Poll

Is Joan Osborne's hit "One of us" your fav. song?

Yes, I love it.
1 (3.8%)
No
15 (57.7%)
Never heard it.
5 (19.2%)
It is good but it's not me fav.
5 (19.2%)

Total Members Voted: 26

Author Topic: What if God was one of us?  (Read 3751 times)

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Offline Armando

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What if God was one of us?
« on: August 15, 2005, 07:24:33 AM »
This ought to be a HOT DEBATING THREAD, don't you think?
:P lol
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Offline suzannes

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Re: What if God was one of us?
« Reply #1 on: August 15, 2005, 08:26:53 PM »
There's a very funny satire of it, but NOT an appropriate thing to mention here...

Offline year2027

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Re: What if God was one of us?
« Reply #2 on: August 16, 2005, 01:15:50 AM »
God first and last

Beloved All

God bless all

People should not even think about playing God

That seems very evil to me

just my view

with love and a holy kiss blowing your way Roy

Ps I did not know it was a song so I not sure

added later
« Last Edit: August 16, 2005, 01:17:18 AM by year2027 »
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Offline SeanMc

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Re: What if God was one of us?
« Reply #3 on: August 16, 2005, 01:41:14 AM »
Correct me if I'm wrong, but shouldn't that be "What if God were one of us?" I believe Joan Osbourne got it wrong, grammatically.

Nevertheless, God was one of us and he is one of us in the Godhead of the Son.
« Last Edit: August 16, 2005, 01:42:07 AM by SeanMc »

Offline yBeayf

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Re: What if God was one of us?
« Reply #4 on: August 16, 2005, 06:53:47 PM »
Quote
I believe Joan Osbourne got it wrong, grammatically.

Ah, but the song was actually written by Eric Bazilian (formerly of the Hooters, and Osborne's writing partner for most of the album Relish), and so he's the one to blame. Anyhoo, it's probably the weakest song on that album. You want *really* good songs from her, listen to "St. Teresa" or "Spider Web".

--yBeayf, extreme Joan Osborne fan

Offline Armando

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Re: What if God was one of us?
« Reply #5 on: August 18, 2005, 10:41:36 AM »
Of course God IS among us... Πανταχού παρών!!!
But the song means, What if God would once again walk among us. Not just Jesus Christ but the Holy Trinity walking among us as one person.

My fav. part is where it says:"Nobody calling on the phone, except for the Pope, maybe, in Rome."
Not because it mentions the Pope but because it means that no one care about God anymore except for those that religion
is their "job" (not that being a priest or bishop is a job but you get the point).
Ten years have passed, the girl I loved
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-Sad-ending fairytale, Miltos Paschalidis

Offline ania

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Re: What if God was one of us?
« Reply #6 on: August 18, 2005, 11:37:53 AM »
You forgot to add a choice: "don't care one way or the other."
Now where were we? Oh yeah - the important thing was I had an onion on my belt, which was the style at the time. They didn’t have white onions because of the war. The only thing you could get was those big yellow ones...

Offline Michael

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Re: What if God was one of us?
« Reply #7 on: August 19, 2005, 03:57:18 AM »
Correct me if I'm wrong, but shouldn't that be "What if God were one of us?" I believe Joan Osbourne got it wrong, grammatically.

Nevertheless, God was one of us and he is one of us in the Godhead of the Son.

You are quite right.  I cannot enjoy a song when it is riddled with a gross misuse of language, which just grates.  It's the conditional (subjunctive?) tense - speculating a conceptual hypothesis as opposed to a statement of factual reality (I'm talking grammatically, and not theologically here - Incarnation and all), and therefore takes the "were" form and not "was", which would be correct if the song were to refer to the past.  However, that is not the sense in which it is meant.

It's much like "If I were you".  I am clearly not you, and therefore it is a conceptual hypothesis and not a statement of factual reality.  The rule really is very simple.

There.  I've got my Friday morning pedantry in.  Now I can rest. ;D

Offline yBeayf

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Re: What if God was one of us?
« Reply #8 on: August 19, 2005, 03:59:00 PM »
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I cannot enjoy a song when it is riddled with a gross misuse of language, which just grates.

