evangelical verbs

Neal Whitman nwhitman at AMERITECH.NET
Thu Aug 13 03:35:42 UTC 2009

Here are four recent LL posts that bear on the topic, including one that I
found particularly bizarre: to "know that you know that you know".

I also read a short student paper on evangelical American English in the
late 1990s. It was stashed in a bin of teacher resources at the Ohio State
University linguistics department. The only part I remember very much is the
verb "minister to s.o." If this sounds worth following up on, I can look
into it further.

Our church isn't especially evangelical, but when we actually attend, I've
noticed a few lexical idiosyncrasies. One is "lift up" meaning "bring to
your attention". Another is "worship" -- detransitivized with a definite
understood object, and causativized (i.e. "cause or allow someone to worship
[God]"), as in "At last week's service, we worshipped 442 people, and
collected $2320." I've kept meaning to do a blog post on this one, with the
title "My church worships me." They also tend to talk about "having
fellowship" or "fellowshipping" in reference to social events like potluck
dinners or prayer breakfasts or outings for various groups.

Neal Whitman
Email: nwhitman at ameritech.net
Blog: http://literalminded.wordpress.com

----- Original Message -----
From: "Lynne Murphy" <m.l.murphy at SUSSEX.AC.UK>
Sent: Wednesday, August 12, 2009 6:21 AM
Subject: evangelical verbs

> ---------------------- Information from the mail
> header -----------------------
> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       Lynne Murphy <m.l.murphy at SUSSEX.AC.UK>
> Subject:      evangelical verbs
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> I was wondering if anyone knows about any studies of lexical/semantic
> change in the (American) English of evangelical Christians.  Searching
> lots
> of relevant words on google gives me too much about interpretation of
> scripture and too little about how people talk today.
> I'm thinking of things like these, from here:
> <http://www.duggarfamily.com/faq.html>
> (1) the truths from God's Word being taught through Mr. Sammons began to
> _convict me of_ my need to "owe no man anything but love."
> (convict me = give me the conviction )
> (2) We purpose to go out for a lunch or dinner date weekly.
> (purpose to = set out with the purpose to;  like 'try' but without as much
> space for failure?)
> I'm thinking of setting this as a topic for an undergraduate dissertation
> this year--looking at, perhaps, the metalinguistic commentaries on their
> use in the community and the relation to readings of scripture.  I think
> those kinds of sources are findable, and I suspect that if I hunt through
> past issues of 'Among the new words' I'll find some info too.  But any
> tips
> on linguistic/lexicographical commentary on the phenomenon would be
> gratefully received.
> I purpose to gratitude anyone who knowledges me forward.
> Lynne
> Dr M Lynne Murphy
> Senior Lecturer in Linguistics
> Arts B357
> University of Sussex
> Brighton BN1 9QN
> phone: +44-(0)1273-678844
> http://separatedbyacommonlanguage.blogspot.com
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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