Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Froms (for Forms, etc.)

Froms (for forms, mostly) was found 19 times in OhioLINK this morning. My favorite example (albeit not an actual typo) is from a work called Forms/Froms by Potes & Poets Press. On two other records, it appears to have been purposely spelled that way as well, although the meaning eludes me—it's in a line from Handel: "Thus when the sun from's wat'ry bed..." (Is from's a contraction for "from his"?) In one case, today's typo was for the word from; the rest followed form. Wikipedia defines frum as "devout" or "pious" in reference to Orthodox Jews. The opposite of frum is frei (meaning non-religious or "free" to do as one likes). Frummers are frum folk who take things too far (or perhaps not far enough, getting hung up on literalism and technicalities); frum is sometimes used to describe someone who is "hypocritically pious," "holier-than-thou," or "sanctimonious." The men in this photograph are clearly orthodox, but I suspect that sign is far from frum. Still, I think the message is that people should be both "frum" and "free."

(Members of the Neturei Karta Jewish group protesting Israel on June 9, 2005, from Wikimedia Commons.)

Carol Reid

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