Paganistan: Notes from the Secret Commonwealth

In Which One Midwest Man-in-Black Confers, Converses & Otherwise Hob-Nobs with his Fellow Hob-Men (& -Women) Concerning the Sundry Ways of the Famed but Ill-Starred Tribe of Witches.

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Hearsay Mode

So the missionaries want to translate the Bible into Inupiaq.

In Inupiaq, every verb conjugates in one of two modes: what we may call Eyewitness mode and Hearsay mode.

Eyewitness mode conveys highly trustworthy information, because it means that the speaker has witnessed the event herself and can personally vouch for it as a matter of honor, of personal integrity.

Hearsay mode bears much less credibility. This is what I've heard, but I didn't see it myself and so can't personally vouch for its accuracy. It might be true, but it might not.

So the missionaries want to translate the Bible into Inupiaq.

In the beginning, God created heaven and earth.


Did you yourself actually see this? You personally?

Well, no.

Ah. (Not entirely trustworthy.)






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Poet, scholar and storyteller Steven Posch was raised in the hardwood forests of western Pennsylvania by white-tailed deer. (That's the story, anyway.) He emigrated to Paganistan in 1979 and by sheer dint of personality has become one of Lake Country's foremost men-in-black. He is current keeper of the Minnesota Ooser.


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