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Home :: Archive :: 2005 :: May ::
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The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 16.0992  Wednesday, 25 May 2005

[1]     From:   Arthur Lindley <
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        Date:   Tuesday, 24 May 2005 23:13:38 +0800
        Subj:   RE: SHK 16.0984 Sigh

[2]     From:   Edmund Taft <
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        Date:   Tuesday, 24 May 2005 11:51:09 -0400
        Subj:   Sigh

[3]     From:   Mike Sirofchuck <
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        Date:   Tuesday, 24 May 2005 08:18:49 -0800
        Subj:   Re: SHK 16.0984 Sigh

[4]     From:   Norman Hinton <
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        Date:   Tuesday, 24 May 2005 13:05:34 -0500
        Subj:   Re: SHK 16.0984 Sigh

[5]     From:   Bob Haas <
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        Date:   Tuesday, 24 May 2005 19:48:37 -0400
        Subj:   Re: SHK 16.0984 Sigh


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Arthur Lindley <
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Date:           Tuesday, 24 May 2005 23:13:38 +0800
Subject: 16.0984 Sigh
Comment:        RE: SHK 16.0984 Sigh

It's older than that, Phyllis.  In the trial scene of Shaw's _St. Joan_,
de Stogumber and his French counterpart get into an argument over what
language the angels should use to talk to Joan.  De S takes it for
granted that Heaven speaks English.

Arthur

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Edmund Taft <
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Date:           Tuesday, 24 May 2005 11:51:09 -0400
Subject:        Sigh

Quoting Steve Roth's second-hand anecdote, Phyllis Gorfain responds:

 >>"Well if the English language is good enough for the Lord Jesus Christ,
 >>it's good enough for me."
 >
 >As a folklorist, I can report that this story has been going around at
 >least since the sixties (when I saw it in the Indianapolis Star, in the
 >letters to the editor column), and appears regularly in such columns and
 >other such venues, attributed to many different speakers.  It may be
 >that more than one writer or speaker actually says this, but it is still
 >a contemporary legend and has questionable factual basis when reported
 >second-hand.

True, but the underlying point is still valid. For example, how many
portraits of Christ show him with blond hair and blue eyes? Invariably,
he looks like a Midwesterner in a toga.

Ed Taft

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Mike Sirofchuck <
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Date:           Tuesday, 24 May 2005 08:18:49 -0800
Subject: 16.0984 Sigh
Comment:        Re: SHK 16.0984 Sigh

I found this reference to the Jesus/English issue through Google: "If
the King's English was good enough for Jesus, it's good enough for me!"
Ma Ferguson, the first female governor of Texas (1925)

Mike S.

[4]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Norman Hinton <
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 >
Date:           Tuesday, 24 May 2005 13:05:34 -0500
Subject: 16.0984 Sigh
Comment:        Re: SHK 16.0984 Sigh

There have been versions of this 'original language was X'   story going
around for centuries -- Here's Ben Jonson's:

Mammon...a treatise penn'd by Adam -
Surly. How!
Mammon. Of the philosopher's stone, and in High Dutch.
Surly. Did Adam write, sir, in High Dutch?
Mammon. He did;
Which proves it was the primitive tongue.
                 The Alchemist, II i

[5]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Bob Haas <
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Date:           Tuesday, 24 May 2005 19:48:37 -0400
Subject: 16.0984 Sigh
Comment:        Re: SHK 16.0984 Sigh

I have decided that this utterance is much too good simply to be
destined to the ranks of urban or contemporary legend and thus vow
henceforth to use it whenever appropriate ... and often when
inappropriate, hopefully in my freshman writing classes.

 >>"Well if the English language is good enough for the Lord Jesus Christ,
 >>it's good enough for me."
 >
 >As a folklorist, I can report that this story has been going around at
 >least since the sixties (when I saw it in the Indianapolis Star, in the
 >letters to the editor column), and appears regularly in such columns and
 >other such venues, attributed to many different speakers.  It may be
 >that more than one writer or speaker actually says this, but it is still
 >a contemporary legend and has questionable factual basis when reported
 >second-hand.
 >
 >Phyllis Gorfain
 >Oberlin College

Bob Haas
Department of English
High Point University

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