Linguistics ‘Hall Of Shame’ 9

Hi again, everybody! ‘Hall Of Shame’ continues (a short one this time)!


Scott Alan Roberts’ work is in most respects typical of ‘pseudo-historical’ treatises dealing with the ancient world and incorporating some linguistic considerations. His book The Rise And Fall Of The Nephilim (2012) commences with a fairly typical much-overstated broadside against skeptics and unsurprisingly deals mostly with Roberts’ non-mainstream ideas concerning the ‘Nephilim’ (the mysterious ‘giants’ referred to in Genesis).

However, Roberts’ work also features an unusual linguistic quirk: he presents the relevant Hebrew data in a VERY strange manner! Hebrew is written from right to left, and usually with the ‘vowel-points’ introduced around 700 CE; when quoting from earlier sources, Roberts cites it in this form. But when citing Hebrew on his own account, he reverses the letter-order. Thus the words read from left to right, making them appear utterly bizarre to those who know Hebrew (as if the English word giants were spelled stnaig). And Roberts does not transliterate his cited Hebrew into Roman letters for the benefit of his non-Hebraicist readers (surely the vast majority); one therefore wonders why he thought that (inconsistently) adopting a left-to-right ‘ductus’ would be useful. He also omits the vowel-points, AND (by way of sheer error?) some of the letters themselves.

More next time!


For my new book Strange Linguistics, see:
Copies are available through me at the author’s 50% discount, for EU 26.40 including postage to anywhere outside Germany. Please let me know if you’d like one, suggest means of payment (Paypal is possible) and provide your preferred postal address.

One Response to Linguistics ‘Hall Of Shame’ 9

  1. Mark,

    How would one go about contacting you to request a book? I can’t find your email address anywhere.

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