It's not a misuse of language -- it's perfectly grammatical vernacular English, in which the subjunctive has been disappearing for a long time. Pretty much the only reason it's still around is because some people, in a desire to make their speech more elevated, try to work it in. Languages change, and written English is fairly conservative compared to the language as she is spoken. Eventually, though, the subjunctive will likely disappear from both the written and spoken language completely -- after all, you don't hear many people complaining about the loss of the dative case, do you?

Offline GiC

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Re: What if God was one of us?
« Reply #9 on: August 19, 2005, 04:37:25 PM »
after all, you don't hear many people complaining about the loss of the dative case, do you?

I have been known to ;)
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Offline Silouan

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Re: What if God was one of us?
« Reply #10 on: August 19, 2005, 04:40:48 PM »
Do you also complain when people split a verb phrase or leave off half of it entirely?

Offline jlerms

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Re: What if God was one of us?
« Reply #11 on: August 19, 2005, 04:49:27 PM »
I know that I make grammatical errors.  However, it is a pet peeve of mine when so many people use the same ajectives repeatedly.  The most typical examples are:   "cool" and "awesome".  I also get annoyed at people now saying "I am SO ...insert verb, noun, adverb, and the kitchen sink.   I blame Friends and every other popular sitcom.   Yuck! ;)

Offline GiC

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Re: What if God was one of us?
« Reply #12 on: August 19, 2005, 04:52:19 PM »
Do you also complain when people split a verb phrase or leave off half of it entirely?

The loss of a proper infinitive is tragic; however, if we must replace it with a prepositional phrase, we can at least be creative with how we manipulate said prepositional phrase. As far as leaving the remainder of the sentence of entirely, almost every language I am aware of has some variation of this when answering a question; as long as it does not diminish the complexity of the language, I have no problem with it.
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Offline Silouan

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Re: What if God was one of us?
« Reply #13 on: August 19, 2005, 04:57:02 PM »
But eitherway you are leaving a preposition at the end of the sentence.  I don't have an issue with it, but you should at least be consistent in either insisting on proper English or not. 

Offline Michael

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Re: What if God was one of us?
« Reply #14 on: August 19, 2005, 05:21:33 PM »
It's not a misuse of language -- it's perfectly grammatical vernacular English, in which the subjunctive has been disappearing for a long time. Pretty much the only reason it's still around is because some people, in a desire to make their speech more elevated, try to work it in. Languages change, and written English is fairly conservative compared to the language as she is spoken.

Of course there is truth in the fact that language develops and that there is a marked difference between written and spoken language.  However, I'm not convinced by the statement that it is still used maninly as a result of people wishing to "elevate" their speech.  "If I was you" and "What if God was one of us" just sound and feel wrong - as though something doesn't fit, somehow.  This can only be because we are unaccustomed to hearing them.

...after all, you don't hear many people complaining about the loss of the dative case, do you?

Er, yes actually.  I occasionally slip into a less formal register but, as standard, I do use whom &c. in their proper places, and I know a good few people (many of them my contemporaries) who do the same, not because of an insistence on elevating their speech but simply because it's what they know and how they speak.

I suppose it's all about local cultural norms.  This was recently highlighted on another forum on which I post, where the differences between the UK and USA uses of "sir" and "ma'am/miss" were highlighted.  Certain uses that are considered to be polite and perfectly normal standard form in the USA would be considered to be quite rude in the UK.

I didn't realise that this was going to be taken quite so seriously, to be honest.

Offline GiC

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Re: What if God was one of us?
« Reply #15 on: August 19, 2005, 05:27:11 PM »
But eitherway you are leaving a preposition at the end of the sentence.ÂÂ  I don't have an issue with it, but you should at least be consistent in either insisting on proper English or not.ÂÂ  

I didn't put a prepositon at the end of a sentence, you will note that there is no punctuation mark; it was a phrase, not a complete sentence. However, with that said, it is not so much 'proper English' that I prefer as complex language in general. The great tragedy of replacing a case with a preposistional phrase is that you simplify the language.
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Offline Fr. David

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Re: What if God was one of us?
« Reply #16 on: August 19, 2005, 05:37:17 PM »
But eitherway you are leaving a preposition at the end of the sentence.ÂÂ  I don't have an issue with it, but you should at least be consistent in either insisting on proper English or not.ÂÂ  

Well, linguistically speaking, "proper" English should have no problem with ending sentences with a preposition, being by nature germanic.  All these lovely latinizations (betcha never thought we'd use that term outside theology, right?  ;)) from the Normans et al made it gauche to end a sentence the way its natural germanicness (not a word, I know) demands...

