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Posted: 23 June 2008 10:49 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 16 ]
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Yep, you’re right, that’s the first definition of the term chaste in OED.

1. Pure from unlawful sexual intercourse; continent, virtuous.

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Posted: 23 June 2008 11:56 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 17 ]
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Dr. Techie - 23 June 2008 07:19 AM

Note to Myridon: just because an English word is cognate to a French one, that doesn’t make it the best translation in every context (sometimes not even in any context).  You wouldn’t accuse the subtitlers of “improving” the script if they translated librairie as “bookshop” rather than “library”, would you?

That would be why I put “improve” in quotes and concluded “I have no idea if it’s any better in French or not”.

[ Edited: 23 June 2008 11:58 AM by Myridon ]
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Posted: 23 June 2008 12:29 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 18 ]
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I guess I’m not getting your point.  If “persistent” expresses the meaning of obstiné better than “obstinate” in a particular context, how does using it represent an example of

I think that sometimes the subtitlers think that they’re allowed to “improve” the script.

with or without disclaimer quotes around improve?

Your ”sometimes [they] think they’re allowed to” sure makes it sound like you think they’ve taken an improper liberty in using “persistent.”

[ Edited: 23 June 2008 12:38 PM by Dr. Techie ]
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Posted: 23 June 2008 03:53 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 19 ]
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Actually my point was - the post doesn’t actually say what they said in French, only that the subtitle said “virgin” and the English commentary talked about virgin.  The speakers could have used a different word and the commentary may or may not have been about the word in the subtitles, the actual word used, or both.

I was giving an example of subtitles using a different word.  A long discussion of French usage of persistent might be not helpful to understanding a movie where they actually said obstine.

[ Edited: 23 June 2008 04:00 PM by Myridon ]
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Posted: 23 June 2008 09:41 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 20 ]
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1) The current meanings of “chaste” in the OED:
pure from sexual intercourse;
undefiled, pure;
free from indecency;
subdued (referring to artistic style).

2) The current meanings of “celibate”:
unmarried, single, bound not to marry;
one who leads a single life; a confirmed bachelor or spinster; one bound not to marry.
I would add that celibate also means abstaining from sex, which is how it’s more commonly used today.

3) The current meanings of “virgin” pertinent to this topic:
An unmarried or chaste maiden or woman, distinguished for piety or steadfastness in religion, and regarded as having a special place among the members of the Christian church on account of these merits. Chiefly used with reference to early Christian times;
A woman (esp. a young woman) who is, or remains, in a state of inviolate chastity;
A young woman, a maid or maiden, of an age and character affording presumption of chastity;
A person of either sex remaining in a state of chastity;
A youth or man who has remained in a state of chastity.
There are several other meanings, for instance that describing a female insect producing fertile eggs by parthenogenesis, which are outside the scope of this discussion.

4) OED’s definition of “Holy Ghost”:
The Divine Spirit; the Third Person of the Godhead, the Holy Spirit.

I think that, etymologically speaking, that answers venemousbede’s

I was more interested in what the Holy Ghost is and how it can be defined and what people’s perceptions of what it is are. This is word stuff and has been covered here before but not definitively. These digressions all add to our store of knowledge. The differences between chaste, celibate and virgin for example.

Apart, of course, from “what people’s perceptions of it are”, which is nothing whatsoever to do with words and their origins.

Nor does “parthenogenesis” have much to do with the topic, but for the sake of completeness, here’s its definition:
Reproduction from a gamete without fertilization, occurring most commonly in invertebrates and lower plants. Formerly also: asexual reproduction, as by fission or budding.
The origin of “partheno-” is:
ancient Greek -, combining form (in e.g.  a person who ogles maidens, seducer) of virgin, of unknown origin.  An interesting twist to the tale.

[ Edited: 23 June 2008 10:06 PM by astal ]
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Posted: 24 June 2008 07:24 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 21 ]
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You’ve misquoted the first definition of “chaste”, leaving out a word that was important to the point SL was making. Here is an exact quote:

“1. Pure from unlawful sexual intercourse; continent, virtuous. (Of persons, their lives, conduct, etc.)” [quoted by aldi above, except for the parenthetical addendum]

The ”unlawful” is of course key to the distinction SL made.  This is the relevant meaning as the term has historically been used; lawful sex (as between married partners) was not unchastity.

In the entry for “chastity” the distinction is made explicit (despite the editors’ adding ambiguous synonyms onto the ends of the definitions):

1. a. Purity from unlawful sexual intercourse; continence.
2. Abstinence from all sexual intercourse; virginity, celibacy.

These are, respectively, the historical “technical” sense and the common, modern sense.

