End of ADS-L Digest - 11 Aug 1997 to 12 Aug 1997 ************************************************ Subject: ADS-L Digest - 12 Aug 1997 to 13 Aug 1997 There are 9 messages totalling 252 lines in this issue. Topics of the day: 1. Supermodels; El Nino/La Nina; IHOP; Bible Codes 2. Can Merriam-Webster Supply Citation? 3. Can Merriam-Webster Supply Citation? [Corrected Message] 4. minivan (2) 5. Minivan 6. minivan/microbus (3) ---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Wed, 13 Aug 1997 02:19:49 -0400 From: "Barry A. Popik" Subject: Supermodels; El Nino/La Nina; IHOP; Bible Codes SUPERMODELS Michael Gross's MODEL (1985) was correct. Clyde Matthew Dessner's SO YOU WANT TO BE A MODEL! (1948) has "super-model," but it's a stretch to say he "coined" it. Dessner ran Barbizon Models. Page 255 of his book mentions "the model of tomorrow." Then, on the last page (page 256), this person is described: She will be a super-model, but the girl in her will be like the girl in you--quite ordinary, but ambitious and eager for personal development. If Dessner had used "super-model" to name the book, or even a chapter of the book, or even given us a wink that he's coining something, I'd give it to him. But he simply uses it once in a 256-page book, and the term is not used again for about 25 years (1972). On page 242, Helen Bennett is an "ultra high-fashion model." THIS is the term he uses. "Top model" was (and is) used frequently and is the title of a current magazine. On page 245, we have the full term--"top-flight model." Somehow, "flight" took flight. In etymology, I've come across many stray, early citations--for "Big Apple," "science fiction," and "jinx," for example. If the citations are isolated in time (over ten years) and frequency (only one?) and the tone of use does not indicate an intended coinage, it's best to make note of the first citation, but not give it too much weight in the creation of the term. The 1948 term is "super-model"; the 1972 article had both "super model" and "supermodel" and was followed up by other citations. I'll go through Naomi Sims's papers soon--I still think she's the first "supermodel." ------------------------------------------------------------------------------ -------------------------------------------- EL NINO/LA NINA Time magazine this week has a story about the weather condition known as El Nino. This received a lot of hits on the web. Has anyone done any work on this and dated its introduction into English? La Nina--a counterpart--supposedly is much more recent. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------ -------------------------------------------- IHOP About my last posting, IHOP=International House of Pancakes. I'm explaining this because someone from Australia just joined this list, and IHOP is not truly international, despite its name! ------------------------------------------------------------------------------ -------------------------------------------- BIBLE CODES For a truly horrible article about Bible codes, see today's "CRITIC'S NOTEBOOK: Is Destiny Just a Divine Word Game?" by Edward Rothstein, The New York Times, 12 August 1997, pg. C11, col. 1, and continued as "Is Destiny Merely a Divine Crossword Puzzle?" on pg. C12, cols. 3-6. Breakers are "On the cosmic 'Wheel of Fortune,' there are no vowels to buy," and "Mysterious codes are dashing hopes for human improvement." Codes are dashing hopes for human improvement? What cretin writes this? Rothstein writes that this "has inspired dozens of sites on the World Wide Web," yet provides no addresses. The best address (which has many links) is http://www.math.gatech.edu/~jkatz/Religions/Numerics/. Michael Drosnin's THE BIBLE CODE (add to new words of the year?) is mentioned, as is the article in STATISTICAL SCIENCE that set Drosnin off (the three authors of this article have denounced Drosnin's book). Drosnin uses a "Bible code" to go off an an Oliver Stone-type hunt for predictions of modern figures. He allegedly found a reference to Yitzhak Rabin's assassination, John F. Kennedy, Bill Clinton, et al. Codes in ancient texts can't be taken out of time. 666 in the Book of Revelations, for example, can be interpreted as a code in a proper historical context, but it was not written to be the number of Hitler! Drosnin's entire book is pure caca, and most people acknowledge this. An article was not necessary. However, Rothstein drags out Drosnin to make fun of ALL codes in EVERYTHING. That's like Hillary Clinton saying that people who believe in Whitewater are the same nuts who also believe in UFOs. No codes in literature, Rothstein? Take the greatest writer of the twentieth century--James Joyce. Go ahead, Rothstein, read ten pages of FINNEGAN'S WAKE! Any ten pages ya want. No one writes in code? Read six chapters in the Book of Revelations. Does anything make sense on its face? Read the Book of Jeu. There are bizarre numbers and diagrams in every section. That's not in code? That's understandable to you? Even ancient, contemporary critics of the gnostics, for example, acknowledged the use of codes. Ever read a gnostic gospel, Rothstein? The point is to explain the texts, to find meanings that were intended by the person or persons who wrote it. The new catchphrase "Bible code" is itself a misnomer--what text are we talking about? When was it written? What language was it in? The Old and New Testaments, for example, are not the same. "These codes," Rothstein writes, "from the kookiest to the most compelling, declare that cosmic forces dwarf our desires." Tell you what, Rothstein. Pick up a New York Times. Look at a Hirschfeld drawing. It might be signed "Hirschfeld3." It's a secret code! Honest! I solved it!! You'll find the name "NINA" hidden three times in that drawing! You know what that says about "cosmic forces that dwarf our desires?" NOTHING! "They proclaim our limitations and define the boundaries on our freedom," Rothstein continues. I have more to say about this (we'll even "solve" some "codes"), but writing like this is sickening.