Wednesday, 21 September 2011

The First Seven Vowels of the Greek Alphabet

I'm surprised more isn't made of this (from Gnostics and Their Remains Ancient and Mediaeval [1887], by C. W. King):
ΙΕΗΩΟΥΑ (i-e-ē-ō-o-ü-a, [ieɛɔoya]), the seven vowels of the Greek alphabet arranged in this order, was, so reports Charles William King, who cites a work On Interpretation supposedly written by Aristotle, the Egyptian name of the supreme God. King comments: "This is in fact a very correct representation, if we give each vowel its true Greek sound, of the Hebrew pronunciation of the word Jehovah."[115] (2nd century)
Even with the best will in the world, English simply hasn't enough vowels: AEIOUW -- one short of the sacred number. Also it has the disagreeable consequence of giving God a name that sounds like a man hitting his thumb with a hammer.

Along similar lines: notes for a future story, in which an English religious Tetragrammatist cult insists upon the spelling 'Godd' and, indeed, considers it a hideous blasphemy to spell the word 'God': because, YHWH, θεὸς and deus all have four letters ('The world is fourfold, the tetragrammaton! YHWH, the holy name of God—the Christian trinity plus mankind, folded into the bosom of the divine, three plus one is four! Earth, Water, Air and Fire!' and so on).

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