Thursday, October 29, 2009

Persistan* (for Persisten*)

If you've ever sat awake at night, unable to sleep due to the persistent clapping of thunder, flashing of lightning, and rain beating down on your roof, you might curse the Norse god Thor.

Thor is the god of thunder, the weather, and crops. During a thunderstorm, Thor rides his chariot, pulled by two goats, through the heavens. Lightning flashes when he throws his hammer, and he maintains his strength for the day of Ragnarok (the end of the world), when he will kill (and be killed by) his great enemy, the Midgard Serpent.

Today is Thor's Day; Thursday gets its name from the god Thor, and shows us another kind of persistence (not persistance): Thor's influence on language has lasted long after most of the god's followers have left the Earth.

Leanne Olson

(1872 painting of Thor by MÃ¥rten Eskil Winge, taken from

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