Glossary: E

Glossary of American English Hacker Theocratese

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=== E ===

The Bible uses the word earth literally, to refer to the planet we live on (Gen 1:1); figuratively in many different contexts (Isa 66:1; Rev 5:3); and to represent mankind. (Jos 24:14) So do we. People from New York sometimes call it ``duh URF''.
earthly hope
The expectation for future life entertained by servants of God not begotten by holy spirit as {spiritual Israelites}. They believe they will ultimately be granted the gift of {everlasting life} as perfect human creatures on a cleansed paradise earth. (Luk 23:43) <<Persons with earthly hopes frequently reflect on future pleasures such as dwelling in peace with the animals.>>
Taking life easy. It suggests a lack of seriousness, and sometimes even a lackadaisical spirit bordering on laziness. The Bible associates it with stupidity at Proverbs 1:32. Thus it is sometimes used as a euphemism for ``not very bright''. <<We had a mixed gathering of folks, including some of the more intellectual ones, and some of the easygoing ones.>>
-ed, èd
In the case of certain adjectives ending in -ed, the -ed is pronounc-ed as a separate syllable by some practitioners of olde-tyme religion. Sometimes this is indicated in print by adding a grave accent. The most common example is the pronunciation given to the word blessèd, which occurs nine times in rapid succession in the so-called {beatitudes}. <<Blessèd are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.>> (Mat 5:3 KJ) Because theocratic speech is thoroughly modern, such {archaisms} are not usèd in the {Truth} today.
A text manipulation program, similar to a word processor, designed to handle primarily {ASCII} files. The most often-used ones in UNIX are vi, a simple full-screen editor, and Emacs, a text whacker of Herculean power.[69] Many PC-oriented computer users are accustomed to using only a word processor for text manipulation, but the editor is the single most important tool of computer professionals, especially those who program. <<The best way to read the plain text version of the Glossary is to peruse it with an editor.>>
[69] I use XEmacs, the Gargantuan child of Emacs.
The process of learning, especially in the formal sense, as by going to school. Jehovah's Witnesses put such a high value on spiritual education that it has been said that regularly attending our meetings constitutes the gaining of a complete education in matters necessary for life. (2Ti 3:15-17) Opinions about education from other sources differ dramatically among Witnesses. Our collective view of this subject has shifted markedly in the last few years. There are still those who believe that most any effort spent in acquiring training outside the boundaries of the organization, even self-teaching, is at best a necessary evil, at least a waste of time, and at worst a compromise with the Devil. Until recently not a few persons believed that enrolling in formal schooling beyond the absolute minimum necessary for survival[70] is wrong. (See {militantly ignorant}.) Others believe that the primary objective of secular education is to obtain some kind of certificate, usually with the object of obtaining better employment, so as to be able to serve Jehovah better. If employment for the sake of the money or status were the only purpose of education, then it would be a shallow goal indeed. Still others feel that any amount of education, no matter how acquired, is inherently a good thing because it broadens one's perspectives.
[70] Around here that means graduation from high school.
A spiritual {older man}, one {appointed} to serve the spiritual needs of the {congregation}. In the English {NW} the word is used not at all in the Hebrew Scriptures, and twelve times in the {Greek Scriptures}, all in Revelation, and all in reference to the 24 elders seen in vision surrounding God's throne. (Rev 4:4)

STORY: When NW was originally translated, we did not yet have the present {elder arrangement}, and the translators did not use the translation ``elder'' for the term for ``older man''. Later, when the elder arrangement came into being, {Brooklyn} said it would be good for newer retranslations to use the foreign language equivalent of elder.[71]

[71] This information came to me by way of a Bethel brother who works in the translation department of a foreign branch.
elder arrangement
An expression that describes the scriptural method of overseeing the activities within local congregations by means of {bodies of elders} whose constituent members are coequal in authority. <<Brother Longtooth has been presiding overseer since the beginning of the elder arrangement.>>
elder body
See {body of elders}.
elder who performs weddings
We have no succinct title in American English to designate such a brother. It was this term that got me started writing the Glossary. A {foreign-speaking} brother used the expression ``wedding man''[72] and apologized for not knowing the English word. No apology was necessary. Though we probably should have a specific term for such a brother because of the legalities involved, we don't.

