Christian Apologetics Questions Answered – #1

If we can agree that no one can force their religion upon you through separation of Church and State, why should you be able to force your atheism on other people?

How many people have you personally met, who attempt to force Atheism on anyone?
(Comment submitted July 21, 2019)

None, they rarely do it in person in the U.S. (yet). But there are any numbers of Congressmen and judges in the United States who devote their careers to it. And certainly dozens of people who have interacted with me online.

And that’s just in this country. If we look at declared atheist nations–the USSR, China, etc., you get tortured until you become an atheist, and murdered if you don’t. Or often, they skip straight to the murder.
(Responded to April 21, 2021)

Congratulations!  Your lightning-quick word-salad response has won this week’s highly-esteemed GOBBLEDEGOOK Award.  In so few words, you managed to include delusion, unwarranted conclusion, confusion, wordplay, incorrect definitions, improper referral, unproven claims, misdirection, smoke and mirrors, and, I believe, even some strawman arguments.

Being charitable, I will not assume that you presented it as an intentional lie, but rather, as the parroted repetition of claims which you have innocently, if gullibly, accepted.

First, if the USSR and China are declared atheist nations – It was not by them.  The USSR dissolved and has not existed since 1991 – 30 years.  There are still thousands of Russian Orthodox Catholic churches doing well, within the country of Russia today.  The majority of the population is quietly Christian.

The majority of Chinese citizens also claim some religious affiliation, mostly Buddhist or Confucianist.  Those who are harshly dealt with are usually members of aggressive sects who attempt to harass the secular government, and force their beliefs on others…. much like many American Evangelical Christians.

While arrest, punishment and death can influence societal actions and attitudes, no-one can be forced to become an Atheist.  If that were true, then the stories of the Apostles dying as martyrs would be false.

To first make the claim that some countries force citizens to become atheists is already disingenuous.  To then claim that the same is happening in the United States, approaches an outright lie.  What the elected and appointed representatives of the secular Federal Government are doing, is ensuring that the wishes of the Founding Fathers, through the Constitution and Bill of Rights, are carried out.

No-one is being forced to become an Atheist!  But intolerant Religionists are being forced to accept Atheists’ existence and their rights, as established by the law of the land.  Being forced to be an Atheist, and being legally forced to accept the Atheism of others, are two vastly different things.   😯

So, here I am, a Canadian, having to teach Americans about their politics and legal system – an Atheist, having to explain their mistaken religious claims and assumptions, and withstand the shit they spew.  😯  Oh, the burdens I bear.

TILWROT II

Take me out of the ball game.

In the early 1960’s, before I arrived in this burgh, interest in, and support for, Junior, City-League Baseball was waning.  One local team felt that they needed $10,000, a considerable sum, to pay for a year’s uniforms, equipment and transportation costs, and no sponsors were coming forward.

One 16-year-old, baseball-crazy boy had an idea.  He would sit on a 6’ X 6’ platform on top of a 50 foot flagpole in the ball park, until the amount was raised.  He lasted three days, until unexplained stomach pains caused the same fire crew and ladder truck that put him up, to lower him down again.  His almost-feat was recently recounted in the ‘Flash From The Past’ history column in a Saturday newspaper.  His name was Ken Fryfogel.

Things I Learned While Researching Other Things – Act 2 – Fryfogel

The name Fryfogel is very uncommon.  Ancestry.com only has 298 listed in North America.  The unnumbered few in Canada are all in Ontario, and I suspect, most right here in Southwestern Ontario.  I decided to research.

Fryfogel appears to be a Germanic name, like Vogel – which is a bird, or Logel – who was a cooper.  Surname-meaning websites just shrugged.  I tried a translation website, but got nothing.  I tried changing the spelling from ‘el’ to ‘le.’  I tried pulling it apart, into Fry, and fogel – nothing.  I tried entering ‘fogel’ into a dictionary site.  I got, No listing for ‘fogel.’  Did you mean fodgel?’

I don’t know.  Do I??!  I’ve never run into the word.  What does it mean?   Yorkshire/Scottish dialect – a short, fat person-by extension, a fat hen.  So, a Fryfogel is someone who cooks up a big fat chicken.  Twenty miles from here, at the intersection of a concession road and the highway, halfway to Justin Bieber’s ex-home, stands the historic, 200-year-old Fryfogel Inn.  😎  What better name for an innkeeper than one that says that he’ll serve you up some fried chicken along with your ale?

