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AMEN

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AMEN

Postby Dr. Goodword » Thu Feb 14, 2013 12:49 am

• amen •


Pronunciation: ah-men, ay-menHear it!

Part of Speech: Interjection, Noun

Meaning: 1. (Interjection) Used at the end of a hymn or prayer, to express assent firmly. 2. (Noun) The act of saying "amen", used mostly in the phrase "to say 'amen' to". 3. The end or completion of something, as to live a life to its amen.

Notes: Today's Good Word goes mostly unnoticed. Back in the 60s this joke made the rounds: "Why do we say 'amen' and not 'awomen'?" The reply: "Because it comes at the end of a hymn, not a her" (I'll admit, it is a joke better spoken than written.)

In Play: We don't want to start pray in or singing hymns in this section, so we are left with the nominal sense to work with: "Someone said they needed a drink after the contentious office meeting, and Tom Collins replied, 'Amen!'" Everyone said 'amen' to the proposition that office meetings no longer be held.

Word History: Today's Good Word comes from Latin amen, borrowed from Greek amen, which in turn was borrowed from Hebrew 'amen "truly, certainly". 'Amen in Hebrew was used adverbially as an expression of agreement. The West Semitic root was a-m-n "to be firm, reliable", probably seen again in mammon, Hebrew mamon. Those who advance this view proposed an later meaning of a-m-n was "security" or "deposit". Mamon originally meant "wealth, riches", and only in the New Testament was this idea personified, converting the love of money into a person. (We can all say "Amen!" to an expression of our appreciation to Dawn Shawley, the translation manager at Lexiteria, the parent company of alphaDictionary.com, for suggesting today's Good Word.
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Re: AMEN

Postby Perry Lassiter » Thu Feb 14, 2013 1:15 am

I've long noticed from the behaviorist viewpoint, the word either means to sit down or to leave. In all churches I know, when someone says amen, if we've been standing, we sit down. And after the last amen, we leave.
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Re: AMEN

Postby Philip Hudson » Thu Feb 14, 2013 1:42 am

In formal church settings, amens are sung as threefold amen, sevenfold amen and etc.

In less formal church settings people in the congregation respond with amens at the conclusion of an anthem or solo or to show assent to the sermon while it is in progress.

Some preachers solicit amens by saying, "Do I have a witness?"
It is dark at night, but the Sun will come up and then we can see.
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Re: AMEN

Postby MTC » Thu Feb 14, 2013 8:01 am

To the comments of my fellow posters, I can only say, "Amen!"

Perhaps that was a bit premature. Is there ever an end?
A corner from which there is no escape?

But "corner" brings back to mind my original topic, "The Amen Corner." This colorful phrase deserves its own treatment. Attestations go back to 1837.
(http://www.barrypopik.com/index.php/new ... en_corner/)

"The Amen Corner" has been transported from the church to the links.
(http://www.helium.com/items/1726887-how ... he-masters)

And beyond.
(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amen_Corner)

What's Dr. Goodword's angle on this one? Can he "corner the Amen Corner?"
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Re: AMEN

Postby LukeJavan8 » Thu Feb 14, 2013 1:32 pm

As the French used to say:

"ainsi soit-il"
-----please, draw me a sheep-----
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Re: AMEN

Postby Perry Lassiter » Thu Feb 14, 2013 2:32 pm

MTC, thanks once more for your great research. I did not know of the hotel parlay. I did know of the Masters, but did not know how it got that name. Nor did I know or remember some of the other uses.

I believe the phrase is also used of a group of strong supporters or yes-men, which could imply either weak-kneed sycophants (psychophants?) or enthusiastic supporters.
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Re: AMEN

Postby Philip Hudson » Thu Feb 14, 2013 7:30 pm

MTC: Thank you for the amen corner references. Some of this sounds like the speaker's corner in Hyde Park, London. I have spent many an idle hour there listning to speeches that ranged from eloquent and valuable to crackpot and inane.

In the church, the amen corner may not actually be a corner. It is the place in the sanctary where there are most likely to be loud ameners. In our church, we have an amen corner, a hands waving corner and a fragrance free corners for the allergic.
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Re: AMEN

Postby Slava » Thu Feb 14, 2013 8:21 pm

MTC wrote:"The Amen Corner" has been transported from the church to the links.
(http://www.helium.com/items/1726887-how ... he-masters)

A great example of mixing one's metaphors here:
These are the holes where the big players usually step up to the plate and show what they are made of.
Life is like playing chess with chessmen who each have thoughts and feelings and motives of their own.
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Re: AMEN

Postby gailr » Thu Feb 14, 2013 11:04 pm

I never expected to mention a favorite piece of musical trivia here in the Agora, but this word -- and the different ways it can be used -- bring to mind the Amen Break.

An ~18 minute video detailing the history of a 6-second percussion clip (and several short clips showcasing its use in various songs) are hosted across the web.
Image

Pick a link and enjoy listening to a sample of a beat with a history as far-ranging as the Good Word itself. Can I get an amen on that?


~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
I recommend Nate Harrison's Can I Get an Amen, hosted on the Internet Archive. The beat is sampled in dozens of songs, a couple of which contain lyrics not used in polite company about 5 minutes in. Aside from them, it's a very interesting trip through an astonishing array of musical styles linked by 6 seconds of percussion.
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Re: AMEN

Postby MTC » Fri Feb 15, 2013 7:55 am

Interesting, isn't it, that a word with such finality would open the door to so many possibilities.

I liken our discussions to a Pinball Machine. The first player sets the word/ball in motion on the playing field where it caroms off the flippers and cushions (other players), hitting high-value targets (ideas) which light up the display board.

So far the ball has bounced from the Bible to a church corner (which turns out not to be a corner), to "yes men," to French "so be it," to mixed metaphors, to the Masters, to Hyde Park, ending for the time being on a musical note...

What fun!
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Re: AMEN

Postby call_copse » Fri Feb 15, 2013 8:16 am

An interesting meander through amen indeed. I certainly remember the Welsh vaguely psychedelic rock band The Amen Corner.

I did always wonder whether the Hebrew came down in some way from the Egyptian Chief God Amen (or Amun / Amon / Amun-Ra). Perhaps not.
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Re: AMEN

Postby Perry Lassiter » Fri Feb 15, 2013 2:30 pm

Interesting idea. However, Egyptian is not a Semitic language, but I plan to take a look. The ancient Semitics wrote with no vowels, so mn are the relevant terms unless the A is included as a semi-consonant like alef at the beginning of the Hebrew alphabet. Good eye.
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Re: AMEN

Postby Philip Hudson » Sat Feb 16, 2013 2:51 am

The Lost Chord by Arthur Sullivan:
"Seated one day at the organ, ...
But I struck one chord of music,
Like the sound of a great Amen."

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9Pd87P7rN08 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oZdYtx_LldQ
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Re: AMEN

Postby Paul » Mon Feb 18, 2013 8:41 am

The Hebrew root a-m-n (אמן) has had a broad sense development.

The ‘firm, reliable’ element and the ‘truly’ element went on, in varying proportions, to be included in the words for coach, training and exercise; art, artist and craftsman; and trust, belief and faith.
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Re: AMEN

Postby Philip Hudson » Mon Feb 18, 2013 9:36 am

Paul: Welcome to the forum. Post often. Thank you for your addition to the discussion of the Good Word amen.
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