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Bush's "Historical" Visit to Israel:

And I thought the Jerusalem Post was an English-language newspaper.

BruceM (mail) (www):
Surely "historic" sounds better, but I'm not too sure how improper "historical" is in terms of it being a real word / adjective.
1.8.2008 10:54pm
davidbernstein (mail):
Where do you see a definition that would allow one to call a visit that hasn't happened yet "historical?"
1.8.2008 10:56pm
R:
Air Force One is clearly a time machine. The article says that Bush will arrive on Wednesday, but it doesn't say which Wednesday.
1.8.2008 11:24pm
Hei Lun Chan (mail):
Maybe he's there to see the monuments or something ...
1.8.2008 11:39pm
scooby (mail):
Where do you see a definition that would allow one to call a visit that hasn't happened yet "historical?"

American Heritage Dictionary: "Of or relating to the character of history."
1.8.2008 11:48pm
scooby (mail):
Of course, that same dictionary also has:

his·tor·ic
adj.

1. Having importance in or influence on history.
2. Historical.
1.8.2008 11:51pm
BruceM (mail) (www):
David: I agree that historic is certainly the better word in the context, and I too was taken aback when I happened to see that sentence quoted on another website linking to the same article, sure that "historic" was more proper. But, I'm not sure that historical is absolutely wrong, and it seems the words are used somewhat interchangably. I think historic better refers to things that are happening in the present, while "historical" better refers to things which happened in the past. Though the distinction is minor and I wouldn't hold it against a foreign newspaper based in a non-english speaking country to have used one in place of the other.
1.9.2008 12:21am
EH (mail):
Then again, maybe it's the word Bush wanted them to use.
1.9.2008 1:26am
Bretzky (mail):
Maybe the Jerusalem Post is just taking artistical license with the language.
1.9.2008 7:58am
Robert Stark (mail) (www):
Bush will certainly improve business relations with jerusalem in his visit.
1.9.2008 11:02am
LongSufferingRaidersFan (mail):
That, Mr. Stark, would truly be historic....
1.9.2008 11:19am
Larry Fafarman (mail) (www):
It is ironical that you are publically being dogmatical about use of the word "historical" (BTW, according to the Merriam-Webster online dictionary, "ironical," "dogmatical," and "publically" are all acceptable variant spellings ).
1.9.2008 11:21am
Hoosier:
In college, I had a prof who insisted on the distinction between things that were "philosophical" and those that were "philosophic." And it came up, since I was a Philosophy major. (I majored in 'Philosophic Studies'?)

I understood his point. But "philosophic"? Is that ever used? It sounded clunky to me.
1.9.2008 11:23am
BobV (mail):
Perhaps they meant to say "hysterical".
1.9.2008 11:43am
Larry Fafarman (mail) (www):
This is comic(al) and hysteric(al).
1.9.2008 11:52am
PLR:
Just because "historical" is listed as a variant does not mean it is acceptable in all possible contexts. Here, it is obviously a non sequitur.

One assumes the writer of the piece did not write the headline. Maybe he/she was exhausted from all that creative effort, or there's a union rule in play.
1.9.2008 12:13pm
Bill Poser (mail) (www):
Another story in the same issue contains the interesting typo "the residing judge".
1.9.2008 12:25pm
David Chesler (mail) (www):
Some people did a double-take when they read
"Obama brings a special quality to this race," said Hodes
in the prior day's issue. (Oh, the race to be President. That's very different. Never mind.)
1.9.2008 1:09pm
Larry Fafarman (mail) (www):
Maybe the Jerusalem Post is just taking artistical license with the language.

-- or maybe poetical license.
1.9.2008 2:18pm
Noo:
I think that suffix is far more common in England than in America. The same may be true of Israel.
1.9.2008 2:53pm
Larry Fafarman (mail) (www):
Noo said:
I think that suffix is far more common in England than in America. The same may be true of Israel.

American dictionaries often point out differences between American and British (and sometimes Canadian) English, but I could find no such national differences in the usages of "historic" and "historical." The online American Heritage Dictionary has this usage note:

Usage Note: Historic and historical have different usages, though their senses overlap. Historic refers to what is important in history: the historic first voyage to the moon. It is also used of what is famous or interesting because of its association with persons or events in history: a historic house. Historical refers to whatever existed in the past, whether regarded as important or not: a minor historical character. Historical also refers to anything concerned with history or the study of the past: a historical novel; historical discoveries. While these distinctions are useful, these words are often used interchangeably, as in historic times or historical times.

