Hades or Bust

Pat Robertson’s rebuke of Haiti yesterday has left a bad taste in a lot of people’s mouths. Now he is correcting himself by saying that he thought Hades had suffered a massive earthquake. According to Wikipedia, in Christian theology, hades “refers to the abode of the dead” while in Greek mythology, Hades refers to the Greek underworld or the god of the underworld.

As far as I know, there is no country nor city in the world called Hades. Perhaps Mr. Robertson truly believes the Greek underworld “does in fact have a pact with the Devil.” Talk about getting your signals crossed!

In a germane posting on the Language Log, “conventional English version of foreign names is often — even usually — quite far away from the native’s version.” So maybe if we pronounced Haiti correctly, then Mr. Robertson wouldn’t have made these shameful remarks towards people who are in need of help, not aspersions.

2 thoughts on “Hades or Bust

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s