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A Miscellany


Peter Clark
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1) I recently started to re-learn the St Anne Fantasia by Parry and remember reading somewhere - though I can't remember where - that Parry had a dislike of religious ritual. If this is the case, and I currently have no way of confirming it, then it might account for his setting of Blake's words which have become known as Jerusalem and now seems to be one of two unofficial national anthems. Well known is the fact that Blake too had a distrust of organised religion and the words here set are in fact a satire on, particularly, the established church. The "dark satanic mills" are said to be code for the (anglican) curches of England. This being the case I can't help wondering if Parry's setting, given its overall majesty but sweeping melody particularly, is not a tongue-in-cheek statement, adding to the satirical character of Blake's words. Any thoughts, anone. (MM I somehow feel this may appeak to you!)

 

2) Yesterday's funeral. The coffin went out to The Battle Hymn of the Republic. I thought then and I think now, what a fine hymn it actually is, words and music. The eschatological dimension of liberation theology comes iin such phrases as "as he died to make men holy, let us die to make men free" (despite the exclusive language). I have no idea why this was chosen. Perhaps the deceased was an Elvis fan. Leading on to....

 

3) Do people like it when hymns are updated? I once saw the fiirst line of a well-known hymn rendered "Dear Lord and Father of us all....." Oh dear.

 

 

Peter

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...."as he died to make men holy, let us die to make men free" (despite the exclusive language)

Peter

 

I would respectfully submit that the use of the word "men" in this context was never meant to be gender-specific or exclusive. Unfortunately fewer and fewer people understand that nowadays, and more and more choose to make a big thing of it in the name of "political correctness".

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Could have been worse...

Yes, it could.

 

When my Grandpa's funeral was held back in September 2006 the concluding piece, which inevitably raised some eyebrows, was JS Bach's Toccata & Fuge in D-Minor. No-one, not even me, could work out who picked that one. And it wasn't me because I wasn't asked. My Father remaked it was a "very odd choice".

 

Dave

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I would respectfully submit that the use of the word "men" in this context was never meant to be gender-specific or exclusive. Unfortunately fewer and fewer people understand that nowadays, and more and more choose to make a big thing of it in the name of "political correctness".

Of course anyone with a good education will know the linguistic and semantic history of "man" but unless one is prepared to explain its former inclusive meaning when it is used in church it will undoubtedly be understood by some in its modern sense. Putting "political correctness" to one side, from a Christian perspective shouldn't we avoid putting a stumbling block in the way of, for example, first-time visitors to church?

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Of course anyone with a good education will know the linguistic and semantic history of "man" but unless one is prepared to explain its former inclusive meaning when it is used in church it will undoubtedly be understood by some in its modern sense. Putting "political correctness" to one side, from a Christian perspective shouldn't we avoid putting a stumbling block in the way of, for example, first-time visitors to church?

 

The problem is that both Latin and Greek have two words translated into English as "man". In Latin homine (human) and vir (man in the gender sense); similarly in Greek anthropos and aner. When I recite the creed I always say "for us ... and for our salvation" (the lacuna indicating the missing "man"); I also say at the et homo factus est bit "and became human". These however are not "fixed" texts in that they have been modified over the centuries as language alters. For example one part of the (Apostles'? I think it may be) Creed says "the quick and the dead" which is a geat sounding title for a detective novel but wouldn't mean much to the modern first-tine church-goer.

 

In an attempt to wrench this thread back to something to do with the organ (even though I was the instigator of the tangent!) a new English translation of the Mass is due soon, which will mean new settings being required, though I trust that the authorities will allow for the contnued use of present settings at least for a transition period. I only hope that we won't get what happened in the wake of the 2nd Vatican Council when we were forced to sing those dire Israeli-type settings.

 

Peter

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When my Grandpa's funeral was held back in September 2006 the concluding piece, which inevitably raised some eyebrows, was JS Bach's Toccata & Fuge in D-Minor. No-one, not even me, could work out who picked that one. And it wasn't me because I wasn't asked. My Father remaked it was a "very odd choice".

 

Dave

A very odd choice? So presumably it was the Dorian !

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I would respectfully submit that the use of the word "men" in this context was never meant to be gender-specific or exclusive. Unfortunately fewer and fewer people understand that nowadays, and more and more choose to make a big thing of it in the name of "political correctness".

 

I think I'm right in saying that, if you go back to the very dawn of Old English, 'man' was in fact a feminine noun.

