"Semitic guess"

Douglas G. Wilson douglas at NB.NET
Sun Apr 11 16:21:04 UTC 2004

>the phrase evokes "a hypothesis about some difficult point
>in Hebrew, or some other Semitic language," and a note in the Yale
>Poets edition more-or-less concurs -- hence, I suppose, it's a
>conjecture about some obscure philological nicety.

That seems reasonable. From the context, I picture it as the arcane hobby
or enthusiasm of a more or less eccentric person.

Other possibilities which would fill the bill: (1) a hypothesis about some
Biblical-history question, e.g., the route taken in the Exodus from Egypt;
(2) a speculation in some 'fringe' area, such as whether one of the Lost
Tribes went to Ireland, or whether some Amerind language is derived from

-- Doug Wilson

More information about the Ads-l mailing list