[72] Vigselsmann in Norwegian.

Apparently they do have a phrase for this in Australian English. A friend recently informed me that her father, an elder, serves there in the capacity of ``marriage celebrant'', a legally sanctioned office. The name describes the function perfectly, but the title is not known by that name in these parts.

NOTE: Any brother, elder or not, may give a wedding talk. But in most places only certain brothers among the elders are registered and licensed with the local government, authorizing them to administer the legal requirements.

elder's wife
Some persons seem to expect the wife of an {elder} to be living a better example of Christianity than other sisters in the congregation, as if she were an elder, too. (Compare {elderette}.) <<How can she justify watching that movie? She's an elder's wife!>> If she weren't, would the movie then be OK for her to watch? This expectation imposes an unscriptural hardship on these sisters, since the Bible nowhere specifies special requirements for an elder's wife. The standards of conduct are the same for all Christians. Furthermore, an elder's wife may even be an unbeliever in some circumstances. However, an unsubmissive or rebellious wife can cause her husband's qualifications to be questioned, either preventing him from being appointed or leading to the removal of his appointment.
Tongue-in-cheek word for an elder's wife. <<So your husband was {appointed} an elder. Welcome to the elderettes!>> :-) It can have a pejorative connotation, designating a sister who is headstrong or a busybody, one who acts outside her authority, as though she were an elder. Fortunately, this usage is not widespread. One brother in England quipped: <<If an elder's wife is an elderette, does that make a ministerial servant's wife a serviette?[73]>>
[73] A Briticism for table napkin.
A person who often attempts to get attention from the most senior person present, hogging the time of that one, whether an elder, a circuit overseer, or just the one taking the lead in field service. Sometimes these persons make real pests out of themselves, unnecessarily demanding the ear of busy persons whose energies should be focused on more pressing matters. <<It seems like Brother Kissup is always seen in the company of the CO these days.>> Do you suppose he is supporting the visit or is he trying to get an assembly part?
elders' meeting
The body of elders meets regularly to discuss matters pertaining to the welfare of the congregation. The goings on, including the {agenda}, are confidential, but everything that needs to be made known to the congregation at large is announced or otherwise revealed in due course. One of the most important elders' meetings takes place when the circuit overseer visits. The consideration of brothers for appointment as elders and ministerial servants is always high on the agenda.
electronic witnessing
Preaching to people by telecommunications, e.g., by computer through Internet {email} exchanges, news groups, and {BBS}s. Some have found this activity to be enjoyable and even productive. A few persons have gotten started in the {Truth} as a result of it. But this kind of activity should never take precedence over our usual public methods of preaching that bring us into personal contact with people.

NOTE: Email discussions afford relative privacy and opportunity for personal interchange. In contrast, electronic news groups and BBSs are often public forums where anyone can participate. The Internet Usenet news group talk.religion.misc is the best known example of an electronic arena devoted to the discussion of religious matters.

There is no need to be paranoid about what we might encounter to the extent of avoiding electronic communication entirely. However, Christians should be alert to watch for signs of {apostates}, who sometimes don't identify themselves openly, and who may try to use subtle persuasion to sow {seeds of doubt} and gradually turn readers against the Truth. Also, one should be as careful to avoid hostile confrontations with opposers as one would be in any other form of the ministry. For what the information is worth, although I work all day long on the Internet, and read some news groups, as of this writing I have never once personally read postings on talk.religion.misc. This group was at one time reportedly a relatively civil discussion forum where the viewpoint of each one contributing was treated respectfully. Even some fine brothers and sisters posted messages in defense of the Truth there. But in the last couple of years it has become a snakepit, the lair of evil-minded lying opposers and ex-Witnesses bent on targeting {Jehovah's people} with hostile words and falsehoods.

