Monday, June 09, 2008

Shibboleth: a new meaning for an ancient word?

Shibboleth is a word that is often misused, and misunderstood, although in its proper English meaning it can have its uses, and I suggest one here (it went over the heads of literati gamers, but then I over-estimated the average IQ of the room? lol)

It comes from the Bible, Judges 12:6, in which the Hebrews use it as a test-word to distinguish the fleeing Ephraimites. How does this have relevance in the cyber-age, I hear you ask?

Since it denotes a word or sound which a person cannot pronounce correctly, a word used for detecting foreigners, I propose it in its proper meaning as a new word for those "word verification thingies" online, for which I had never before thought of a single descriptive word!

Alternatively, you could also use it to denote the jocular urging by Aussies of Kiwis to say "fish and chips", to betray their NZ origin! lol

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