Personally, I was always of the opinion that this was a loophole to avoid taking the Lord’s name in vain while still, err, still getting the point across. The “H” is irrelevant, it’s just become the defacto technical sin-avoidance modifier probably invented by whomever initially popularized this.
People always say that the Immaculate Conception refers to the Conception of Christ, but I was taught by the Jesuits and they said that was actually the conception of Mary and that’s why she was born without original sin. Her’s was actually the Immaculate Conception.
Is there an error in the cartoon? It shows a towel with a monogram, with H as the center letter. Convention places the initial of the LAST name in the center, and I doubt Cecil meant the last name to have that initial.
Yes. The people who “always say” otherwise are always wrong.
Except that your use of “why” is a little off – sorta like saying that the Virgin Birth is why Jesus was born of a virgin.
All small-o orthodox Christians believe that Jesus was the son of a virgin. Roman Catholics, and (generally speaking) only Roman Catholics believe that Mary was not only innocent of actual sin, but free from original sin from the very moment of her conception in the womb of St. Anne. The first doctrine is the doctrine of the Virgin Birth. The second doctrine (which has been official only since 1854) is the doctrine of the Immaculate Conception.
As to other divisions of Christianity, the Eastern Orthodox (and, as far as I know, the ante-Chalcedonians) are none too sure that there is any such thing as original sin, and Protestants don’t believe in the Immaculate Conception because it ain’t in the Bible. Anglicans traditionally follow the Protestant line, but some Anglo-Catholics follow Rome in this matter. (Some Anglo-Catholics follow Rome in just about anything, except for Papal Supremacy.)
That’s because you’ve seen it done wrong so many times. I blame the hiring policies at Things Remembered, the engraving and monogramming shops at many malls. If you hire high school kids you must assume many are idiots.
The person’s surname has pride of place as the largest initial. His middle initial has no value except to balance the composition.
You are correct. True story – I knew a girl in college (I’m changing her name but keeping the initials the same); Catherine Mary Underwood. She was fond of a particular sweater which prominently featured the type of monogram you describe, to the endless amusement of everyone else in the dorm.
As for the H, H is a funny letter and provides a clean pause between the two names. In its normal use it’s something like a song. Note the flow: down from JE to sus (two quarter notes), back up for the aitch (a half note), then down with finality on the final note CHRIST! (a whole note). Compare that with the exclamation, JE-sus Christ! which has the drop in the first two quarter notes then back up for the half note. By ending on a long down note the first conveys anger, while by ending on a shorter up note the second sounds more full of wonder or exasperation.
ETA: This moment of off-the-cuff bullshitting was brought to you by the letter H.
ETAA: Does the drive thru at Texas A&M offer both diplomas and beer?
ETAAA: Hey, my final paper in Linguistics was about profanity. I’m a expert!
Just a guess. Maybe the expression was coined during the Taft administration (1909-1913) when “H” was the presidential middle initial and was possibly ironically thrown about like we do with “W” right now? (Looks like “H” is coming back in style for presidential mockery…)