I’ll be serving up some more interesting drivel in a couple of days.  Hope to see you then.  😀

Smitty’s Loose Change #16

Insanity is believing your hallucinations.
Religion is believing other people’s hallucinations.
Too often, its adherents can’t face reality, and force others to play make-believe.

***

Quite often, Christian Apologists don’t believe some or all of the problematic passages in the Bible.  In fact, they pride themselves and measure their intelligence by how much of the nonsense and contradictions that they reject.  But they just can’t seem to take it to the logical conclusion.

***

Semantic Satiation
You know that thing that happens when you read or hear the same word over and over and over and it starts to sound weird, not like itself, and like gibberish? There’s a word for it: “semantic satiation.”  It’s thought to be a brain form of reactive inhibition, which is a fancy phrase for your body getting tired of doing stuff over and over and over. Basically, when you hear a word, your brain grabs the meaning to the word and associates them for you. But when a word is repeated in a short period, your brain has to grab its neural dictionary over and over, and gets less excited about having to do so each time, eventually just saying, “Whatever,” which is when you just completely lose meaning.

***

More Names – More Fun

I am fascinated by names, because many of them have origins and meanings that even the holders often don’t know.

I was recently followed by HariSeldon2021.  Hari Seldon is a character from Isaac Asimov’s Foundation series.  Sadly, this one doesn’t have a website, so that I can’t read his work, to find why he chose such an interesting and enigmatic name.

The German name Stemmler means stammerer. While
The German name Steffler began with a reference to a German king named Steffen, and means crown.

A vendor at the local Farmers’ Market is Gerber Meats.  A gerber originally was a skinner, or a leather tanner.  I find it amusingly ironic that the name that began with an interest in the outside of cows, is now interested in what’s on the inside of cows.

I recently learned of an Italian actor, named Violante Placido – which translates to violent, peaceful.  She’s a woman.  I only hope that her parents had a (twisted) sense of humor.

I have taken to carefully scanning the obituaries each day, to be sure my photo isn’t there.  Actually, I add up the ages of the deceased, and divide, to get the average age of death and compare it to mine.  Recently I saw an announcement of the death of a man with the surname, Posthumus.

Eurofoods, my local Polish deli sells two checkout papers.  One is Faptu Divers, which means ‘various facts’ or various pieces of information – more colloquially, gossip rag.  The other is Goniec, which can be a (courier) runner, an aide, or a (chess) Bishop – loosely translated nosy paparazzi.  The Tattler, and The National Enquirer, would be proud of their European cousins.

I walked past a car recently, and stopped to inspect its custom vanity plates.  They read OYEZX3.  Oyez!  Oyez!  Oyez!  It is apparently owned by a court clerk, or bailiff.  😯

Either one guy composes all the crosswords in the US, or there is a continent-wide conspiracy theory.  I do a crossword in the local paper, and 2 crosswords per day from the Toronto Sun.  One is from the NY Times, and the other is from the LA Times.  I recently achieved a trifecta of identical clues/solutions in all, on the same day.  “Game Of Thrones” actor Clarke = Emilia.  Greek god pictured with wings and a bow = Eros.  While the clues were not exactly the same, General whose reputation is battered, was General Tso.

***

With so many things coming back in style, I can’t wait until morals, respect and intelligence become a trend again.

Don’t Talk To Me That Way

Where, once again, people whose level of literacy is limited to making an X, to vote for Trump, show what happens when you sleep through English class.  Our poor language, so battered and bruised??!  😯

Pros

Area light, held anywhere with a suction cob – Have another cup of whatever you’re drinking

It liked Christmas to lewd acts – Really, it likened pretension to illiteracy.

Catch lightening in a bottle – Only if it’s a Miss Clairol bottle

10 of which are located in Canada — five in Ontario, four in Alberta and one each in British Columbia and Saskatchewan. – Your school called.  It wants its math diploma back.

Electrical interference is omitted from an appliance – You could have omitted that, and used emitted instead.

Man fined for trying to fry chicken in Yellowstone hot spring – Well, I’m boiling mad about that.

