Wednesday, December 24, 2008

christmas

He came down to earth from heaven,
Who is God and Lord of all
And His shelter was a stable
And his cradle was a stall.
With the poor, and mean and lowly,
Lived on earth our Saviour holy.

- Once in Royal David's City, C.F. Alexander

Praise be to the Lord, the God of Israel,
because he has come and has redeemed his people
...
to rescue us from the hand of his enemies,
and to enable us to serve him without fear
in holiness and righteousness
before him all our days.

- Zechariah's Song. Luke 1:68, 74-75

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

of saints and streets and grammatical confusion

It has come to my attention that there is trouble afoot in the world. All is not as it should be. Yet what can be done?
I refer of course to the correct method of abbreviating the word 'saint'.

In the course of my university degree, concentrating as I did on the Medieval period, I wrote a number of essays about or including saints. After receiving many of these essays back with numerous corrections I came to the conclusion that the abbreviation of saint was 'St' with NO full stop, which distinguishes it from 'st.' which has a full stop.
The reason for this, which I may have made up in my own head, it's hard to tell, is that 'street' is shortened, and the front two letters used to form an abbreviation, while 'saint' is contracted, with the middle removed, and the first and last letters removed. So the full stop in 'st.' stands in for the missing letters, which wouldn't make sense in the case of 'saint'. This seems like a fairly satisfactory conlclusion to me, although it does make me feel that 'saint' should be 's't', like, say, 'don't' etc. But that hardly seems like an elegant abbreviation, more like a character from a bad sci-fi novel.

The problem is that I'm not sure if any of this is true. I came acrosss the St. George (sic.) Bank website today, where I found that they spell their name with a full stop. Also a Google search turned up more 'St.'s than 'St's. While this grates on me and makes me feel that the world is wrong, maybe it's just me. Any help?