I drove home last night since Eileen was a bit tired. I had the energy so it was no problem. We arrived home around four. Sunday when we were on our way out of town, we stopped at the grocery store. When I went to reach for my credit card it didn’t seem to be in my purse. Eileen loaned me hers. I was pretty sure I had left it on the stand next to my chair at home. The last time I could remember using it was to purchase pizzas online.
So when we came home I of course checked for it on the table next to my chair. It wasn’t there. Yikes. Eileen and I began scouring the house for it. Forty minutes later Eileen found it in my purse tucked into my Mom’s checkbook. By that time I WAS exhausted. I still had to drag myself to church to rehearse the organ music for this Sunday. I chose music that did not rely on pedals that much and practiced the manuals (keyboards) on Leigh’s piano while we were visiting. I probably could have skipped the rehearsal but went for it anyway. I like being prepared. And I must say after adding pedal parts, the pieces did need rehearsal.
I love the OED. I was reading a poem by Derek Walcott this morning and he used the word, “babel.”
I noticed the spelling of “babel” and decided to check on it in the OED. “Babel” is an upstanding word that means “A confused or discordant medley of sounds, esp. of voices; a hubub, a din.”
It does come from the name of the Tower of Babel of Biblical fame.
Briefly, the story is that after the great flood, humanity came together to build a tower to reach the heavens. God strikes them all and creates languages in their wonderful diversity. Since they can no longer understand each other the project is abandoned. It’s a neat story of the origin of languages.
Babel means “gate of god.” The “el” is related to “Allah” and other names for god. Hebrew and Arabic share the syllable, “bab,” meaning “gate” in both languages. “Babble” shares a meaning but not an origin with “babel.” The “ba” in “babble” is “characteristic of early infantile vocalization, this syllable being taken as typical of childish speech, and hence of indistinct or nonsensical talk + -le suffix. The OED suggests that these two words did indeed influence each other. I think it is cool that they have different origins.
Speaking of panic, during the last paragraph Eileen got up and told me she found a bat in the house last night and it was probably still in the house. I found it and shaking with stupid irrational fear of bats managed to get it out of the house without hurting it. I used a broom to coax the sleepy bat into a small box and put it outside. The janitor at church kills them when he finds them. I think bats are our friends.