This morning in church we sang "Gather Us In" much as we often do (except this time we sang with organ which is not my favorite way to do it.) However, in the song I was once again struck with the use of the word "peoples." Not "people" - "peoples" with an s. Isn't people already plural? So I did as I always do. I sang "people" instead of "peoples". It's not really a silent protest, but at least no one else notices. Then we sang the old hymn "Sing A New Song to Jehovah" and it is bad enough to have to use the word "Jehovah" in the hymn (since it is merely a made-up word to substitute for the too-Hebrew-sounding "Yahweh") but it also had "peoples" in it. Does this harrasment never end?
But then I got to thinking: does "peoples" communicate something different than "people"? So, I looked it up.
Dictionary.com says "pl. peo·ples A body of persons sharing a common religion, culture, language, or inherited condition of life." which is, I suppose, the point of using that term in this context.
Well, now I feel a lot less righteous about singing "people" than I did this morning. Too bad that all this thinking about one word in two hymns distracted me from listening to the sermon - I really liked the part I paid attention to.
9 months ago