Another concern that has caused some to raise an eyebrow is the question of how much field service time a person counts when working hour after hour on electronic notes. The Society has published clear guidelines on how to count time. How a brother applies this information is a matter between him and Jehovah.

Standard {hacker} terminology for electronic mail, i.e., messages that are sent by computer network. (Compare {snail mail}.) Email is a much appreciated and indispensable tool of persons whose work attaches them to the Internet, especially computer professionals. Email can be dealt with according to the receiver's own schedule. That could mean immediately, resulting in turnaround times of just a minute or so. But it allows the receiver to prioritize messages. In comparison the telephone is a rude device that interrupts you and demands immediate attention, no matter what you are doing. Another advantage is that when email is saved, it leaves a written record of exchanges that can be built into a substantial information database. That I often receive and send over 200 email messages a day, but only two or three phone calls, usually from my wife, is strong evidence that busy computer workers greatly prefer email to the telephone for most lower priority communications.
Literally symbols or tokens. The word is used to refer to the bread and the wine that are shared at the {Lord's Evening Meal}. They represent Jesus' body and blood respectively. <<Having discussed the background for this joyful occasion, it is now time to pass the emblems.>>
emoticon, smiley face, frowney face
A compound word meaning an image (icon) conveying emotion. It refers to character sequences typed by hackers in electronic communication to indicate an emotional state that cannot be conveyed because of the absence of personal contact. I've included the most common ones in this Glossary because they show up so often in electronic communications. To read them, tilt your head sideways, to the left.
         Name  Meaning
         ----  -------
  :-)    smiley face         humor, laughter, friendliness, sarcasm
  :-(    frowny face         sadness, anger, upset
  ;-)    half-smiley face    ha ha, but serious
  :-/    wry face            ironically or grimly humorous
  :-|    not so funny face   so funny I forgot to laugh
  :-P    sassy face          nyaa, nyaa!
  }8=0   surprised face      wide-eyed, open-mouthed astonishment[74]
[74] Does the name Buckwheat mean anything to you? Some who get the joke may need to read the entry on {politically correct} before overreacting. (Ecc 7:9)
A speaking technique that highlights ideas by saying certain expressions louder, more slowly, or more deliberately. When quoting any given passage from God's Word, numerous points might be made. Speakers isolate points they wish to highlight by using proper emphasis. Reading the Scriptures with emphasis is covered as a study topic in the School Guidebook. [sg chapter 25] <<The importance of emphasis is seen in the difference between the sentences: ``Look ahead on the road!'' and ``Look! A head! On the road!''>>
An activity to occupy one's time and attention agreeably, especially a public performance. One common view is that entertainment is something frivolous, superfluous, and unimportant. (Compare Ecc 2:2.) In this respect entertainment differs from the {arts}, which are capable of challenging and enlightening the mind, deeply moving the human spirit, and permanently changing one's perspective on life, though in the minds of many people there is little or no difference. This is not surprising, since many of the greatest works of performance art are also delightfully entertaining.

In the {last days} people have forgotten how to keep themselves amused during free time, so entertainment by paid professionals has become a vast industry. Satan has capitalized on the ability of entertainment to captivate and educate in order to propagate his own teachings. Thus, much of the entertainment that is popular today is degraded and unfit for Christian consumption. Some people claim that they are invulnerable to its corrupting effects, saying: <<The bad stuff just goes in one ear and out the other.>> As one {DO} said: ``So does a bullet!''

