10.0714 Leibowitz; editors with grep

WILLARD MCCARTY (willard.mccarty@kcl.ac.uk)
Mon, 17 Feb 1997 18:54:23 +0000 (GMT)

Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 10, No. 714.
Center for Electronic Texts in the Humanities (Princeton/Rutgers)
Centre for Computing in the Humanities, King's College London
Information at http://www.princeton.edu/~mccarty/humanist/

[1] From: "Eric S. Rabkin" <esrabkin@umich.edu> (37)
Subject: A Canticle for Leibowitz

[2] From: Roland Hjerppe <rhj@ida.liu.se> (42)
Subject: Re: 10.0707 editors with grep

Date: Sat, 15 Feb 1997 17:20:53 -0500
From: "Eric S. Rabkin" <esrabkin@umich.edu>
Subject: A Canticle for Leibowitz

Paul Brians wrote:

> In Walter M. Miller's _A Canticle for Leibwitz_ the name of the village of
> Saint Leibowitz evolves through oral tradition into the nonsensical "Sanly
> Bowitts." I know there are parallel instances of hidden etymologies in
> place names, but when I need an example to give my students I somehow can't
> think of much. "Bethlehem Hospital" to "Bedlam" is one example. Can anyone
> think of an example incorporating the word "Saint"?

An example of Paul's "worn-down place names" that comes quickly to my
mind is "York." The Celtic word for "place of the yew trees" became the
Roman "Eboracum" which became the Viking "Jorvik" ("-wic" meaning
"dwelling place") and finally modern "York." I can't think of any very
interesting "Saint" examples off-hand, but there are many obvious ones,
such as Santiago, Chile, being named for San Diego (Saint James in
English). One related example that always amuses me is Los Angeles,
which many people enjoy calling "The City of the Angels," since "Los
Angeles" is Spanish for "The Angels." In fact, the city was founded in
1781 as "El Pueblo de la Reina de Los Angeles," meaning "The Town of the
Queen of the Angels"; that is, it was named after the Virgin Mary. So,
instead of calling it "The City of the Angels," it should be called more
properly "The City of the Virgin." Given the current culture of L.A.,
however, I can think of several reasons why that is unlikely.

> And another query. Miller uses the term "Thon" as a formal address for
> religious leaders/scholars in his neo-medieval setting. I'm pretty sure he
> didn't have in mind the French word for tuna, and a contraction of
> "theologian" seems too simple. Anyone have any ideas?

I've always assumed "Thon" in Miller's novel was an adaptation of the
Spanish "Don," meaning nobleman, or the Oxonian "don," meaning scholar:
both work for the principal character bearing that name, Thon Taddeo.


Eric S. Rabkin            313-764-2553 (Office)
Dept of English           313-764-6330 (Dept)
Univ of Michigan          313-763-3128 (Fax)
Ann Arbor MI 48109-1003   esrabkin@umich.edu

--[2]---------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Fri, 14 Feb 1997 11:51:02 +0100 (MET) From: Roland Hjerppe <rhj@ida.liu.se> Subject: Re: 10.0707 editors with grep

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Roland Hjerppe LIBLAB Dept. of Computer and Information Science Link|ping University S-581 83 Linkoping Sweden

Internet: rhj@ida.liu.se T. +46 13 281965 http://www.ida.liu.se/~rolhj/ F. +46 13 142231