Tabs on Writing

The Business of Business Writing by John Tabellione, Principal at

Archeological Talk of the Town: Mosaics Discovery in Israel

Date: 19 November 2018
Category: Current Events, Grammar, History

University of North Carolina archaeologists have just released detailed images of phenomenal Biblical mosaics discovered at the site of an ancient synagogue in Huqoq, Israel. Other collaborators include researchers from Baylor University, Brigham Young University and the University of Toronto, as well as the Israel Antiquities Authority and Tel Aviv University

The depictions include Noah’s Ark; the parting of the Red Sea; Jonah and the fish; and, the infamous Tower of Babel in Babylon. The latter features different construction techniques, and more pertinently, workmen with different hairstyles, clothing, and skin colors, to represent the various peoples who participated in the construction of this self-aggrandizing stairway to heaven.

While the word “babel” is derived from this eponymous tower, today it denotes “a confusion of sounds or voices, or a scene of noise and confusion” such as occurred some six or seven centuries B.C. Once the Lord had chastened these multi-national developers, these various peoples were scattered and became confounded, not being able to understand one other.

It was as if they had become born-again babies who could only babble an utterly meaningless confusion of words or sounds. The origin of “to babble,” however, is not related to babel, but rather is derived from either Middle Low German ‘babbelen,’ to prattle, or was formed independently in English as a frequentative (i.e. a verb of repeated action). Babble, then, is based on the repeated ‘ba-ba-ba’ made by a young baby or child practicing speech sounds.

OK, that’s enough babbling for now…





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