The commonly used term "prehistoric" does not follow these general usage rules, because "prehistoric" refers to anything that happened before recorded history, whether important or not. The Merriam-Webster online dictionary says that "prehistorical" is an acceptable variant.
1.9.2008 3:57pm
CJColucci:
Then again, maybe it's the word Bush wanted them to use.

But EH, would this be fair?
1.9.2008 4:29pm
Tony Tutins (mail):
It's like "truthiness." Not quite historic, the visit is yet historical.
1.9.2008 4:29pm
Larry Fafarman (mail) (www):
Maybe calling the visit "historic" in the sense of being important is giving Bush too much credit.
1.9.2008 5:25pm
Michael B (mail):
If GW follows Kennedy's example, it could rightly be termed an historic visit. I suppose simply the fact of the visit could constitute an historic quality, but it strikes me as a watered down use of the term; what if the visit turns out to be little more than perfunctory, in terms of any consequence stemming from the visit? Even if that's judged as unlikely, at this point we simply don't know.
1.9.2008 6:36pm
Larry Fafarman (mail) (www):
If GW follows Kennedy's example, it could rightly be termed an historic visit.

So is he going to say, "ich bin ein Jerusalemer," or the equivalent in Hebrew or Arabic? Or will he follow Reagan's example and say, "Olmert, tear down this wall"?
1.9.2008 10:34pm
Rabbi popping in:
He is going to say "Mr. Olmert, hat is that whistling through the air?" Or "iz das ein IED?"

He will leave with a T-Shirt saying "Nasati LaAretz Ubikarti BaKnesset Veyatzati BeChesed Im HaChultza HaZot".
1.9.2008 11:01pm
Michael B (mail):
Well, I think my sentiments are apparent enough. From the cited article:

When President Bush visits Jerusalem in January, he will be less than a two-hour drive away from Sderot.

Built from scratch by Jewish refugees from Morocco in a dusty, uninhabited portion of pre-1967 Israel, Sderot is only a kilometer from the Gaza strip. It is a beautiful community, with simple homes, schools, and other institutions, and a population of about 24,000.

Thousands of rockets have fallen on Sderot and its surroundings since the Palestinians responded to the formal offer of a state in 2000 — in all of Gaza, 97% of the West Bank, and a capital in Jerusalem — by waging a barbaric war against Israeli civilians. More than 1,000 rockets have fallen since August 2005, after Israel vacated every square inch of Gaza.

Outside his office, Mayor Moyal keeps a large display of the pictures of people, including children, who have been killed by the rockets — a constant reminder of the continual threat against the city, the fundamental fact of life there. He has a Kassam rocket mounted in the courtyard outside his office.

The mayor has constantly urged his fellow citizens, except for the old or ill, to stay where they are. His message has been that, in a terror war, the proper response of civilians is to stay put — that to see civilians leave their homes and cities is exactly what the terrorists want, that it energizes them and encourages them to expand their attacks.

The citizens of Sderot have been among the bravest of Israeli citizens, in a terror war in which the resilience of the citizenry is the difference between victory and defeat. The world reads about new rockets upon them almost every day, but the world cares little, because Sderot is many miles away. We are far distant from them — although not as far as before September 11.

The President should seek to emulate Kennedy's prose, in a manner suitable to current tempers and times, though I doubt that is in the cards. Still, if the right words could be found it would potentially be a sublime political moment - and there ain't too many of those. Imo Kennedy in Berlin qualifies as one vis-a-vis the Soviets and the Cold War and, at least potentially, the President's visit to Israel, perhaps Sderot, could be another. It would need to be both an artful and yet forceful statement, but the potential is there.

(And no, the security barriers around Gaza and the West Bank are to keep certain elements out, not to keep citizens in - so they don't compare in the least with the Berlin wall.)
1.10.2008 12:02am
Larry Fafarman (mail) (www):
Thousands of rockets have fallen on Sderot and its surroundings since the Palestinians responded to the formal offer of a state in 2000 — in all of Gaza, 97% of the West Bank, and a capital in Jerusalem — by waging a barbaric war against Israeli civilians.

One of the problems is that Israel has not been consistent in its offers and has often acted in a way that is contrary to its offers. For example, Israel is constructing illegal housing in occupied territory right now.

(And no, the security barriers around Gaza and the West Bank are to keep certain elements out, not to keep citizens in -- so they don't compare in the least with the Berlin wall.)

Well, maybe the real purpose of the Berlin wall was to keep West Germans out of East Germany.

Anyway, I don't see how these walls work at all -- people can simply bypass them.

Something there is that doesn't love a wall,
.........
Before I built a wall I'd ask to know
What I was walling in or walling out,
And to whom I was like to give offence.
-- from "Mending Wall" by Robert Frost
1.10.2008 1:54pm