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Latter-(day) Re: Inflecting Jesus Christ (was: Never violate a universal ...)

From:David Barrow <davidab@...>
Date:Saturday, September 6, 2003, 1:55
Dirk Elzinga wrote:

> On Friday, September 5, 2003, at 11:01 AM, John Cowan wrote: > >> Christian Thalmann scripsit: >> >>> My ear tells me that it should be "Jesu Christi" in the genitive. >>> Google seems to concur. I don't know whether that's grammatical, >>> though. >> >> >> concurs also; the first Google example to come up is >> "Kirche Jesu Christi der Heiligen der Letzten Tage", the official name >> of >> the Mormons. That translation of "latter-day" seems to miss a trick, >> however, since it suggests to me "of the last days", i.e. those just >> before the Second Coming, rather than simply an archaic form meaning >> "of >> (these later days".) Comment from germanophones (allemannophones?) or >> LDS members? > > > If 'latter' is simply an archaic form of 'later', that would still > square with the eschatological interpretation of the name. I seem to > remember a principle of English usage which states that the superlative > is never used if only two things are being compared. So one would speak > of the larger of two cars/houses/kangaroos, etc. In the name of the > Church, only the early church and the modern one are being compared, > hence "... of Latter-day Saints"; i.e., saints of the later (= last) > days. Other languages may have different usages for superlatives; the > German "... der Letzten Tage" and Dutch "... der Laatste Dagen" would > seem to bear this out. So the name of the church does reflect the > doctrine of the Second Coming of Jesus Christ.
From Longmans Dictionary of Contemporary English latter: n the latter (formal) the second of two people or things just mentioned latter adj (only before a noun)1 being the second of two people or things , or the last in a list just mentioned. 2 The latter part of a period of time is nearest to the end of it. latter-day adj (only before a noun) eg a latter-day Robin Hood. something or someone that exists now but is like a famous person or thing that existed in the past. So, 'latter-day' is a compound adjective with a different meaning to 'latter'. I suppose Latter-Day Saints comes from them being likened in some way to those of Jesus' time, what do the Mormons here say? And maybe the German and Dutch speakers can say how the above definition fits in with their translation of the term NB change of subject line ;-) David Barrow


Christian Thalmann <cinga@...>
Tristan McLeay <zsau@...>
James Worlton <jworlton@...>
Peter Bleackley <peter.bleackley@...>