As for loss of the subjunctive, it's inevitable, I agree.  Question, though, for anyone knowledgeable of germanic language other than English: does the subjunctive even exist?  If not, then it may be another effect of romance language interference that is finally leaving.  I dunno...

"If I was you" and "What if God was one of us" just sound and feel wrong - as though something doesn't fit, somehow. This can only be because we are unaccustomed to hearing them.

That's subjective, though, as most of my students are VERY unaccustomed to hearing "If I were you."  They've heard "If I was you" from their families from day one, so someone saying "were" sounds awful to them.

Quote
Er, yes actually. I occasionally slip into a less formal register but, as standard, I do use whom &c. in their proper places, and I know a good few people (many of them my contemporaries) who do the same, not because of an insistence on elevating their speech but simply because it's what they know and how they speak.
I suppose it's all about local cultural norms.

That it is.  I usually speak with very formal English when the situation calls for it, but get me around pretty much any other accent or dialect of English here in TX and I fall right into them..."chameleon English," so to speak.
« Last Edit: August 19, 2005, 05:38:46 PM by Pedro »
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Offline jlerms

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Re: What if God was one of us?
« Reply #17 on: August 19, 2005, 06:35:35 PM »
Pedro, 
To answer your question about the use of subjunctive in German...the answer is :  "Ja, naturlich!"
There are 2 subjunctives used.  Subjunctive I is formed from the infinitive of the verb by dropping the infinitive ending and adding the following endings.
Infinitive:  geben
Subjunctive I:  ich geb-e                    wir geb-en
                          du  geb-est                 ihr geb-et
                          er  geb-e                      sie geb-en

Subjunctive II is used basically the same way and I will spare you the details.  In general, Germans have the possibility of choosing  between the indicative, Subj I and Subj II for indirect discourse.  The use of the indicative tends to carry the implication that the speaker agrees with the veracity of the facts he is reporting.  Subjunctive I indicates that he feels neutral and Subjunctive II implies greater doubt.  Hope this helps.

Juliana

Offline yBeayf

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Re: What if God was one of us?
« Reply #18 on: August 19, 2005, 08:37:57 PM »
Quote
"If I was you" and "What if God was one of us" just sound and feel wrong - as though something doesn't fit, somehow.  This can only be because we are unaccustomed to hearing them.

You might be, but I'm not. Both those examples sound perfectly natural to my ears. This might be a function of dialect, but the only times I hear people using the subjunctive in their daily speech is when they are consciously speaking in a more formal register.

Quote
I didn't realise that this was going to be taken quite so seriously, to be honest

No worries -- railing against prescriptivist grammarians is a hobby horse of mine. Linguistically speaking, there's no such thing as ungrammatical speech.

Offline yBeayf

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Re: What if God was one of us?
« Reply #19 on: August 19, 2005, 08:44:04 PM »
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I have been known to

Complaining about it in English or Greek? Do you bewail the fact that we no longer say "Ich gaue þe dogge an bone"?

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The loss of a proper infinitive is tragic

What's so tragic about it? There's 1.2 billion Chinese speakers who do just fine without one.

Offline Pravoslavbob

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Re: What if God was one of us?
« Reply #20 on: August 21, 2005, 03:03:30 PM »
I never really heard what the lyrics were saying when this song was on the radio.  I remember saying to myself "whoa!  Is this song saying what I think it's saying?  Cool!"  anyway, I guess it's kind of amazing to hear something like this on the radio nowadays.  It seems like a nice song to me.
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Offline SetFree

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Re: What if God was one of us?
« Reply #21 on: August 21, 2005, 08:37:27 PM »
I was about 9 or 10 years old when that song came out, so I didn't think much about the words.  I just thought it was a catchy little "happy" song.  I like the song, but it was nothing amazing.
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