 

JS

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I think I'm right in saying that, if you go back to the very dawn of Old English, 'man' was in fact a feminine noun.

And that information is relevant in what way, unless you are advocating the use of Old English in the services of the Church of England in the 21st century? Sorry to sound abrupt but grammatical gender is frequently no guide to gender in real life eg das Mädchen, das Fraülein.

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And that information is relevant in what way, unless you are advocating the use of Old English in the services of the Church of England in the 21st century? Sorry to sound abrupt but grammatical gender is frequently no guide to gender in real life eg das Mädchen, das Fraülein.

 

But, of course, our modern language has no masculine, feminine or neuter word for "the" - thank goodness!

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And that information is relevant in what way, unless you are advocating the use of Old English in the services of the Church of England in the 21st century? Sorry to sound abrupt but grammatical gender is frequently no guide to gender in real life eg das Mädchen, das Fraülein.

But only because 'das Mädchen, das Fraülein' are both diminutives. Most German nouns for humans follow natural gender. And, in my six years in Austria, I don't think I used 'das Fraülein' at all.* Das Mädchen would be used for a pre-pubescent female only, after that, 'die Frau' would be used.

 

I am amused that in the English speaking world, we have moved towards male vocation titles ('actor', not 'actress' for a female) whilst in the German speaking world, the feminists insist on using the female suffix for their vocational nouns and not being included when only the male form is used. Feminism takes different forms in different cultures. Not a huge surprise, really.

 

*This motivated me to check my German dictionary (Duden - Deutsches Universalwoerterbuch) and I found a number of meanings that no longer in current use, and a few in colloquial usage.

1) Used for a very young girl in a lighthearted or threatening manner "Watch out, my dear young lady" [nimm dich in Acht, mein liebes F.!]

2) A prostitute (although noted as also becoming obsolete)

2) A German lady who was a lover of an American soldier following 1945.

 

Just as well I didn't use it! I could have found myself in hot water very quickly.

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I am amused that in the English speaking world, we have moved towards male vocation titles ('actor', not 'actress' for a female) whilst in the German speaking world, the feminists insist on using the female suffix for their vocational nouns and not being included when only the male form is used. Feminism takes different forms in different cultures. Not a huge surprise, really.

I have occasionally wondered what happens when feminism and a strongly gendered language meet, maybe what you describe is part of the answer; given that the gender structure of German is so integral a part of the language there is no chance of changing that structure in the foreseeable future so other ways have to be found to acknowledge the female half of the population. The job/vocation title thing is interesting in English. For jobs where women didn't get a look in until the middle of the C20 there is often no female form of the word: judge, doctor, prime minister, bishop etc.; jobs done by women for centuries have their own word or form: washerwoman, actress, harlot, waitress; jobs which some people look down on women for doing may have derogatory pseudo-female titles: lady organist, priestess.

 

[if anyone is offended by this tangent I'm sorry, but tangents tends to happen in conversation and this thread is headed "Miscellany".]

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I have occasionally wondered what happens when feminism and a strongly gendered language meet, maybe what you describe is part of the answer; given that the gender structure of German is so integral a part of the language there is no chance of changing that structure in the foreseeable future so other ways have to be found to acknowledge the female half of the population. The job/vocation title thing is interesting in English. For jobs where women didn't get a look in until the middle of the C20 there is often no female form of the word: judge, doctor, prime minister, bishop etc.; jobs done by women for centuries have their own word or form: washerwoman, actress, harlot, waitress; jobs which some people look down on women for doing may have derogatory pseudo-female titles: lady organist, priestess.

 

[if anyone is offended by this tangent I'm sorry, but tangents tends to happen in conversation and this thread is headed "Miscellany".]

 

 

And the most otiose of all, surely: "lady doctor" and "male nurse".

 

 

 

Peter

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I am amused that in the English speaking world, we have moved towards male vocation titles ('actor', not 'actress' for a female)

 

But only where the word can be seen as neutral. Chairman, for instance, had a phase of providing chairwoman as an alternative, followed by chairperson and just chair.

 

I also understand that fairly recently a female mayor's husband has been officially referred to as the mayoress, to keep things as they always were...

 

Rotherham has a mayor and mayoress who are both female.

 

Paul

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Yes - I think we were discussing Worcester, were we not?

 

....Or perhaps it was tubas....

 

:rolleyes:

Anyway, as a Fourniture IV is definitely one bigger than a 3-piece suite there's absolutely no way it would fit in a hatchback.

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