everlasting life, eternal life
Jehovah has promised that humans who remain faithful to him and successfully meet all tests of loyalty will eventually receive from him a guarantee that they will never die.[75] [w95 11/15 19, par. 17] This is different from just continuing to live on and on. Persons will be conscious of having God's approval and of the reward bestowed on them, and will never again have to fear even the possibility of dying, although they will remain {mortal}, i.e., capable of death. If a boulder were to fall out of the sky on their heads, they would die. Apparently, such things will never happen. And of course the guarantee still depends on one's maintaining proper obedience to God. The promise of eternal life is extended only to humans who will live in paradise on the earth, and is different from the gift of {immortality}.
[75] Contingent, of course, on their continued obedience to God.
One who has done something {wicked}. The word has a melodramatic flavor and is not heard much in common speech.[76] Casual use sounds awkward: <<Hey Phil, don't forget to lock your door tonight; the neighborhood is crawling with evildoers.>> Perhaps some people are hesitant to use the word because it is judgmental in flavor, and it is presently considered both tactless and {politically incorrect} to speak judgmentally of others. <<So tell me, how much longer will your son the evildoer be in prison?>> But evildoer is found 25 times in the New World Translation, and is acceptable in formal writing.
[76] It reminds me of ne'er-do-well, which evokes in my mind an image of a guy with a greasy mustache in a stovepipe hat and cape tying a girl named Nell to railroad tracks.
evolution, evolve
1. The unscriptural pseudo-scientific belief that life originated by accident. 2. The word has come to be used in a figurative way to describe non-living things that grow and change over time. Most Christians are careful to avoid saying things like: <<Our methods have evolved over the years.>> This is not the best choice of words to describe how our preaching techniques have changed; but sayings like that slip out once in a while anyway, even in the Society's {publications}.[77] This is one of those you-know-what-I-mean expressions.
[77] A search of the Watchtower Library turned up three examples between 1963 and 1993.
exclamation point
The {Society's} favorite punctuation mark! Seen as often as six or eight times on a single page! I once counted five in a single paragraph! Designed to suggest that readers should gasp or be excited or shocked at the littlest thing! <<It's time for Charlie to give the accounts report!>> In hacker parlance the {ASCII} character ``!'' is most commonly referred to as a ``bang''. In comparison, you could read every issue of Time magazine for a year and never see a single exclamation point, even though the magazine frequently relates some astonishing things.[78]

[78] In fairness, since I have fallen into the habit of noticing exclamation points, I have observed a tapering off in the last year or so. Perhaps the Society's editorial standards have been updated recently.

NOTE: German-speaking readers are aware that in German it is grammatically required to use an exclamation point in some imperative sentences. <<"Sitzen Sie!"[79]>> This is not required in English except in rare cases where great force is desired. <<Sit down and shut up!>> But in English it is customary to use exclamation points sparingly on statements that convey strong emotion. <<Jehovah is so good!>> <<I hate tobacco smoke!>>

[79] Meaning ``Sit down.''
Demonstrating a commendable pattern worthy of imitation. (Compare {good standing}.) Congregation members viewed as exemplary are so noted because of zealous activity in service, regularity at meetings, diligence in personal study, and being irreproachable in matters of personal conduct, appearance, speech, and attitude. Exemplary persons are always in good standing in the congregation, but the converse is not necessarily true. <<In the absence of an elder or ministerial servant, some responsibilities may be handled by another exemplary brother.>>
To move to action by warnings, advice, or convincing argument. Persons can often be motivated to act merely by the sincerity or passion of one encouraging them to do so. The words exhort and exhortation are found 32 times in NW. <<Therefore he also gave many other exhortations and continued declaring good news to the people.>> (Luk 3:18)
1. To cut off from membership; a close synonym for {disfellowship}. <<Unrepentant wrongdoers are expelled from the congregation in the same way that the ancient Jews expelled persons from the synagogue.>> (Joh 16:2) 2. Used in {NW} in connection with the ability to drive out demons. (Mar 1:34) Although demons can be chased away by prayer, using Jehovah's name out loud (Jam 4:7), we don't claim the miraculous ability to expel demons today.
1. Events personally undergone or lived through. Jehovah's Witnesses most often use the word in connection with {field service} encounters. <<Tell us about the experience you had when a man chased you down the driveway with a gun.>> 2. Often the first part on assembly programs following lunch break. <<And now Brother N. Terview will talk with some who made pioneering their way of life when they were very young.>>

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