Friday, February 26, 2010

Daneil* (for Daniel*)

There are 11 examples of Daneil* in the OhioLINK database, most if not all of them typos for Daniel and other Daniel-derived names. Arguably, the most famous Daniel in history is the Biblical prophet who survived a night of unjust imprisonment in a den of lions. (Although as David Plotz writes in Blogging the Bible: "Uh, That Lion's-Den Story Doesn't End How You Think It Does.") Daniel, by petitioning God in defiance of the law, possessed the spirit of a First Amendment absolutist: he was willing to commit civil disobedience, and in fact risk his own life, in the principled pursuit of speech, religion, and happiness. And God and the king both rewarded him for this. What a great story—as I'm sure "Daneil" Joseph Boorstin, former Librarian of Congress and misspelled author of The Americans: The National Experience, would agree.

(Daniel's Answer to the King, by Briton Rivière, R.A., 1890, from Wikimedia Commons.)

Carol Reid

No comments: