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23 February 2006 @ 06:58 pm
Perhaps everything -- every object, word, concept, action, event, everything -- is the source of passion for someone somewhere.

I'm often surprised to find in my websurfing that there are hobbyists for the most obscure pursuits. I understand that politically charged subjects will generate controversy.

But a controversy over dental amalgams? To the extent of inspiring Wikipedia vandalism wars?

I would so never have anticipated that.

(PS - If you're passionate about the Dental Amalgam Controversy ... please don't e-mail me about it!)
Andrew Greene530nm330hz on February 24th, 2006 12:37 am (UTC)
You need to get out more. :-)

This has been covered in the Times since (looking at their search engine) 1991 or so.
michelel72michelel72 on February 24th, 2006 10:50 pm (UTC)
Aha, but I don't read the Times! Counter that, my friend! :>

I'm just amused at the oddities I often trip over when websurfing. In this case, I was trying to find the proper term for "taking a sacred name in vain" (which is apparently covered by "profanity", if Wikipedia is to be believed). [If anybody has a more precise but concise term for that, in English or Hebrew, please let me know.] That led me to the Dutch Mohammed cartoons writeup, which led me to the "vandalism in progress" report page, which led to ... dental amalgams.

In another example, the recent noisy operation of the ventilation system at work led me to discover the "season finale" date for Battlestar Galactica. (Yes, though I love the show, I don't normally keep track of things like that.) Every day is like a late-night dorm conversation, thanks to the Web.
Andrew Greene530nm330hz on February 26th, 2006 12:32 am (UTC)
Aha, but I don't read the Times! Counter that, my friend! :>

Sniff. Well, you have other redeeming qualities. :-)

I was trying to find the proper term for "taking a sacred name in vain" (which is apparently covered by "profanity", if Wikipedia is to be believed).

Of course Wikipedia is to be believed. You think people get their kicks out of maliciously vandalizing Wikipedia entries?

Seriously, though, "profanity" in its strict sense means to take something sacred and profane -- i.e., desanctify -- it. So "J--- C---" would be considered profanity, but "F---ing S---" would more properly be considered obscenity.

I assume from the way you phrased your query that this has to do with your novel, in which case my answer is that there are several different Hebrew legal terms that come to mind, so you'd have to provide a little more context as to what sense of "taking a sacred name in vain" you mean. Do you mean casting it about casually, making an unnecessary prayer, making an inappropriate prayer, swearing falsely using the Name, swearing truthfully but using the Name when it wasn't strictly required?

michelel72michelel72 on February 26th, 2006 10:27 pm (UTC)
I was in fact asking for writing purposes. In part, I wanted to have a better understanding of my two primary characters' self-imposed speech restrictions. I was also trying to find a concise way for one of the characters to describe his restraint. "Avoiding profanity and obscenity" probably covers it best. Thank you for the additional categorizations; those may fuel a character discussion.

To illustrate my own lack of awareness, I had really only been considering the use of sacred names as interjections or involuntary exclamations.

I saw a better phrasing of that concept recently, too, but in trying to find it just now I checked Wikipedia's "Vanity" entry and had my head exploded by the juxtaposition of Such artistic works served to warn viewers of the ephemeral nature of youthful beauty, as well as the brevity of human life and the inevitability of death immediately followed by Vanity Smurf, though male, is an effeminate and stylish smurf, the epitome of metrosexuality, most of the time wearing a pink flower on his hat.
mabfan (Michael A. Burstein)mabfan on February 24th, 2006 01:47 am (UTC)
There's apparently a website out there of people who loathe the next actor who has been chosen to play James Bond. I'd say that falls into the Get A Life category, but then I remember my own obsessions...
michelel72michelel72 on February 24th, 2006 10:54 pm (UTC)
I take it you mean a website specifically targeting Daniel Craig, but at first I thought you meant a website that has been around for years, serially trashing each new Bond selection. "Ready ... set ... hate!"

Yeah, I don't really get that kind of obsession. I don't tend to do the obsession thing anyway ... but that's a posting for another day.