I’d like to formerly address some issues – like, it was formerly spelled formally.

Snow squeaked under the souls of their boots – Holy footwear that eats fish on Friday…. Soles

He actually had a conscious – if he’d been conscious, he’d know that it was a conscience.

I included the numbers for your class elbow – My one elbow thinks that it should be below.

Tea is a sorce of gossip – It’s also a source of laughter and pity.

An inherit quality of the cave – Something he got in the will, from his father, The Cavern.

She had a rockin’, taught bod – I was taught that it was spelled taut

They we’re banned from the show – We’re thinking that they probably were.

Amateurs

I was airing on the side of Christianity – You should be erring on the side of correct English.

After a day of frockling around – I hope they were frolicking near a dictionary.

We our meant to be – We meant to say, are.

I sat out to write a story – Since you’re seated, use set.

I would part take of Communion – Soooo close – but no wafer to partake of

In this day-in-age the government – says, ‘In this day and age.’

Girl apholds American flag – and I uphold the right to spell it correctly
This one particularly irks me, because ‘upholds’ does not mean the same thing as ‘holds up.’  The photo of the girl with the flag was on the facing page, and the picture with this caption was a family picnicking in a park.  😯

Within a year in a half – she found that she should have written and.

The computer geek had a LAN line – that all the duct cleaners would land on

Put a parsley spring on top – of one too many Ns, and one too few proofreads

The great thing about homemade canned food – is the taste of cognitive dissonance.
Lest anyone think homemade pickles or jam…. This was a pot of chili for dinner.

Pain staking patience – staking might cause pain, until they discover painstaking = pains taking

Grab their phone and begin discretely searching – For the word discreetly.

Swair there alligensecne – I swear their spelling is shitty, no matter what their allegiance.

That old so-in-so – prefers to be called a so-and-so.
(That’s 3 of those don’t-see-‘n-says.)

He grabbed first prise – but it wasn’t a prize for correct spelling

Atheism has a negative tenant – he’s probably out, looking up ‘tenet.’

If God is a fickle of my imagination – He’s probably looking up ‘figment too.’

Wearing ten-gallon hats and stirrups – Pretty sure he meant spursStirrups are saddle parts.

The Government has done an admiral job – In general, it’s an admirable job

What can I say about that faithful day – You could say that it was fateful.

A belief froth with problems – Take your beer with a head on it over to look up fraught.

Rub salt in a womb – That adage rubbed me the wrong way, and caused a wound.

It took escaping a cult to make me real-eyes – I realize that you probably failed kindergarten.

’21 A To Z Challenge – F


 

There is no “English Language!”

I tried to explain this to a reader, recently.  I don’t think that he understood – or believed me.  Every word in the English language came from somewhere else.  Some are just more obvious than others.  Take, for example, the word

FRANGIPANI

A flower of the tropical American tree or shrub, Plumeria rubra, of the dogbane family
The tree or shrub itself
A perfume prepared from or imitating the odor of the flower

The word is in every English dictionary – yet it is obviously Italian.   It entered the language circa 1860 – 65 from French, who spelled it frangipane – after Marquis Muzio Frangipani, a 16th-century Italian nobleman, the supposed inventor of the perfume.

The true, original meaning of the Signor Frangipani’s name is bread-breaker, as in, to break bread with others, a banquet-giver, a host, or merely, a good travelling companion – another Latin-based word which indicates togetherness, and bread.

Google’s translation department would have you believe that the word means bread-crusher – a totally different concept.

Stop back again in a couple of days, after you’ve had a sandwich that you tried to make by putting cold butter on fresh bread.  I’m going to try for a scratch-and-sniff post using Gwyneth Paltrow’s Goop “This Candle Smells Like My Vagina.”   😯

goop x Heretic This Smells Like My Vagina Candle | Goop

Back-Words

I often don’t know whether I’m coming or going.  To assist me, the English language has lots of helpful words – actually, hundreds of them.  Let me introduce you to

PALINDROMES

palindrome: a word, line, verse, number, sentence, etc., reading the same backward as forward, as Madam, I’m Adam or Poor Dan is in a droop.

