Friday, May 24, 2013

"In Which Eve Names Everything Else" Discussion

It's fine to talk about what you think of the piece, but we'd like to focus on what the piece makes you think about. Some questions to start:

Adam and Eve have an argument over whether the space between the nose and mouth, the philtrum, even needs a name. What is an obscure word that you think is underused?

Language and writing are invariably limited. How do we deal with difficulty when it feels like we can't express it in words?

What is a time in your life that you have felt hope despite pain?


  1. I figure this is a good place for a confession. This idea was inspired by the song "A Word For That." Here's the words to the beginning of the song:

    There's a word for that
    But I don't seem to know it
    Sometimes I grow a mustache
    Just so I don't have to show it

    The word for that
    That someone somewhere chose
    For that little dented skin
    Between my upper lip and nose

    There's a word for that
    What does it start with, the word for that?
    I'd sound so smart if I only knew
    The word for that, perhaps you do

    The word you're looking for is philtrum

    1. The song also deals with the uvula and frenulum, which are also underused. Unfortunately there was no way to get them into the story.

      My other favorite underused word is aquabib, a water drinker, or more specifically, someone who only drinks water.

    2. The BNL get a citation on Mormon Midrashim? Will wonders never cease?

  2. The word "aglet." But that was recently addressed in a Phineas & Ferb episode, so maybe that one's been promoted enough for now. I remember hearing once that a certain Polynesian language (don't remember which) didn't have a specific word for "wrist" so they described it as the throat of the hand. I have no idea if this is true, but I like the description.

    A time in my life when I felt hope in spite of pain? Right now. Several of my family members are dealing with difficult problems that I can do nothing about. Nothing besides sympathize and pray. Yet I feel sure that things will work out. Perhaps that is the real blessing of prayer--that you can do something even when you can't do anything.

    1. I suppose that we have similar in English, with the "neck of the bottle." I'm sure there's languages that actually have a word for that, rather than just using a metaphor for it.

  3. I am hard-pressed to find an underused word in a language, but I can definitely think of a word that I wish were naturally a part of it. I learned it from Steinbeck in _East of Eden_ and the word is "timshel".

    "Thou mayest". Not, in its way, a distant concept from hope.

    And I believe anyone who has sought to attend an AA/NA/Addiction Recovery Program of any kind, has a grasp of experiencing hope as if for the first time. Somewhere between realizing that you do not recognize yourself through your coping mechanisms, and deciding to try to cut your crippling crutch out from under you, you feel it. In this instance, obviously, the word "hope" is synonymous with the person Christ. Here it is both the feeling, and the solution.

  4. Witty, warm, and wise. Great stuff.

  5. I love the fact that they keep communicating.

    Is there a word for that?

  6. Marianne Hales HardingMay 25, 2013 at 3:45 PM

    I like the continuing naming, but I thought it was interesting how much time was spent on convincing Adam to let her name the first thing she came across with no name. He granted her permission to name things first because he was confident that the situation would never arise and when it did he was so reticent to give up that power. As time passes they find a way to be partners in naming. I like that journey.

  7. Along with Marianne Hales Harding, I am interested in how he is hesitant to extend naming to the spaces between "things." From his perception in the beginning, the only things that need names are "things." All that Eve names after becomes richer and more difficult to capture and yet all the more important to invest with language because they are harder to grasp and more essential to their inner-life together. k.

  8. Love it. It seems to me a continuation of what happened in the garden...Adam most worried about following exact instructions, Eve thinking about the purpose behind it & challenging some assumptions/roles. Love the "agony."

  9. Some of life's experience and some emotions are essentially, at the core, impossible to name, as shown in the second to last scene in "In which Eve Names Everything Else." That is why we have metaphor, narrative, and story--so we can come closer to describing, sharing and experiencing what is not easily named or explained.



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