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Postby Dr. Goodword » Fri Jan 24, 2014 8:37 am

• sin •

Pronunciation: sin • Hear it!

Part of Speech: Noun

Meaning: 1. A violation of religious principle. 2. Something regarded as utterly wrong, shameful, deplorable.

Notes: Today's word may be used as a mass noun (no plural), as in, "Sin pervades the planet." It may also be used as a count noun, "God will forgive us all our sins." Don't confuse crime with sin: crime refers to the law of man; sin is a violation of the laws of God. The adjectives accompanying this word are sinful and its opposite, sinless. Both form adverbs with -ly and nouns with -ness.

In Play: Even though we often disagree on what constitutes sin, we all feel obliged to hate it: "She loved sinners as much as she hated the sins they committed." Sin occurs in many idioms like this one: "Robin Banks was as guilty of the crime he was accused of as homemade sin." We are free to use this word figuratively to our hearts' content: "It is a sin the way Portia Carr spends money."

Word History: This word has been around for a long time, just like what it refers to. This word must originate in the PIE root es- "to be", though the semantic path is far from clear. This makes it a distant cousin of English is or, more likely, some historical present participle of that word. Latin son(t)s "guilty" seems related to sen(t)s "being", and German Sünde "sin" shows striking similarities to seiend "being". Sin is the state in which all (human) beings are born according to Christianity, among other religions, so this might be the connection. But the jury is still out on this one. By the way, speaking of es-, swastika comes from Sanskrit svasti "well-being" from su "good, well" + asti- "being", the Sanskrit version of es-. (It would be a sin not to thank Jim Potter for suggesting today's Good Word—even it has bad meaning.)
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Re: Sin

Postby Perry Lassiter » Fri Jan 24, 2014 9:12 am

There is a false legend that Eskimos have a large number of words describing snow. It is true, however, that the Bible has quite a few words describing sin. There are more in the Old Testament Hebrew then in the New Testament Greek. By far the principal New Testament word means "missing the mark." For anyone who might like to peruse the words, here is a link to one source. Before you ask, I have no ideal what the "?" Stands for. There are a couple of weird Hebrew letters for English, and it may represent one of those.

And by the way, the view that everyone is born in sin is called "original sin." Some theologians take it genetically, but others say it means we are born into a sinful world. From there it gets complicated and sometimes weird.
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Re: Sin

Postby LukeJavan8 » Fri Jan 24, 2014 1:19 pm

Or born with the nature to sin, which they due, the ability
or compunction, or natural inclination to sin; which they do
by their nature. As Adam/Even gave birth to children who
inherited the 'ability'/inclination to sin.
There are as many definitions of sin as there are people
saying what is a sin and what is not, from the pastor
of 27th Avenue Free Church to the Pope. And they all
preach forgiveness, but few are doing it.
-----please, draw me a sheep-----
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Re: Sin

Postby Slava » Fri Jan 24, 2014 3:04 pm

Does anyone else feel that, "It is a crime the way Portia Carr spends money" works just as well?

Also, isn't it interesting how "sinfully" and "wicked" have come full circle and can mean wonderful or cool?

The dessert was sinfully tasty.
That was a wicked stunt they did in the movie.
Life is like playing chess with chessmen who each have thoughts and feelings and motives of their own.
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Re: Sin

Postby Perry Lassiter » Fri Jan 24, 2014 8:55 pm

Not to mention how many of my friends keep telling me, "you're bad" every time I lay a pun on them, or sumpin.
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Re: Sin

Postby wurdpurrson » Sat Jan 25, 2014 4:18 pm

Puns are, simultaneously, both the highest and lowest form of humor, in my opinion. I love a really bad good pun. Or is that a really good bad pun?

As for the word "sin", the strongest negative assessment my mother used to make as to the beauty (or lack thereof) of any thing or person was that it was "uglier than sin" - harsh condemnation, indeed! She wasn't that religious, but was raised Anglican; I doubt that had much to do with using the phrase, however.
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