Tuesday, June 17, 2008

To Bishop Trautman, from Anne Hathaway: a definition

“One of the things about Barbara Feldon is she has a certain ineffable quality. You either have that or you don’t, and I leave it up to the audience to decide whether I do.” —Anne Hathaway
Once again, Bishop Trautman is complaining about the very difficult words that we will be faced with in the new liturgical translation.

It turns out from the linking and conversation I see around the blogosphere that Bishop Trautman chose poorly when he was tossing out words that will confuse and bewilder the average Catholic. Or perhaps, he is drawing on his own vocabulary deficiency. Should Anne Hathaway's quote not provide enough contextual clues (taught in grade school these days, Bishop), we will help things along a bit.
Main Entry:
Middle English, from Latin ineffabilis, from in- + effabilis capable of being expressed, from effari to speak out, from ex- + fari to speak — more at ban
14th century
1 a: incapable of being expressed in words : indescribable <ineffable joy> b: unspeakable <ineffable disgust>2: not to be uttered : taboo ineffable name of Jehovah>
(No need to thank us Bishop. Next time check online at Merriam Webster.) Actually, if he'd read Good Omens, he wouldn't get into these sticky situations. It had a wide audience and that word is key in the book. Honestly, that is the first thing that sprang to my mind when seeing that word being bandied about.

For more about this little contretemps (check here for that meaning, Bishop), check out the Paragraph Farmer's pithy commentary chock-full of good links. For further commentary as well as refreshing our memories about the last time that Bishop Trautman felt "John and Mary Catholic" couldn't get it, check out Amy Welborn.

Thanks to Amy for linking back to my commentary on the whole John and Mary Catholic contretemps (there's that pesky word again!). The most valuable part of my old post is the link to the pdf of the comparison our priest provided between the current and proposed liturgy. Check that out and see how many words you can't pick up from contextual clues ... if, in fact, you are as undereducated as the good Bishop seems to think.

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