Here are a few of the shorter English words that help keep me going in the right direction, no matter which way I am facing.

boob, a stupid person; fool; dunce.
British. a blunder; mistake.
a female breast.

civic, of or relating to a city, citizens, or citizenship  civic duties

dad, a person’s father or one’s father.
a person who is corny or embarrassing in the way that a father figure might be:
He was being such a dad when he told that story.
handsome or stylish; amazing; to be admired:
Those shoes are totally dad.

deed, something that is done, performed, or accomplished; an act
an exploit or achievement; feat:
Law. a writing or document executed under seal and delivered to effect a conveyance, especially of real estate.

deified, exalted to the position of a god or personify as a god
accorded divine honor or worship to
exalted in an extreme way; idealize

denned,  lived in or as if in a den.
drove or pursued (an animal) into its den.
killed (an animal) inside its den.

kayak, an Eskimo canoe with a skin cover on a light framework, made watertight by flexible closure around the waist of the occupant and propelled with a double-bladed paddle.
a small boat resembling this, made commercially of a variety of materials and used in sports.
verb (used without object)
to go or travel by kayak.

lemel, metal filings

level, having no part higher than another; having a flat or even surface.
being in a plane parallel to the plane of the horizon; horizontal.
noun
a device used for determining or adjusting something to a horizontal surface.

madam, (often initial capital letter) a polite term of address to a woman, originally used only to a woman of rank or authority: Madam President;  May I help you, madam?
the woman in charge of a household: Is the madam at home?
the woman in charge of a house of prostitution.

ma’am, madam (def. 1).
(In Britain) a term used in addressing the queen or a royal princess or other female superior, especially police.  Pronounced mom/mum

minim, the smallest unit of liquid measure, 1/60 (0.0167) of a fluid dram, roughly equivalent to one drop. Abbreviation: min, min.; Symbol: ♍, ♏
Music. a note, formerly the shortest in use, but now equivalent in time value to one half of a semibreve; half note.
the least quantity of anything.
something very small or insignificant.

mom, a person’s mother or one’s mother.
a term of endearment used to refer to a woman or girl who is admired:
beautiful or stylish; amazing; to be admired:
That outfit is so mom!

mum, silent, unspeaking
British; mom
a chrysanthemum
murdrum, noun Old English Law.
the killing of a human being in a secret manner.
the fine payable to the king by The Hundred where such a killing occurred, unless the killer was produced or the victim proved to be a Saxon.

noon, midday.
twelve o’clock in the daytime.
the highest, brightest, or finest point or part:
the noon of one’s career.

peep, to look through a small opening or from a concealed location.
to look slyly, pryingly, or furtively.
to look curiously or playfully.
to show or protrude slightly.
noun
a quick or furtive look or glance.
the first appearance, as of dawn.
a short, shrill little cry or sound, as of a young bird; cheep; squeak.

poop, a superstructure at the stern of a vessel.
noun; excrement
verb; to defecate
to cause to become out of breath or fatigued; exhaust:
relevant information, especially a candid or pertinent factual report; lowdown:

pullup, (usually spelled pull-up) an exercise consisting of chinning oneself, as on a horizontal bar attached at each end to a doorpost.
a flight maneuver in which an aircraft climbs sharply from level flight.
children’s training pants

racecar, a racing car

radar, a device for determining the presence and location of an object by measuring the time for the echo of a radio wave to return from it and the direction from which it returns.
a means or sense of awareness or perception:

redder, more of any of various colors resembling the color of blood or the primary color at one extreme end of the visible spectrum,

refer, to direct for information or anything required:
to direct the attention or thoughts of:
to hand over or submit for information, consideration, decision, etc.
to assign to a class, period, etc.; regard as belonging or related.
to direct attention, as a reference mark does.
to have recourse or resort; turn, as for aid or information:

repaper, to cover with wallpaper or apply wallpaper to a second time:
to line or cover with paper again.

revver,   a person or thing which sharply accelerates the speed of (an engine or the like) (often followed by up).

Ignoring rotor, and
rotator, we skip directly to
rotavator,
trademark a type of machine with rotating blades that break up soil

sagas, any narratives or legends of heroic exploits.
forms of the novel in which the members or generations of a family or social group are chronicled in a long and leisurely narrative.
dramatic histories of a group, place, industry, etc.
any very long stories with dramatic events or parts:

shahs, (formerly, in Iran) kings; sovereigns.

 sis, noun, informal; sister

solos, examples of any action, e.g. dance, music, flying, etc, performed alone, unaccompanied

 tenet, any opinion, principle, doctrine, dogma, etc., especially one held as true by members of a profession, group, or movement.

wow, an exclamation of surprise, wonder, pleasure, or the like
to cause an enthusiastic response from; thrill.

