Date: Wed, 9 Oct 1996 18:05:08 -0500


Subject: Re: Mahen Hell (was Southern hospitality) -Reply

Oh, dear. Oh, my. Okay. In reply to Peter McGraw's query, and in apology

to all whom I may have offended and/or confused, I attach after his

question the reply I sent to another list member who asked me by email.


Am I the only person on this list who never heard the expression "mahen

hell" before this exchange? I also didn't find it in my AHD, the only

dictionary I have handy at the moment. Can someone enlighten me about


[quotation of preceding exchange deleted;

it was under the subject "Southern hospitality" and

various "Reply" forms thereof]

Yah. I'm kinda red-faced now; I delete ADS-L items after reading (unless I

especially want to follow the thread), and the header line alone wasn't

enough of a cue to the context of the invitation that I read yesterday or

the day before. I have had it up to here and beyond with spammers, junk

emailers, flamers, and irrelevant cross-posters in my office and home

mailboxes and on the unmoderated newsgroups I subscribe to, and I just

popped off at what appeared to be yet another one.

"What in a mahen hell...?" is from C.J.Cherryh's sf "Chanur" series. The

POV characters are felinoid *hani*; humans are rare interlopers in the

space controlled by the seven species of the Compact. The hani don't

seem to believe in a hell, but the anthropoid and often religion-besotted

*mahendo'sat* (Cherryh plays a lot with languages ;-)\ ) have hundreds

of weird sects and beliefs, many incomprehensible to a non-mahen. This

is a common interjection among the spacegoing hani. I should have left it

with them as far as this issue was concerned.

-- Mark Mandel

Mark A. Mandel : mark[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]

Dragon Systems, Inc. : speech recognition : +1 617 965-5200

320 Nevada St., Newton, MA 02160, USA :


Postnote on initialisms, in hope of forestalling further extensions of this

off-topic issue:

"POV" = point-of-view, borrowed I believe from film/video script

terminology. I used it here to indicate that the story is told from the point

of view of these characters.

"sf", in case anyone doesn't know, is "science fiction", and generally

preferred by the aficionados thereof to "sci-fi", which many take as