As I drove along one morning I came to an ambulance and a rescue helicopter parked in the middle of the road. There were a lineup of cars from both directions but no sign of an accident. Lots of people were standing around visiting so I abandoned my vehicle and wandered over to join them. That’s when I discovered the hole in the fence. A guy had missed a corner, gone through the fence and ploughed into a bunch of plastic covered, large round bales of hay. That had been at midnight. When he regained consciousness he discovered that he couldn’t get out because he was surrounded by these huge bales and only the top two inches of his car was higher than they were. He had to sit there till daylight and stick his hand out a window, waving it above the roof, hoping that someone would see the movement. That was the first time I’ve ever seen anyone ‘baled up’.
The dynamics of language is a delightful study. Living languages are not dormant nor unchanging. Note the abundance of Bible translations we have in English. Compare any modern day version with the original 1611 King James English of John 3:16
“For God fo loued y world, that he gaue his only begotten Sonne:
that whofoeuer beleeueth in him, fhould not perith, but haue euerlafting life.”
Just writing that certainly puts my spell check into a dither!
There is no evidence that English was a written language prior to the first attempts at doing Bible translation. It was originally put into a written format in order to provide Scriptures in the language. From that humble vision for writing we now have our whole English education and knowledge system.
One of the more cute expressions that I heard in Australia was the term ‘baled up’. As in most new words it is best to hear them in context to discover their meaning. It is the Ossie term (Australianise) most often used for ‘stick-em-up’ and was predominantly used by bushrangers (bandits / highway robbers) during the hold-up of a stage coach (coach that carried you from one stage to the next). ‘Bail’ originally started in the French language to describe a baille (bucket) which ‘held up’ water in a container. It gravitated to English to describe a stall in which a cow was ‘held up’ while being milked. They were confined by the head in a bail. It also described the little horizontal stick being ‘held up’ by the cricket wicket. A different application is used when someone bails out or leaves suddenly from an airplane. They are no longer being held up by the airplane. Similar to the bushranger scenario we still use the term bail in reference to anyone providing a sum of money by which they can be released from prison but have bound (‘held up’) themselves to take responsibility for their appearance in court. The individual holding them accountable for this is the ‘bailiff’. And for those who are old enough, a bail is a movable bar on a typewriter that holds the paper against the platen. That introduces a whole new set of words that I don’t have time in this missive to define!
So what is all this chatting about ‘baling’ about?
If it wasn’t for the supportive prayer and financial upholding that you are doing on behalf of Laura and I, the pressures of life received from our platen would be overwhelming. Thanks heaps for baling us up! (Psalm 119:50)