Glossary: I

Glossary of American English Hacker Theocratese

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=== I ===

The first person singular pronoun. A mistake that even some fine speakers often make is to use I as the object of a preposition: <<So how does this information apply to you and I?>> Would the hearer of that sentence then ask himself: <<Hmm, does this apply to I?>> One sister writes that this error is one of her {pet peeves}.
An icon in the shape of a fish that many people display on the trunks of their cars or in their doorways. For years until I learned its proper name I called it a Jesus fish. One reader tells me people in his area call it a holy mackerel. The fish is usually filled in with Greek letters interpreted as an acrostic, meaning ``Jesus Christ Son of God Savior''. It was originally a pagan symbol of fertility. Like the {mezuzah}, the ichthus gives door-to-door preachers a hint about what religion is practiced in the household being approached. Recently I have spotted several instances of an amusing variation: the fish has little feet sticking out of it and instead of Jesus' name, the name DARWIN appears in the body. I believe it is intended to poke fun at {creationists}. (See the article ``Does Christianity Have a Visible Symbol?'' in [g76 11/22 27, 28].)
A means of teaching or communicating an idea by a verbal picture or comparison. There are many types of illustrations, e.g., metaphors: <<Come, you people, and let us go up to the mountain of Jehovah>> (Isa 2:3), similies: <<The kingdom of the heavens is like a mustard grain>> (Mat 13:31), proverbial sayings: <<You will certainly become like one lying down in the heart of the sea, even like one lying down at the top of a mast.>> (Pro 23:34), allegorical stories: <<Jesus' illustration of the prodigal son>>, hyperbole: <<It is easier for a camel to get through a needle's eye>>, and life experiences. The Bible says that Jesus would not speak without an illustration. (Mat 13:34) Illustrations are such an important part of teaching that an entire chapter of the School Guidebook is devoted to their use. ([sg] chapter 34)

NOTE: The purpose of an illustration is to create memorable mental pictures that help to drive home scriptural points. No illustration matches the reality it illustrates perfectly. For instance, Jesus compared Christians to sheep. In some ways this is true, but sheep are also stupid. Jesus did not mean that Christians are stupid. If Christians were exactly like sheep in every respect, then they would actually be sheep, instead of being like sheep, and Jesus' comparison would no longer be an illustration.[106]

[106] Ba-a-a-a, humbug.
immerse, immersed
1. Synonym for {baptize}. 2. The adjectival form immersed is sometimes heard as a synonym for baptized. At our {SAD} the {Bethel speaker} said: <<All in his family are immersed.>> Oh really? When will they be coming up for air? Help! Are there any fishers of men in the house? This usage is ungrammatical. To say they are immersed rather than were immersed sounds like they're all still under water. But we know what he meant.
Immorality can refer to any act of conduct that is contrary to Jehovah's standards, e.g., murder, lying, or stealing. It is most commonly heard as a euphemism for sexual immorality. Some people are squeamish about saying the word sexual. <<Last year 35,000 people were disfellowshipped from Jehovah's organization for immorality.>> In reality, the only reason for disfellowshipping is immorality, in the general sense, but here the speaker is talking about cases of sexual misconduct.

NOTE: The adjective immoral has a judgmental flavor. Persons should be discreet about the context in which they use it.

A quality of life possessed originally only by Jehovah himself, later granted also to Jesus and his 144,000 Kingdom corulers upon resurrection to heavenly life. It refers to life that cannot decay or be corrupted, and is imperishable. This is different from the reward of {everlasting life} granted to faithful humans at the end of the {Millennium}, who, like the faithful angels in heaven, remain {mortal}, though they will continue to live forever.
Hacker AMOOFLs for ``in my opinion'', and ``in my [humble, honest] opinion'' respectively. <<IMHO midwestern Protestantism will kill a person just as surely as a steady diet of ice cream; it is sweet and easy to consume, and will go straight to the heart, eventually choking the life out of a person.>>
Variations of the expression <<We're all imperfect>> appear frequently in the everyday speech of many of Jehovah's Witnesses. It is used as a high-level explanation of why people do wrong things or have problems in their personal relationships, without getting to the specifics of any particular matter. The entire human family inherited the condition of imperfection from our original parents Adam and Eve. Pointing this out has become like voicing a truism; it explains nothing, and offers no insight, comfort, or wisdom to solve a problem. To persons even superficially educated in the Bible's teachings, the idea is a truism. It is like saying ``The future lies before us''. A brilliant insight. Where else would it lie?
in harmony with
A cliché meaning in agreement, in accord, or consistent with. It is not a bad expression, but can be overused. A check of my online literature collection found the expression in harmony 435 times.
in [regard, regards] to
``In regard to'' is an illiterate expression much overused by some persons as a substitute for the more acceptable form ``with regard to''. When properly used, it is a connective expression to draw the listener's attention to something. <<With regard to our field reports this month, don't forget to include your Bible study reports.>> Synonymous expressions are ``in relation to'' and ``with respect to''. Even more awkward is the form ``in regards to'' (plural). Regards is a word used to convey a favorable or friendly feeling toward someone or something, as in <<Give your husband my regards.>> Still uglier is the form ``in regarding to'', which is meaningless as far as I can determine, but is sometimes heard.
in the Truth
The state of being a dedicated, baptized servant of Jehovah. <<How long have you been in the Truth?>> <<I have no fleshly relatives who are in the Truth.>> (See also {Truth}.)

NOTE: The phrase does not intend to imply anything about how well a person might be doing in the Truth. <<So you've been in the Truth for ten years, huh? But how long has the Truth been in you?>> An admittedly cheeky question.

inactive publisher
Any {publisher} who has not reported field activity for a period of six or more consecutive months is considered inactive by the {Society}. Any person who fails to report is not counted as one of {Jehovah's Witnesses} in the numbers published by the Society. (Compare {active publisher} and {regular publisher}.)
incidental witnessing [obs]
Former term for what is now called {informal witnessing}. It was changed to informal because there is nothing incidental (minor or unimportant) about it. Many persons have gotten started in the {Truth} as a result of it. (Compare Joh 4:6-30.)
Growth in number, size, or quality. Most often it is used in reference to the expansion of the preaching work, in which case it means more publishers, which is what the Society counts. (Compare Act 16:5.) <<Although our congregation has had little increase the past several years, it has continued to get stronger.>>
Short for Watchtower Publications Index, a key to finding Bible answers to questions. We are all encouraged to acquire and use the indexes frequently. Jehovah's Witnesses do not throw away their {magazines} after reading them, but store them. Every Witness maintains a personal library of the Society's publications, including as many years of magazines in {bound volumes} or binders as he can get. The Society periodically releases indexes covering scriptural references and topics discussed from everything published during the most recent years. Less frequently, larger indexes are published that combine many years together under a hard cover.

NOTE: The Society is fully aware of what it has published in the past on any given topic. The Index lists references in reverse chronological order. In case of conflict the most recent information supersedes whatever has preceded it. New information is considered as correction rather than conflict or contradiction. Sometimes a paragraph explicitly includes words to the effect: ``This information updates our previous understanding.''

Feeble or weak, especially from age, but sometimes because of a physical malady. The word is almost always applied literally rather than being applied figuratively to one's spiritual condition, though I know of no reason why it could not be used that way. <<Arrangements were made so that the infirm would have a comfortable place to sit during the assembly.>>
informal witness
{Witnessing} done spontaneously, without prior notice, as occasion allows, as distinct from the various forms of planned witnessing. <<When my teacher asked me what I was planning to do over Christmas vacation, I used the opportunity to give an informal witness.>>
information board
A bulletin board. Most Kingdom Halls have some kind of bulletin board on which to hang schedules, letters from the {Society}, and other authorized printed matter. Although the common term for these is ``bulletin board'', the Society consistently uses the term ``information board''. Four people have written to inform me that this is because the origin of the word bulletin is connected with papal bulls, i.e., edicts from the pope. Various popes have certainly posted a lot of bull, so this assertion is believable. <<The Society says that we should not place personal announcements, messages, or thank-you cards on the information board.>> In United Kingdom, this board is called the ``notice board''.
ink pen
Silly, redundant phrase, evidencing hickish illiteracy. <<So I got me out my ink pen and writ down his address.>> All writing pens have ink in them. Just say ``pen''. One reviewer informs me that some people use the phrase to specify a fountain pen. Most of the persons I have heard use the term have probably never seen a fountain pen.
1. Moved by or produced by the direction of Jehovah's holy spirit. (1Ti 3:16) <<Even though men today accurately quote, teach, and write about God's Word, neither the Society's literature nor any individuals in Jehovah's organization claim to be inspired in the same sense that the prophets and Bible writers were.>> 2. A commoner use of the term is figurative, as when an artist or musician claims to have been inspired during the creation of some work, meaning he was surpassingly motivated, as though influenced by a higher power. Christians will occasionally indulge in this usage as well, but usually with appropriate caveats and the addition of {finger quotes}. 3. For some, inspiration suggests a highly emotional experience. Thus:

STORY: Once upon returning from an assembly, a man I worked for asked me if I found it inspiring. I knew the man regarded religion essentially as an emotional trip. So I told him ``No.'' Because he knew me to be an ardent and loyal Witness, this answer caught him off guard. He just stared at me as though I had obviously given him the incorrect answer to a query as simple as ``Which way is up?'' perhaps thinking I had misunderstood the question. Finally I continued, ``However, I found it highly informative and educational.'' His response was ``... [long pause] ... Oh.'' Soon after that this man `found the LORD' at the North Phoenix Baptist Church,[107] and was intolerable to be around thereafter for the rest of my acquaintance with him. He had apparently been properly inspired.

