[b-hebrew] Zech 1:19,21

Isaac Fried if at math.bu.edu
Sun Apr 15 13:53:14 EDT 2007


The plural of 'horn' is invariably KARNAYIM. A genetically engineered  
cow may have 3 KARNAYIM upon its head. If you go into to a store and  
ask for 7 KARNAYIM you will get 7 singles. If they come in pairs you  
will have to ask for 7 ZUGOT KARNAYIM and you will get a total of 17  
(no I am kidding), 14, KARNAYIM. Say we look at a herd consisting of  
three normal cows (I keep the number low so as not to encumber the  
arithmetic beyond ten fingers) and you ask me how many KARNAYIM do I  
see, my answer is 6. If alone I would just count the cows and  
multiply by two, but with you I am afraid of a "trick question" and  
so I actually count horns, lest a cow misses one. In fact, people  
often use ZUG, 'pair', even for just two: YESH LO ZUG YADAYIM XAZAQOT  
VeZUG RAGLAYIM BRYIOT. I have never heard, though, ZUG used for  
SFATAYIM, 'lips'. The plural of SAFAH, 'language' is SAFOT, but the  
plural of SAFAH, 'rim', is SFATOT.

Isaac Fried, Boston University

On Apr 15, 2007, at 11:43 AM, Shoshanna Walker wrote:

> Ok, thank you - but does this mean that if someone is referring to
> the horns of several animals, 10, let's say = 20 horns, they would
> use the word kranot, or would it still be karnayim?  Sorry, I just
> want to understand.
> Shoshanna
> Shoshana,
> You are right but not entirely. The dual of KEREN, horn, is KARNAIM,
> as nature willed it for the head of most animals. Yet, indeed, the
> plural of KEREN in the sense of 'ray of light' is KARNAIM, the same
> way that the 4 legs of a table are 4 RAGLAIM. You my have seen a
> statue of an Indian goddess with 6 YADAIM, and some modern art
> depicting a face with 3 EYNAIM. The plural of KEREN in the sense of
> 'principal' is KRANOT, (KARNOT in construct state), and so is the
> plural of KEREN in the sense of 'corner'.
> Isaac Fried, Boston University
> On Apr 14, 2007, at 9:42 PM, Shoshanna Walker wrote:
>> I thought that Karnaim is plural for horns, and Kranot plural for
>> rays of light
> [cut]
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