Saturday, July 26, 2008

In Praise of Great Hymns

On her recent "Poetry Monday" Mrs. D has posted the lyrics to Come Thou Fount of Many Blessings, one that we've both rediscovered lately. The verse I especially love is:
O to grace how great a debtor
Daily I’m constrained to be!
Let Thy goodness, like a fetter,
Bind my wandering heart to Thee.
Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it,
Prone to leave the God I love;
Here’s my heart, O take and seal it,
Seal it for Thy courts above.
Alister McGrath in Christianity's Dangerous Idea notes that hymn writing has not come easy for all branches of Protestantism. The Puritan Cotton Mather (1663-1728) meant well but came up with the following: (you might want to pull out all the stops on the pipe organ during this stanza)
Ye monsters of the bubbling deep
Your Maker's praises spout;
Up from the sands ye codlings peep,
And wag your tails about.
McGrath notes "It certainly rhymes. But it's not exactly inspirational."


Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Magical Moments on Facebook

As a newcomer to, I'm slightly confused about the point of it all but flattered that a few people are willing to be my friends (come to think of it—just like high school!). The ads at the side of the page are interesting aren't they? Here are two recent ones:

You know, I think I just may rent a log homes, or a cool houseboats or something...

I'm not sure how this might compare to a Protestant diamond. Probably has more facets but not quite as much clarity?

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Things People Say When They Mean the Opposite Part II

I forgot about this one:

"A light bulb went off in my head" = "A light bulb went ON in my head"
What you mean is that a sudden bright idea occurred to you, illuminating your thought processes in some way. When a light bulb "goes off" greater darkness is naturally the result. The only bulb that illuminates when it goes off is a flash bulb (people under 30 may need to google "flash bulb") and therefore the phrase "a flash bulb went off in my head" works fine. That's the original figure of speech I think.

and one more in common usage:

"this new idea is based off something" = "this new idea is based ON something"
What we mean is that our new thought begins with and is built upon an existing foundation. A base is a thing on which multiple structures might all be anchored, including our new one. A new idea might "spin off" an older one or "take off" from it, but to say that our innovation is "based off" something implies the opposite sense while making no sense.

"Don't some of these verbally priggish bloggers have something better to do?"

Yes, and we'll get back to it now.