Friday, July 10, 2015

Hanna + Hannah (for Hannah or Hanna)

After blogging last time about magazine journalist Hanna Rosin and fictional character Hannah Horvath, I thought that perhaps today I would see how many Hanna + Hannah typos I could find. When I started searching these names in Wikipedia, I was directed to the page for Saint Anne, "also known as Ann or Anna or Anne Elizabeth, from Hebrew Hannah, חַנָּה, meaning favor or grace" and was told she was the mother of the Virgin Mary, or Jesus' grandmother, according to both Christian and Islamic tradition. Arguably, the savior also had a maternal aunt called Mary (which seems as though it might've been a bit confusing), as well as a BFF with the same name, i.e., Mary Magdalene. Being a rather devoted aunt myself, I was especially intrigued by the spare and conflicting story of his. Mary of Clopas was mentioned only once in the Bible, in the book of John: "Now there stood by the cross of Jesus His mother, and His mother's sister, Mary of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene." Just who all these Marys really were, and how they were related, is the subject of some debate, but apparently, Clopas was the brother of Joseph (Jesus' bio-dad) and Mary was either his daughter or (more likely) his wife. (Further exegesis has identified her as Christ's sister, his mother's cousin, her sister-in-law, and even his mom herself.) In any event, Mary of Clopas clearly adored her "sister's son," just as I do mine. I'm not making an invidious comparison, but simply speaking of love, when I say that his grandmother (Mary) and his sister (Mary), along with two proud parents, another doting aunt, and me, all stood by our own precious boy as he graduated from high school recently in the heavenly mountains of upstate New York. Today's combination typo comes up 75 times in OhioLINK, and "too many records found for your search" in WorldCat. As always with typos of this sort, be alert to false positives. Of the first ten hits in OhioLINK, a couple of them are for records correctly containing more than one person named Hanna(h), or at least more than one rendering of her name.

(The birth of the Virgin Mary, the midwife hands the baby Mary, in swaddling clothes, to her mother Anne. Coloured pen drawing after a painting by B. Vivarini, 1473. Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.)

Carol Reid

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