WOW! We’re almost finished.  This is one of the longest palindromes in the English language.

detartrated, changed from being a tartrate, decombined with tartaric acid

’20 A To Z Challenge – Z

And the First shall be Last, and Last shall be First.  At last we are approaching the first of a new alphabet challenge – But first, the word

ZENOSYNE

zenosyne – The sense that time keeps going faster. .Coined in 2012 by John Koenig in The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows, https://www.dictionaryofobscuresorrows.com/ a project to create a compendium of invented words for every emotion we might all experience but don’t yet have a word for.  And Keta – an image that inexplicably leaps back into your mind from the distant past.  Koinophobhia – the fear that one may have lived an ordinary life.  Wytai – feature(s) of modern life that one may consider absurd, like zoos, drinking milk, or organ transplants. 

Morii is the desire to capture a fleeing experience, something we try to do incessantly every waking minute of our lives these days, with Instagram stories, photographs, and snaps.  Lacheism is a longing for clarity of a disaster or apocalypse.  Lilo is a friendship that can lie dormant for years only to pick right back up instantly, as if no time had passed since you last saw each other.  Astrophe – the feeling of being stuck on earth when there is an entire universe or beyond to explore.  Modus tollens – is the feeling that the plot of your life doesn’t make sense any more. 

Onism is the realization of how little of the world you will experience.  Socha is the hidden vulnerability of others.  Lutalica is the part of your personality that doesn’t fit into categories.  Vemödalen is the fear that everything has already been done, and Avenoir is the desire to see memories in advance. 

We take it for granted that life moves forward.  But you move as a rower moves – facing backward.  You can see where you’ve been, but not where you are going.  And your boat is steered by a younger version of you.  It is hard not to wonder what life would be like, facing the other way.

Klexos is the art of dwelling on the past.  Your life is written in indelible ink.  There’s no going back to erase the past, tweak the mistakes, or fill in the missed opportunities.  When the moment’s over, your fate is sealed.

Xeno is the smallest measurable unit of human connection, typically exchanged between passing strangers—a flirtatious glance, a sympathetic nod, a shared laugh about some odd coincidence—moments that are fleeting and random but still contain powerful emotional nutrients that can alleviate the symptoms of feeling alone.

Mahpiohanzia is the disappointment of being unable to fly.  Being unable to stretch out your arms and vault into the air, having finally shrugged off the ballast of your own weight and ignited the fuel tank of unfulfilled desires you’ve been storing up since before you were born.

Trumspringa is the temptation to step off your career track and become a shepherd in the mountains, following your flock between pastures with a sheepdog and a rifle, watching storms at dusk from the doorway of a small cabin, just the kind of hypnotic diversion that allows your thoughts to make a break for it and wander back to their cubicles in the city.

Kairosclerosis is the moment you realize that you’re currently happy—consciously trying to savor the feeling—which prompts your intellect to identify it, pick it apart and put it in context, where it will slowly dissolve until it’s little more than an aftertaste.

Sonder – the realization that each passerby has a life as vivid and complex as yours
Opia – The ambiguous intensity of looking someone in the eye, which can feel simultaneously invasive and vulnerable.
Monachopsis – The subtle but persistent feeling of being out of place.

Kenopsia – The forlorn atmosphere of a place that is usually bustling with people, but is now abandoned.

Mauerbauer-Traurigkeit – The inexplicable urge to push people away, even close friends that you like.

Énouement – The bitter-sweetness of having arrived in the future, seeing how things turn out, but not being able to tell your past self.
Vellichor – The strange wistfulness of used-book shops.

Anticipointment – The sinking feeling when anticipation fails to be the greater part of pleasure.
Jouska – A hypothetical conversation that you compulsively play out in your head.

This man obviously had way too much time, sitting by himself in the attic.  I don’t know whether he should have taken more drugs – or less.  At least he got an entire book out of it – portions of which I have stolen researched, and used for free, for this post.

