knowing truth

Discussion in 'English Only' started by gingerinn, Dec 13, 2013.

  1. gingerinn New Member

    Czech
    What is the meaning of the attributive "knowing" in a sentence such as this: "The tree of Anu is the tree of knowing truth ... The divine words cannot be twisted."

    note: strictly grammatical perspective, please – what is the word knowing in relation to the sentence structure. Thank you!
     
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2013
  2. VikNikSor

    VikNikSor Senior Member

    Russian
    I would say 'truth' is the direct object of 'knowing', rather than 'knowing' is 'the attributive'...
     
  3. Parla Senior Member

    New York City
    English - US
    Welcome to the forum, Gingerinn. :)

    Please give us the source of the sentence (it's required). Include a link if possible.
     
  4. gingerinn New Member

    Czech
    ..but if it was a direct object, wouldn't it be with the article, "the truth"?
     
  5. gingerinn New Member

    Czech
    there is no link, it is from the book by Zecharia Sitchin, The king who refused to die.
     
  6. owlman5

    owlman5 Senior Member

    Colorado
    English-US
    Thanks for the source, gingerinn. I assume the remark means that the tree of Anu is the tree that people must appeal to or use if they want to know the truth.

    If you will provide the rest of the sentence, gingerinn, other members will probably give you better opinions about what that remark means.
     
  7. gramman

    gramman Senior Member

    It looks like this "knowing tree" must be the tree of knowledge that is found in both the Bible and the Epic of Gilgamesh. (See Creation stories in the Bible and The Epic of Gilgamesh: How are they similar?, on centristy.hubpages.com).

    I think Anu must be an abbreviated version of Anunnaki, a race of aliens that Sitchin apparently believed came to earth from a planet known as Nibiru.
    The translation of the Sumerian texts that form the basis of this material have aroused some controversy. There's even a website called sitchiniswrong.com.

    More information is available on sitchin.com.
     
  8. gingerinn New Member

    Czech
    Thank you, gramman, reason says it cannot be otherwise, though I hoped to understand the grammar of it, how can truth be knowing (truth can be usually whole, absolute, ultimate, obvious, but knowing is not a typical word it goes with, even BNC search doesn't show a single entry of "knowing truth") As for the facts, I indeed have read some books by Sitchin and visited many websites related to his theories, otherwise I could not even dream of translating a book like this. Basically I know all the key terms and who is who (Anu is Anu, the greatest god, Annunaki are "common" gods). I only need to find an appropriate translation for some unclear words and phrases, because the grammar, word order and some words are not from contemporary English. So my question is purely grammatical and please let's keep it this way.
     
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2013
  9. gingerinn New Member

    Czech
    Thank you, owlman5, I thought of that too.
     
  10. gramman

    gramman Senior Member

    >>how can truth be knowing (truth can be usually whole, absolute, ultimate, obvious, but knowing is not a typical word it goes with

    I think it's probably people that are doing the knowing, not truth.

    >>even BNC search doesn't show a single entry of "knowing truth")

    I had to Google "BCN search" to find out what that even is, so you can see you're much ahead of me in that area. I do find the expression in a Google Books search — "knowing truth".

    >>So my question is purely grammatical and please let's keep it this way.

    Sorry about that. :eek: I posted that stuff for those who don't know about this material, a group that included me until I read your enquiry. Hopefully a grammarian will come along and assist with the focus you intended.

    The staff here is known to frown on words like cos (unless you're referring to lettuce or trigonometry). I mention that as a reforming rule violator :eek: hoping to help others stay out of trouble. :)

    +++++

    VikNikSor may have the right idea. You probably know about English and its strange ways with articles.
     
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2013
  11. gingerinn New Member

    Czech
    Thank you, gramman, for your advice, all taken!:)

    The Google Books search does give some results, but the context is different. "something of knowig truth" isn't the same as "somebody/something knowing truth" or "way of knowing truth" - and that's what puzzles me :(

    >>Sorry about that. :eek: I posted that stuff for those who don't know about this material, a group that included me until I read your enquiry. Hopefully a grammarian will come along and assist with the focus you intended.

