"Dress like whores"

Dennis R. Preston preston at PILOT.MSU.EDU
Sat Jul 20 19:01:33 UTC 2002

The Lord slew Dorothy Parker's parrot for seed-spilling?


>At 2:04 PM -0400 7/20/02, James A. Landau wrote:
>>A streetwalker does not wear garish makeup and revealing clothes because they
>>are sexy per se.  Rather she wears whatever the local convention is for her
>>to wear, since her clothing/makeup/demeanor etc. are for recognition.
>>Consider the following 3,000-year-old account
>>"[she] covered herself with her veil, and wrapped herselof, and sat in the
>>entrance of Enaim [i.e. at a crossroads]...When Judah saw her, he thought her
>>to be a harlot; for she had covered her face."
>Hey, I recognize this--it's part of the Onan story, which somehow
>made it onto the handout for my "spitten image" talk a couple of ADS
>annual meetings ago.  (Genesis 38, if anyone wants to track it down.)
>The lady in question, Tamar, wasn't really working as a harlot, she
>just wanted to have her brother-in-law's baby according to levirate
>law, but Onan wouldn't oblige (spilling his seed on the ground, like
>Dorothy Parker's parrot of the same name, and getting slain by the
>Lord for his impertinence), so she had to settle for her
>father-in-law's baby instead.  Not really her fault, just following
>the law as best she could.

Dennis R. Preston
Professor of Linguistics
Department of Linguistics and Languages
740 Wells Hall A
Michigan State University
East Lansing, MI 48824-1027 USA
Office - (517) 353-0740
Fax - (517) 432-2736

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