The same old alphabet begins with brand-new words in a couple of weeks.  This year, C may be for Compulsive.

Book Review #24

I just read the most sumptuous book.  It was as rich and satisfying as a slab of red velvet cake.

The book: The Boat of a Million Years

The author: Poul Anderson

The review: There are only seven story plots.  All of the millions of novels are just variations and combinations on those themes.  This one is a reworking of the movie Highlander, which was released 2 years before this was published in 1989.  I got a cheap 2004 Kindle re-release, while I was COVID-isolating.  The immortals can be killed.  It’s just that they heal quickly and totally.  They survive and recover from, wounds that would slay a normal person.

It’s ‘like’ a time-travel novel, but the travel is all from past, to the future.  Perhaps once per century, a person is born who does not age and die.  Unlike the Off With Her Head movie story, this book is about survival.  The author wants to show that, while these people are different from the rabble in one way, they are quite the same in others, and different from each other.

It is not at all like several other ‘ray-guns and space-ships’ books of this author’s that I have.  He treads lightly, but shows the historical foolishness of religions, when viewed over hundreds, or thousands of years

The most common, though not universal, drive is to find others of their kind.  A Turkish trader in post-Roman Britain spends parts of several decades finding an immortal Norse warrior.  When he finally locates him, he offers him partnership in a safe venture and way of life that will guarantee them both great wealth and political power.  The Viking turns him down, and walks away.  Several years later, he hears that the berserker died in an epic battle.

It takes over a century for a Mesopotamian ship-fleet owner to locate another male.  When he does, the outgoing extrovert is dismayed to find a reclusive milquetoast who is content to follow, and allow someone else to make decisions and take care of him.

Some of the men make the obvious search for females of their kind, for wives/companions, and to find if two immortals would produce immortal offspring.  They don’t.  After several more centuries, the pair locate an immortal woman in Rome.  Pointing out the gender inequality, she has advanced from prostitute, to madam, to courtesan, where she creates great wealth through pillow-talk investments.

Even before computers, birth certificates or accurate census forms, it was not a good idea to remain in one location with one name, for more than a couple of decades, lest the superstitious populace grow suspicious.  The trader suggests that they move back to Nineveh, or Tyre, and sells off his ships and cargoes, converting them to a more easily transported chest, full of gold and jewels.  Her history made her distrust all men, so she betrays them.  The two men escape with their lives, but lose the fortune which takes the one a century to recoup.

This is a psychological and sociological account.  With no ‘action’ to spur the plot, there is no urgency to rush this deep and lengthy book along.  The author has the time and opportunity to compose it like a story from the Golden Age of Literature, of a hundred or two-hundred years ago.  It is rich, luxurious, and full-bodied.

The construction was intriguing and complex, occasionally non-linear.  The history and geography were informative, well-researched, and wide-ranging.  The words were substantive, and often archaic.  There was hardly a page where I wasn’t poking the Kindle screen for a definition.  Words and phrases like, limned, bedizened courtesan, uxorious, an austere magus, lineaments, indolent insolence and caparisoned, peered from almost every page.  For a word-nerd like me, it was Nirvana.

Reading this book was like wearing a silk shirt and walking barefoot across a Persian carpet, while eating a filet mignon.  It was rewarding and satisfying on several simultaneous levels.  I was delighted with the social and personal insights that the mere-mortal author provided.

’20 A To Z Challenge – Y

*

Here she is, ladies and gentlemen – this week’s featured artist, fresh from her tour of the Egotism Hilton, singing a medley of her greatest hit, ‘Here’s My Number, Call Me Maybe.’  or as the inattentive among us mondegreen, Here’s My Number, So Call Me Baby.   😯

CARLY RAE JEPSEN

That ain’t all we call you.  As the band Sugarloaf says in their song Don’t Call Us, We got your number when you walked through the door.  She joins a list of artists that Canadians have to apologize for inflicting on Americans, not quite beginning with William Shatner, but including Neil Yoda Young, Jim Carey, Celine Dion, Mike Meyers, Brent Butt, Alanis Morisette, Avril Lavigne, Mister Nickleback – Chad Kroeger, and Canada’s answer to McCauley Kulkin, Justin Bieber.

