Thursday, April 29, 2004

Explosive Fruit

Checking my blog visitor log the other day, I saw that someone had used Google's translation service to read it in French. The phrase "originally published in The Pomegranate" had been translated as "� l'origine �dit�es dans la grenade."

"La grenade" . . . of course! The Engish word "pomegranate" comes from the Old French pom grenate. That connection trickled into my consciousness after a moment's thought. (Hence "grenadine," the syrup made from pomegranates or currants.)

But I still enjoyed the metaphorical possibilities: our journal--which is now at the printer--as a grenade tossed into seminar room of religious studies. It sounds like a poetic image by one of the more violent Futurists of the 1930s.

In early 20th-century American slang, small bombs thrown by hand or launched by a rifle have been called "pineapples" (cast iron fragmentation-style) or "lemons" (sheet metal fragmentation-style) -- but not, so far as I know, "pomegranates."


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