Comment: Etymological excursions

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Etymological excursions

Herr Professor Jay,

First, let me state that I am thoroughly convinced by your arguments, and have the utmost admiration for your knowledge of the sciences of gematria and numerology, which you have more than adequately employed to substantiate your claims. To say that I was hesitant at the outset to assent to this proposition does not fully capture the nature of my disposition upon first glance; rather, I was loath to admit such a thing were possible. But your proof is solid, air-tight, utterly beyond refutation, and I was forced to set aside my own feelings on the matter and confront the truth, albeit a difficult one.

However, not everybody (especially in our ignorant age) is a "numbers person," as the vulgar expression goes, so I have seen fit to undertake an excursus, though an humble one, into the area of etymology in order to discover another sturdy support for this argument. I do not need to convince you of the enormous importance of this cause, and I am gratified that you share my personal interest in revealing those responsible for the lies we witness daily broadcast through our airwaves, deceiving the public and, more importantly, undermining the honor of manly athletic engagements like skate-boarding. I present my preliminary findings here for your perusal, and I readily anticipate your comments and revisions.

First, I have discerned that the name "Hawk," though presented as a surname, is in actuality a word of cultic veneration among the Mussulmen. "Haqq," they say, signifies Truth, and in the Saracen letters is writ حقّ. They even assign this name to the godhead, and "Al-Haqq" is numbered one of 99 such names they assign to the Divinity.

"Tony" presents a more difficult problem; speaking to my Bedouin catamite, I was unable to discover any signification of note for that particular sequence of sounds in their tongue, but if we take recourse to what other learned men have written, we discover that "Tony" is, in actuality, an abbreviated form of the name Anthony, or, more properly, Antonius, an appellation of Roman origin by way of Etruscan. But some contend that the name entered Etruscan from the Greek, given the extensive degree of contact and intimacy between these peoples, which resulted (among other effects) in the adoption of a West Greek alphabet among the Etruscans. I find the contention not unreasonable, then, that Antonius derives ultimately from the Greek ἄνθος, meaning "flower." Of course, by writing this, I do not presume your ignorance of such a simple matter as Greek second-declension nouns, but provide this merely as an illustration for my own ideas.

Taking some liberty, then, we can construe the whole of the name Tony Hawk, Anthony Haqq, or Anthos al-Haqq, as a Semitic genitival construction, providing the sense of "Flower of the Truth" or even "Flower of God." The significance of this is so evident as to require no further elucidation.

Turning to the name Bill3, we are presented with some difficulties, specifically the juxtaposition of a name with a number. Is it the word "three"? The quantity? Is it a surname? Setting aside the question of "3" for the moment, and turning to Bill, I refer first to Dr. Johnson's A Dictionary of the English Language, an authority on the subject.

Johnson complicates matters further, informing us that, at least in English, the word bill can designate the "beak of a bird," a "kind of hatchet," "an act of parliament," "an account of money," or even "an advertisement." In a passage that, I confess, excited my prurient interest, the eminent Dr. Johnson continues to inform us that bill can be employed as a verb in the English tongue, meaning "to caress; to kiss as doves."

Please excuse any disjointed nature at this point of my writing, as I had to tend to my catamite, or rather the inverse. Continuing further, I found Dr. Johnson no great help, as the name Bill is, in fact, a thing quite distinct from the contemporary word. Although obscured by certain phonological changes that have confounded English hypocorism in comparison to more sensible languages, Bill is in fact a derivation of William. And William, as learned authorities of Old English and the other Teutonic tongues assert, is a Germanic name on the most ancient pattern: dithematic, consisting of two nominal elements in a sort of compound, analogous to such common and familiar names as Richard and Ethelwulf.

In William, we discern the elements "will," or desire, and "helm," or helmet. This name has cognate forms on the continent, including Guillermo and Wilhelm. The significance to Tony Hawk is immediately clear, as the use of a helmet is a trademark device employed in his craft as a skateboarder. I can scarcely imagine a profession in which it would be more appropriate to desire a helmet.

The 3 refers to Tony Hawk's feat of spinning mid-air in nearly 3 complete revolutions, an act that may be seen as a ritual reenactment of the world's rotation in miniature, the microcosmos reflecting the macrocosmos. At this point, Tony Hawk (or, more precisely, his axis of rotation) may be said to become a sort of axis mundi, a world-navel, analogous to certain other sites of spiritual significance, from stonehenge to the kaaba. Or else the 3 is an invocation of the Trinity, as surely as Haqq or Hawk is an invocation of the Godhead. If the 3 hints at a Trinitarian formula, I must emphatically state that we have only two of the three persons: Tony Hawk and Bill3. An unknown, third person may yet be identified, and this provides a promising area for future investigations.

I eagerly anticipate your response, and I remain as ever your grateful and humble servant,