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Re: Remarks by President

Posted by R. Berg on October 16, 2003

In Reply to: Re: Remarks by President posted by GPP on October 16, 2003

: : : In the words of the prophet Isaiah, "Lift your eyes and look to the heavens. Who created all these? He who brings out the starry hosts one by one and calls them each by name. Because of His great power and mighty strength, not one of them is missing."
: : : (What are hosts? Could you explain this short passage?)

: : : The crew of the shuttle Columbia did not return safely to Earth; yet we can pray that all are safely home.
: : : (What does 'home' mean? IS it a adjective? What does this suggest?)

: : : Thanks!

: : The definition of "host" that applies here is "a great number." The passage means "Look at the sky. Who created everything in it? God, who lights each of the many stars and knows its name. He is so powerful that he keeps every star in place."

: : "Home" means "in heaven." President Bush was speaking from the Christian tradition in which a person is thought to come from God before birth and to return to God (one hopes) after death. "Home" in his sentence is an adjective but is used almost as an adverb. People also say that someone is "at home."

: Excellent explanation, but I would say that 'home' is still a noun here--am I wrong?

Thank you, and yes, I believe you're wrong. I checked two dictionaries before saying "home" functioned as an adjective. (Neither had any directly comparable examples. I had to extrapolate.) For it to be a noun, Bush would have to have been equating home with the crew members. Instead, he was telling where they might be.

For comparison:
Noun at end of sentence--
"The crew members are astronauts."
"The crew members are naval officers."
Adjective or quasi-adjective at end of sentence--
"The crew members are competent."
"The crew members are missing."
"The crew members are away."