Carly Rae Jepsen (born November 21, 1985) is a Canadian singer, songwriter, and actress. Born and raised in Mission, British Columbia, Jepsen performed several lead roles in her high school’s musical productions and pursued musical theatre at the Canadian College of Performing Arts in Victoria, BC. After completing her studies, she relocated to Vancouver and later competed on the fifth season of Canadian Idol in 2007, placing third, in 2008.

Wait a minute!!?  The old eyes (and memory) aren’t what they used to be.  This post is supposed to be about a word beginning with the letter Y.  A heartfelt Canadian apology!  Sorry!  It’s not supposed to be about Jepsen.  It’s supposed to be about

YEPSEN

yepsen – the amount that can be held in two cupped hands

WHO IN HELL NEEDS/NEEDED SUCH AN AMOUNT??!

While I welcome and appreciate the accuracy and interlinked logic of the Metric System, it took me more than a few years to get used to it.  I still mourn and bemoan the loss of the British Imperial System of measurement but – what were those guys smoking?   It was more than idiosyncratic; it bordered on idiotic.  They just made (sh)it up as they went along.

Three barleycorns, side by side was an inch.  The length of a King’s foot became the ‘foot’ measurement.  A yard, was from his nose to the tip of his outstretched arm, and the distance between the tips of two outstretched arms was the fathom.  Everyone’s hands are different sizes, so everyone’s Yepsen was a different size.  (Somehow, that sounds faintly pornographic.)  😯 

In the 16th century the rod (5.5 yards, or 16.5 feet) was defined (as a learning device and not as a standard) as the length of the left feet of 16 men lined up heel to toe as they emerged from church, with variations from 9 to 28 feet.  (Why must the measurement be taken after these good men attended church?  Did their feet swell (or contract?) during service?)
There were several versions of the pound.  Eventually, they coalesced down to the Troy Pound, which was used to weigh medicines and precious metals, and the Avoirdupois (French = have weight) Pound, which weighed everything else.

The Troy Pound weighs less than the Avoirdupois Pound.  That screws up the silly old riddle, Which weighs more, a pound of gold, or a pound of feathers?  Since gold is weighed in Troy, the pound of feathers actually weighs more.

In the past, there has been talk – before the medication kicked in – of Metric Days, consisting of an AM and a PM of 10 Metric hours each with 100 Metric minutes.  A Metric week would have 10 days.  This has not been one of my Seinfeld blogs, about nothing.  It’s been a distraction post about something – anything – else.  Fortunately, it’ll only be two standard Imperial days till I publish something less frivolous.  If you’re out of therapy from worrying about those Metric days and weeks, stop by.

WOW #69

I never want new words to be created for the English language by burger-flippers and stoners – but that always seems to be the case.  If they can’t handle the real stuff, they just make it up as they go along.  Bart Simpson has always been an underachiever, and proud of it.  Even he and his motley crew (not Mötley Crüe) of cartoon compadres have spit out a couple of neologisms new words.
Today’s case in point

CROMULENT

WHAT IS THE ORIGIN OF CROMULENT?

Cromulent, “acceptable, legitimate,” was first used in an episode of The Simpsons in 1996. When Edna Krabappel, the fourth-grade teacher, remarks, “’Embiggens’? Hm, I never heard that word before I moved to Springfield,” Elizabeth Hoover, the second-grade teacher, answers, “I don’t know why. It’s a perfectly cromulent word.” Cromulent began as a facetious formation of an arbitrary “root” crom– and the English adjective suffix –ulent (from Latin –ulentus “full of”). Cromulent began as a facetious formation but is now at the brink of “cromulence,” as happened earlier with Lewis Carroll’s chortle, frabjous, and galumph.

While we’re blaming strange words on The Simpsons, there’s that word

EMBIGGEN

Verb (used with or without object) InformalOften Facetious.

to make or become bigger:
You can spot my sister if you
embiggen the photo.

ORIGIN OF EMBIGGEN

First recorded in 1880–85 as an example of a barbarism; made popular in 1996 in an episode of the TV show The Simpsons.

Even when they’re wrong – they’re right.  Who knew??!  Word is, there’ll be some good stuff here on Monday.  It would be perfectly cromulent if you showed up.  I want to embiggen my readership, to keep up with Brat Simpleton.  😀