Notes by Autumn Light

On Hebrew, English, translation, editing, and more—by Jonathan Orr-Stav


Leave a comment

Can Sod’s Law be used to control the weather?

Let me explain.

img_4240.jpgMy office window gets direct sunlight in the afternoon—if, that is, it is sunny outside. When it does, it casts a glare on my computer screen, in which case, I pull down the blinds.

But (in accordance with Sod’s Law), the moment I do that, the sun no longer has fun casting a glare on my screen—so it tends to go away.

So I pull up the blinds again—and sure enough, the sun returns (67.3% of the time—significantly more than the 50-50% of it happening by chance).

So I put the blinds down again. And the same thing repeats.

Continue reading

Advertisements


1 Comment

Do Samson’s riddles rhyme in Hebrew?

1280px-rembrandt_harmensz-_van_rijn_146

AFAIK, Samson riddled only one riddle:

מֵהָאֹכֵל יָצָא מַאֲכָל וּמֵעַז יָצָא מָתוֹק

which phonetically goes roughly as follows:

meha’okhel yatza ma’akhal, ume’az yatza matoq

meaning (King James translation): “Out of the eater came forth meat, and out of the strong came forth sweetness.”

Continue reading


1 Comment

So long Genesis, hello Exodus: the SimHebrew Bible

Imagine a Latin text—e.g. the first verse of the Latin Vulgate Bible:

In principio creavit Deus caelum et terram Terra autem erat inanis et vacua et tenebrae super faciem abyssi et spiritus Dei ferebatur super aquas.
Most of us don’t know Latin, but at least we can read it, and guess at the meaning of some words—or look them up.

Continue reading


2 Comments

What are the rules for making an nationality adjective out of a country name?

This is a wonderful illustration of how, when it comes to language, there is only one hard-and-fast rule: UISS-IWC-MINS (Unless It Sounds Silly–In Which Case, Make It Not So)—or UISS, for short. The rest are all guidelines.

Continue reading