and collect" the phrases they work with?

What about an election that is decided on purely religious grounds? Would that not also be a form of "picking"?

As to the end of the Doctor's post, that's a biggie. "In the beginning was the word..." Where do we go from there? Word or Law? How was the original understood by the original audience? Can we ever really know?
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Re: SACRILEGIOUS

Postby Philip Hudson » Fri Sep 21, 2012 1:19 am

Slava: For me personally, I do not worry much about things being sacrilegious. However, people can write and say things that are not appropriate. It is inappropriate to quote the Bible with an obvious meaning not present in the Bible. The University of Texas has a motto "You shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." This is an improper quotation as a school motto because the meaning of the word "truth", by taking it out of context, has been changed. In the Bible "Truth" is Jesus Christ, and it does not mean the same when carved over the portals of the UT administration building.

In the same way, your use of "In the beginning was the word..." is out of place because it is out of context. In the Biblical context, The Gospel of John 1:1, the Word means Jesus who is the Christian God.

Bible quotations taken out of context are quite common. “… Escaped by the skin of my teeth.. ”, Job 19:20, has an obvious allegorical meaning and is sometimes used in a non-Biblical way. I see nothing for anyone to take offense at that. As a Christian of the moderate persuasion, these out of context quotations do not offend me. I use some of them myself. To a fundamentalist Christian, however, they might be offensive.

Insulting the Prophet Mohammed is sacrilege, whatever you might believe about Islam. Disagreeing with the Prophet Mohammed is not sacrilege. Disagreeing with Christian teachings and practices is not sacrilege. Putting a statue if Jesus in a bottle of urine and calling it art is sacrilege. All people should respect other people’s sensitivity about things religious as much as possible and reasonable. Obvious sacrileges should be avoided. Several innocent people have been killed this week for such sacrilege.

This posting is presented to inform, no offense intended.
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Re: SACRILEGIOUS

Postby Perry Lassiter » Fri Sep 21, 2012 11:15 am

Another HUGE can of worms! Word or logos in John 1 is a classic problem. Is he speaking of word in its Greek background, or the Hebrew word dabhar and its Old Testament background. If Greek is meant, the logos in some Greek thought is one of the emanations from God, The Logos, who like a mad scientist created stuff by mixing spirit and matter. In that case, John is denying that Jesus is subsidiary in his divinity and was in at creation. If Hebrew, John refers to Genesis, where God created by speaking - God said let there be light, and there was light. Further, to the prophets God spoke, dabhar. In Hebrew, word and speak are the same.
Law, however, is an unrelated word, torah, which also refers to the first five books of the Bible. In that context, law is not a collection of rules, but a way of life. It does involve obedience to God, but also includes the path to the best life.
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Re: SACRILEGIOUS

Postby misterdoe » Sun Sep 23, 2012 2:28 pm

A metaphorical use: when Nabisco first introduced varieties of Oreos, I brought a box of the fudge-covered ones to work. One coworker pronounced my snack "sacrilege," and when I specifically offered him some, he said, "No, thank you, I'll have none of your profane cookies." :)
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Re: SACRILEGIOUS

Postby Philip Hudson » Sun Sep 23, 2012 5:33 pm

There are purists of every stripe. I won't eat salsa not made in Texas.
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Re: SACRILEGIOUS

Postby Philip Hudson » Sun Sep 23, 2012 5:34 pm

There are purists of all types. I will not profane my palate with salsa not made in Texas.
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Re: SACRILEGIOUS

Postby Slava » Sun Sep 23, 2012 6:52 pm

misterdoe wrote:A metaphorical use: when Nabisco first introduced varieties of Oreos, I brought a box of the fudge-covered ones to work. One coworker pronounced my snack "sacrilege," and when I specifically offered him some, he said, "No, thank you, I'll have none of your profane cookies." :)

I guess your co-worker swore off that kind of cookie. :)
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