This came up before, in discussing the meaning of celibacy, during the polyandry thread.  As I remarked at the time, “Priests (and monks and nuns) were supposed to be celibate (as Dave says, unmarried).  All members of the church, be they clergy, religious, or laity, were supposed to be chaste (refraining from illicit sex, which would be any outside marriage)” (or, I suppose I should add to avoid nitpicking, certain forms of concubinage in earlier times.)

BTW, it looks like all the Greek was dropped from your citation for partheno-.

[ Edited: 24 June 2008 08:15 AM by Dr. Techie ]
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Posted: 24 June 2008 11:02 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 22 ]
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Yes, you’re right.  I should have done a copy and paste rather than quote from memory, so the word “unlawful” would have appeared.  I was not, as your post implies, trying to make any other point.  And yes, obviously, the Greek has disappeared.  Maybe I should have said it had disappeared.  My lesson has been learned.  In future I shall quote exactly and insert addenda to explain my posts.  My intention was to answer that part of venomousbede’s query which related to etymology and to highlight the part of it that didn’t and which also, in my opinion, is flamebait.

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Posted: 25 June 2008 06:58 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 23 ]
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I didn’t mean to imply that it was a deliberate misquotation, only that leaving out “unlawful”, even inadvertantly, changed the meaning in a way that was significant, especially given the previous discussion.

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Posted: 26 June 2008 11:11 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 24 ]
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Teacher to class: “Children, today we’re going to begin learning Latin. Before we start, I’d like to check whether any of you already know some Latin. For instance: can anyone tell me what the phrase ‘nulli secundus’ means?”

Little Willie (raising hand): “Second to none, Miss”.

Teacher: “Very good, Willie! Now, does anyone know the meaning of ‘rara avis’?

Little Willie: “A rare bird, Miss”.

Teacher: “Excellent, Willie! Let’s try a tougher one. Does anyone know the meaning of ‘virgo intacta’?

After a pause, Wille raises hand.

Teacher: “Yes, Willie?”

Willie: “ Another rare bird, Miss.”

(Ed.) P.S. I don’t know who first used the word “parthenogenesis” in the scientific sense, i.e. in reference to asexual reproduction. In my mind, the word “parthenogenesis” has always been associated with the birth of Athena, who (according to some sources) sprang fully armed from the forehead of Zeus. I think this may be the earliest parthenogenetic birth on record.

[ Edited: 26 June 2008 11:41 PM by lionello ]
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Posted: 27 June 2008 05:17 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 25 ]
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The first cite in the OED is an 1849 paper by naturalist Richard Owen, titled: “On parthenogenesis, or the successive productions of procreating individuals from the single ovum.”

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Posted: 27 June 2008 11:55 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 26 ]
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many thanks, Dave.

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Posted: 29 June 2008 11:14 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 27 ]
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Astal, it wasn’t ‘flamebait’ at all. I honestly have no idea how lexicographers can make the concept of the Holy Ghost intelligible, especially to people with no knowledge of the New Testament. OED’s “Divine Spirit” looks like an unhelpful synonym to me. I tried to make the point in an earlier thread that words like soul and karma can be defined in dictionaries in a way satisfactory to everyone, but that definitions of the Holy Ghost leave us none the wiser (me especially). I have no problem understanding other words defined in dictionaries, or concepts in encyclopaedias. I just reckon the Holy Ghost is a unique term that defies description.

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Posted: 30 June 2008 06:01 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 28 ]
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"Making the Holy Ghost intelligible, especially to people with no knowledge of the New Testament” is not the role of lexicographers or a dictionary definition. A definition should concisely and accurately denote the meaning of the word.

So, for example, the OED’s definition of “The Divine Spirit; the Third Person of the Godhead, the Holy Spirit” is perfectly sufficient. (Actually, if I had written it I would have noted that it was a Christian concept to be more global and less Anglican-centric.)

It is impossible to accurately describe the meaning the Trinity (as well as the meaning of lots of other sophisticated concepts) in a few words, fortunately all that’s required for a definition is identification, not description. A dictionary is not an encyclopedia.

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Posted: 30 June 2008 06:50 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 29 ]
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Astal, it wasn’t ‘flamebait’ at all.

Maybe not, but you do seem to spend a lot of your time trying to push the boundaries of what this site is intended to discuss, which is not religious concepts.

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Posted: 30 June 2008 10:53 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 30 ]
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And there was this from earlier in the discussion that is clearly inflammatory, albeit politely worded, and utterly beyond the pale as far as this forum goes:

I find it odd Catholics have so leapt on the Mary-as-virgin concept and elevated her to virtual godhead.

Once you attack someone else’s religion, all your future statements are suspect.

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