[107] Sitting in a pew, no doubt. Where did I go wrong? NPBC is one of the biggest megachurches, with about 10,000 members who are drawn by a charismatic preacher I refer to as the John Madden of the pulpit because of the way he struts around and waves his arms when he preaches.
instruction talk
The first talk given on the {Theocratic Ministry School} program, sometimes called the {number one talk}.
interested person
A non-Witness who responds favorably to the {Kingdom message}, someone worthy of at least a {return visit}. It doesn't take much to qualify. To some folks anyone who accepts a tract and doesn't say: ``Go away and don't ever come back!'' must be an interested person.
Pertaining to mixing practices of different religious groups, with the laughable object of achieving unity and mutual understanding. Jehovah utterly condemns interfaith worship. (Deu 12:30, 31) All that is achieved by such misguided efforts is a compromising and pollution of the truth.[108] But if one believes his religion is true, why would he be willing to contaminate it with falsehoods? If he does not believe his religion is the truth, then why does he bother with it? <<Let's have an interfaith service. You believe God is three in one, I believe he is one, so let's split the difference and call him two.>>
[108] Assuming there was some there to start with.
An interlinear translation of the Bible is one that prints the text in the original language with a literal word for word translation inserted directly under each line. The original Hebrew or Greek appears with a literal word-by-word rendition in English or some other language written directly underneath the original. In most cases a fully rendered translation is printed running alongside in a narrow column to the right. Such a tool is an excellent aid to gaining insights into the meaning and flavor of the original language for Bible language novices and scholars alike. The most familiar example is our own publication The Kingdom Interlinear Translation of the Greek Scripturese, often referred to as ``the Interlinear''. The Society has not yet provided us with an interlinear of the Hebrew text.[109]
[109] And probably never will on this side of Armageddon.
interlude [obs]/a>
In years past the singing of songs at meetings followed the sequence: introduction, usually a minor variation of the last line or phrase; all but the last verse; a short musical interruption much like the introduction that was not sung; final verse. The interruption between the last two verses was called an interlude. Some people used to use this moment to talk or run off to the bathroom. When the latest songbook and recordings were published, the interludes were dropped. An introduction is still necessary to allow people time to get on their feet, find the song, and especially to set the pitch.
intermission [obs]
A break between two parts of a program. In times past in some locations it was customary to have an intermission between the {Public Talk} and {Watchtower Study}. When I attended the Brooklyn Heights congregation this was necessary, because another congregation had its Watchtower Study early in the morning, then they would break and we would come in for a joint Public Talk. We would break once again while the other congregation cleared out, and then would have our own Watchtower Study.[110]

[110] By sheer coincidence of geographical circumstances, i.e., because I just happened to live in territory that was assigned to the congregation at the time, Brooklyn Heights was my first congregation. It was a mighty fine place to learn the Truth! I was never a {Bethelite} myself.

STORY: In the days before {smoking} was a disfellowshipping offense, some people used this break to smoke a cigarette in the parking lot. I learned this from a {COW} who did this herself. (Pro 4:18)

international convention
See {convention}.
international worker
A person approved and able to travel to foreign countries to assist with projects such as {branch facility} construction.
The world's largest computer network, connecting hundreds of thousands of computers and millions of users, including many of Jehovah's Witnesses. This Glossary is available from the {World Wide Web} in several formats. If you are now reading the hypertext version you already know that.
interracial marriage
Marriage between persons of differing fundamental hereditary characteristics. This practice is common among Jehovah's Witnesses, in numbers substantially disproportionate to occurrences among the population at large. This is doubtless because we believe and apply the scriptures at Acts 10:34, 35 and Acts 17:26. Some Witnesses seeking marriage mates nevertheless decline to look among candidates of a different race, knowing that marriage is difficult enough without adding stress caused by cultural differences or social pressures inflicted by prejudiced worldly people who do not recognize Bible truth.
inverted word order
This paragraph some examples contains of a problem that annoying and significant I find. If creates ever the Society another songbook, I hope that is made significant effort the lyrics of new songs to write and the lyrics of old songs to rewrite so as the archaic practice of inverting word order to make a rhyme to avoid. Not that we should be guided by the standards of modern music lyricists.[111] But speaking as a former musician, songwriter, and one who spent twenty years preparing music for publication I have observed that about the only places the technique is found is in some religious music :-( and in doggerel.[112] Yet hardly a song exists in our songbook that doesn't have word inversions, in some cases in every verse. <<Quoth the raven:[113] ``Nevermore!''>>
[111] <<Oh baby, let's do it in the dirt.>>
[112] Chintzy, sentimental verse.
[113] Or neologist.
investigative committee
A group of elders, usually only two, assigned to look into a potential judicial matter. <<It has been reported that Brother Stack has been seen smoking, so we need to appoint an investigative committee to see if there is any substance to the charge.>> The term is not in the {Society's} {publications} as far as I can find, but is used as a convenient label for the brothers who conduct such investigations.
Not a word. Most dictionaries say it is an ``illiterate expression''. Kinder dictionaries say ``unstandard''. The correct word is regardless.
irregular publisher
Any {publisher} who has not reported preaching activity during one to five of the past six months. (Compare {active publisher}, {inactive publisher}.)
Not related. This word has been included because it is sometimes mispronounced ir-REV-e-lant. Please don't.
isolated territory
An area that is so far from a {Kingdom Hall} or other believers that it is impossible to hold meetings in the area. This happens when someone is the first {Witness} in some locale. (See also {unassigned territory}.) <<The Society originally sent missionaries only into isolated territory, where they had to start the work from the very beginning.>>

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