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Thursday, June 30, 2005

Bob Dylan and Bible translation

There is a new poll in the right margin of this blog which tests the meaning of one sentence in a famous Bob Dylan song. I hope you will take the time to vote in the poll. And, yes, the poll results really do have something to do with Bible translation, and there is a specific connection to Bob Dylan, according to a claim made by an English Bible translator. I'll blog about both after we get a good number of votes in the poll.

Trivia question: What country do you think has the most polls? (you can answer in the comments, if you think you know the answer)



At Thu Jun 30, 11:18:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


At Fri Jul 01, 12:41:00 AM, Blogger Trevor Jenkins said...

Oh Joe Missionary beat me to it I wanted to say Poland.

At Fri Jul 01, 08:00:00 AM, Blogger Wayne Leman said...

But, of course, what else could it be? Surely the original spelling of the name was Poll-land, eh? :-)

At Fri Jul 01, 09:48:00 AM, Blogger Trevor Jenkins said...

Are Polish people better at statistics than the rest of us then. ;-)

At Fri Jul 01, 12:26:00 PM, Blogger Wayne Leman said...

Trevor asked: " Are Polish people better at statistics than the rest of us then."

I assume they are, at least if the calculations are in Polish notation.

At Fri Jul 01, 02:07:00 PM, Blogger language said...

I'm just amazed everybody so far thinks they know what Dylan was singing about -- surely a first in Dylanology!


At Fri Jul 01, 03:09:00 PM, Blogger Trevor Jenkins said...

Ah but language, Wayne only asked what we understood by Dylan's use of "man" in that one line not whether we understood the line itself or the entire song; that would be asking too much. ;-)

As a PostScript ;-) Poles are very good at calculating in reverse.

At Fri Jul 01, 05:22:00 PM, Blogger Wayne Leman said...

Language Hat commented: "I'm just amazed everybody so far thinks they know what Dylan was singing about -- surely a first in Dylanology!"

Yes, so true. It crossed my mind to word option #4 of the poll more along the lines of "How can anyone know what Dylan was singing?" but I decided not to mix in that other dimension besides trying to query his use of the word "man" in this particular sentence. I would have preferred using a different sentence, but a prominent leader in the current discussion of English Bible versions chose this specific sentence to illustrate a point. And I thought it would be interesting to poll people's intutions to see if they line up with the leader's claims. I'll explain more when there are enough votes that we can at least reasonably pretend that we have a representative sample of English speakers, something which we can never do safely with Internet polls, and especially on blog like this one which have a unique audience. But we do the best we can with the test pool that we do have, and at least illustrate what the issues are even if our statistics are not very reliable.


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