re: OUAI

From: Jim West (jwest@Highland.Net)
Date: Tue Sep 15 1998 - 10:04:37 EDT

At 11:54 AM 9/15/98 -0600, you wrote:
>After looking at the actual Hebrew equivalent, and thinking about the
>Spanish translation of "woe," I am wondering if this is no more than writing
>the letters that would represent the sound expressed by emotions. In
>Spanish, the word is Ay, which is an expression used for a variety of

Yes- such words are called onomonopoetic (or some such thing...) from the
greek "onoma" and "poiew" = doing its name. Like the English buzz, etc.

The Hebrew is preserved in the modern "oi" or "oy" or "oy vey".

> If this is so, trying to "define" the interjection (which does not
>exclusively refer to actual words) could be futile. For example, how would
>one define these common expression: Ouch! Yikes! Oh! Wow! In modern English
>there is even an interjection (perhaps, or IMHO) similar to "woe." I am not
>sure if we would spell it "woe" or "whoa." We think of "woe" more as an
>expression of grief, but the modern term can express shock, disgust, horror,

I think onomona can be rendered in modern equivalents. Its just terribly

>Is this a possibility?

As Kant taught us- everything is possible- but not everything is real.

>Just sharing my thoughts,

And good ones they are.



Jim West, ThD
Quartz Hill School of Theology

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