About

The Calvinism bit: I live in Edinburgh, Scotland and attend a friendly congregation in a Westminster-subscribing denomination.

The phonology bit: my subject is linguistics, and I recently completed a PhD in developmental phonology at Edinburgh University (see my academic homepage).

The blog is for what catches my attention under the two grand themes of language study and life in the light of the Shorter Catechism. Discussion welcome.

I’m emailable at cath.ninetysix@gmail.com.

And the numbers in the title? I’ll leave you to work it out (it’s honestly not that hard!)

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28 thoughts on “About

  1. Well I’d been thinking about it for ages so it was just a matter of finding time to see if it would work. You get much more of a feeling of control here – the dashboard has loads more options than in blogspot – transferring those posts over wasn’t too tedious either so overall I’m glad i did it :)

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  2. Hi Cath,

    Just dropped in for a quick visit. This looks really nice. I have heard it said that anything posted on the Internet never goes away. Do you ever wonder where they have room to store all the world’s blogs?

    Keep up the excellent work.

    ~Jayne

    P.S. I tried your nospam email address only because spammers are the reason my “real” email address has been blocked by all the major ISPs who think (wrongly so) that we are spammers. Isn’t life grand?

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  3. The FP are a faithful denomination. Some FC(C) preached at the church I attended in Newcastle and I knew people at Durham Presbyterian Church (EPCEW).

    BTW: Out of interest, does ‘Somerville’ mean anything to you?

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  4. I think i’ve met a couple of people from Durham … but better not name names as i’m paranoid about making people google-able potentially without their consent! Are you on facebook? Somerville means nowt to me i’m afraid!

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  5. Hi Cath,
    I very much enjoy your thought-provoking posts. However, I feel kind of silly since I’m not able to “work out” the no’s in your site’s title. There’s a 9610 in the Quran…would that be a place to start? Thanks, Col

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  6. Among the people say, God reigns! Psalm 96:10.

    Which I assumed would be too obvious, but i think only one person got it spontaneously (that i know of! several got it with hints)

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  7. Some folks got as far as 96+10=116, Psalm 116. Others were more tortuous still.

    But Ps 96:10 works best as kind of like a slogan, i think. With hindsight a more overtly gospel-oriented reference might have been better – maybe 145:8-9? Just not so catchy, and 96:10 was in my head at the time for some reason.

    (The Lord is gracious and full of compassion, slow to anger and of great mercy. The Lord is good to all, and his tender mercies are over all his works.)

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  8. That is it! I could have known! [she writes, banging her head on the table]. I thought of the Catechism, and of course also of Scripture; it could have dawned upon me that as there is only one book in the Bible that has 96 chapters that might be the one. Many thanks, Cath, for enlightening me!

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  9. How about “The Message” then?

    Get out the message – GOD rules!
    He put the world on a firm foundation;
    He treats everyone fair and square.

    Although, to be honest, I like the image of a kitten stuck in a sofa muuuuch better ;-)

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  10. By comparison, the “Duffle Bag Version” (that’s what we call the 1971 British Living Bible Edition ever since I was asked in chapel to read Matthew 10:10 and only had my Pocket LBE to read from) is rather lame:

    Tell the nations that Jehovah reigns!
    He rules the world. His power can never be overthrown.
    He will judge all nations fairly.

    [Interesting that it’s the Creator’s power and not the world itself that is firm here.]

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  11. Well, after i struck on that text I re-encountered the end of verse 7 in Isaiah 52 – How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him that bringeth good tidings, that publisheth peace, that bringeth good tidings of good, that publisheth salvation, that saith unto Zion, Thy God reigneth!

    => the message of salvation consists of telling Sion that her God reigns – which is in some ways a much more reassuring message than to proclaim to the world at large that the Lord reigns. For people who aren’t reconciled to God, the message that he is reigning must bring with it at least some degree of discomfort – even though, in itself, the message that this God reigns includes somewhere bundled inside it the message that reconciliation is possible for anyone who is not yet reconciled to him, seeing that the God who reigns is the God who saves. But for those who have a personal acquaintance with the God who saves (and can rightly call him “our God”), no wonder that the announcement that this God is reigning absolutely is so joyful and welcome.

    Now this too is an unpolished comment and I don’t even have the excuse of being in a rush. Strange convolutions are appearing in my syntax and I don’t quite know why :?

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    • Cath,

      Could you please pass a few details about the passing of your minister.
      We knew him very well and know nobody else to ask about his departure.
      He wrote us 4 years ago about the death of Mina and now we see in the Dutch newspaper of the departure of Mr Cartwright. Can you please give me your email adress so that I can ask you about this.
      Thank you in advance.
      Gijs

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  12. Phonetics I can just about cope with but phonology does my head in! I have never worked out how a ‘phoneme’ can exist but can’t be pronounced as it’s realised in lots of different actual sounds. Is Transformational Generative Grammar still predominating in Linguistics departments? I always felt sorry for the neglected, largely despised ‘Stratificational Linguistics’ school but I have heard it’s com into its own more, of late. I still like me old ‘traditional’ grammar approach! When I taught my two grammatical ‘Bibles’ were Hugo’s ‘How to Avoid Incorrect english’ and B.L.K. Henderson’s rather wonderful ‘The English Way’. Linguistics sacrilege?!

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  13. Sacrilege indeed!! Generative grammar is definitely still popular but other approaches have become much more mainstream – in developmental linguistics there’s certainly much more of a healthy debate now compared to a decade or so ago. In phonology itself the concept of the phoneme is still useful on the descriptive level but less as a serious theoretical construct. All jolly good fun!

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  14. Yes, I had great fun in the old, sadly lamented Linguistics Dept in Glasgow University, way back in the mists of time ( ie., early ’80s)
    The oddly striking thing , then at least, about Linguistics as a discipline, was how signally it proved the old dictum- that specialisation involves knowing more and more about less and less till one knows everything ( or just about!) nothing… Certainly at the ‘lower levels’ it seemed nice and concrete but the more theoretical it got, the more all certainty seemed to evaporate! The various, convoluted versions of T-G ended up baffling me and frustrating me in equal measure! Still, the pleasures of gerund-grinding are not to be dismissed! It is just deplorable how ignorant pupils are nowadays of parsing and sentence analysis. In the Cornish language revival all the arguments seem to revolve around the claim and counter-claim of what was the phonemic structure of the language and how orthographically to represent it. I’m sure the minutiae must whiz straight over most people’s heads! But as you say..all jolly fun!

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