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Re: masculine connotations

Oct 25, 1996 08:12 AM
by Dr. A.M.Bain

In message <>, "Eldon
B. Tucker" <> writes
>I can think of one example. A future article of mine got "cleaned up" for
>THE AMERICAN THEOSOPHIST. I had a reference to "layman" that was changed to
>"layperson". It could be that just new materials are being adjusted, and
>the classics left in their original verbatim form?

That's editors for you!  But why make one word of it?  "Lay person" is
quite good and even everyday English.

There is no theoretical reason why the classics could not be paraphrased
- it's been done with the bible, so long as it is *clearly described* as
a paraphrase.  Original classics need to be preserved in their original
form, ecen though the teaching and ideas contained in them can be
presented in 21st century language.  Reading older texts has the
advantage of conveying some of the nuances of thought that were
appropriate to the time of the writer.

Many years ago I had the opportunity to read William Lilly's "Christian
Astrology" from a 1647 printed copy (you can get a facsimile edition
now).  It was full of archaisms and letter "s" very similar to letter
"f" but I had an insight into 17th century astrology that a translation
- for that's what it would be (Zadkiel did some of this) could not have

The objection concerning language that I have is the use of out-of-date
language in works that are written today.  Modern theosophical writing
that talks in male-oriented language may reach out to people, but in all
too many instances you may be sure that having reached out, it also
pushes people away, who then go on to speak ill of theosophy.  This is
*not* a theory - it happens, and I have heard it happen in my own home
city.  I personally know five people who have done this - and they are
all women.  Do the theosophical societies want to write themselves into
oblivion for the want of addressing a genuine need *already being
expressed over and over* by an increasing number of people?

Alan (theos-l person)
THEOSOPHY INTERNATIONAL: Ancient Wisdom for a New Age:

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