    I understand that, just sometimes I feel that the wide context only detracts people's attention to facts that are not relevant. But it is good to have such experience, I should have been more specific in the first place
    :)

    >>The staff here is known to frown on words like cos (unless you're referring to lettuce or trigonometry).

    Thank you for that, I will correct it!
     
  12. gramman

    gramman Senior Member

    >>"something of knowing truth" isn't the same as "somebody/something knowing truth" or "way of knowing truth" - and that's what puzzles me

    There's no doubt that "the tree of knowing truth" is a phrase that would confuse native English speakers. The only example I could find of its use is in See the Thunder: A Final Kabbalah, by Rabbi Aryeh Alpern:
    I'm wondering if "the tree of knowledge" would be more appropriate. Obviously, truth and knowledge can and usually do mean different things, but in this context (knowledge of the nature of good and evil?) there may be some sort of close connection. Perhaps something like "the tree of knowledge, knowledge of the nature of good and evil." Google spits out a good-sized return (305 results) for "tree of knowledge of good and evil".

    >>the wide context only detracts people's attention to facts that are not relevant


    I'm known in some parts as The Great Detractor, an appellation typically applied to Satan and (US) Democratic politicians (I used to be one), or in one case I stumbled upon, a biographer of G.A. Custer. Maybe they were saying "Distractor" and I misheard.
     
  13. PaulQ

    PaulQ Senior Member

    UK
    English - England
    "Knowing truth" is unlikely to have meaning outside the area that Sitchin uses it. It seems to be part of a private vocabulary/language that he uses for concepts that he cannot quite grasp. That said "a knowing truth" would probably be a truth that contains within itself an amount of wisdom.

    "My shirt is blue" is a truth but contains little wisdom.
    "Never buy false teeth at a garage sale." is a truth that contains wisdom. ;)
     
  14. srk Senior Member

    South Bend, Indiana
    English - US
    "strictly grammatical perspective": Why can't "knowing" be a gerund? The tree of knowing. More exactly, the tree of knowing truth.
     
  15. gingerinn New Member

    Czech
    You are all wonderful :)

    TO gramman:
    >>I'm wondering if "the tree of knowledge" would be more appropriate.

    Yes, the more I think about it, the more I'm inclined to translate it this way. Sounds great.

    >>
    I'm known in some parts as The Great Detractor, an appellation typically applied to Satan and (US) Democratic politicians (I used to be one), or in one case I stumbled upon, a biographer of G.A. Custer. Maybe they were saying "Distractor" and I misheard.

    Now this topic deserves its own thread, gramman :)

    TO PaulQ: That sounds great. Nice examples, thanks!

    TO srk: Gerund can still be an attributive:
    the tree of what truth? – of knowing truth. The question is, if it is an attributive. If not, it is like this: The tree of what/whom? – of knowing. The tree of knowing what/whom? - of knowing truth – this is what you say, if I'm not mistaken. Then a similar construction would be e.g. Finally came the time of saying goodbye. And I agree that it sounds perfectly reasonable. The more I think about it, the more I feel it should be this. I gather that this is not a usual way of saying it – I mean, the structure is OK, but given the context or actual words it consists of, it is not very clear even for native English speakers. That sort of helps, too :)

    Thank you guys!
    :)

     
  16. RM1(SS)

    RM1(SS) Senior Member

    Connecticut
    English - US (Midwest)
    I agree.
    The tree of knowledge of [the nature of] truth. Or perhaps of recognising truth. (I feel like I should be capitalizing 'truth' here.)
     
  17. gramman

    gramman Senior Member

    >>I feel like I should be capitalizing 'truth' here.

    Yeah, and Good, Evil, Tree, Knowledge, etc. An elevation of Virtues or whatever that goes back a ways historically. I couldn't quickly find a reliable source.
     

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