Monday, June 14, 2010


According to, hail is defined as:
1 : precipitation in the form of small balls or lumps usually consisting of concentric layers of clear ice and compact snow
2 : something that gives the effect of a shower of hail
3 : to precipitate
4 : to pour down or strike like hail
5 : - used as a salutation
6 : - used to express acclamation
7 a : salute, greet b : to greet with enthusiastic approval : acclaim
8 : to greet or summon by calling
9 : an exclamation of greeting or acclamation
10 : a calling to attract attention
11 : hearing distance

There are pretty much 2 distinct "hail"s. The first deals with the precipitation. It was hailing outside. Or While I was rowing on Belleville Lake, hail fell from the sky. Most people are familiar with this definition. In fact, it translates fairly easily because of the weather. At the same time, does it really hail everywhere? I have been in Istanbul for almost 2 weeks now, and I have yet to see hail. Actually, I don't ever see hail at home either. Nor do I ever see so much money! Today at work I registered checks into a database for my company. It was long, tedious work. There was nothing exciting about it. I learnedI still feel good about contributing to society though. On the walk home from work, a truck honked at me, or tried to hail me. Normally I ignore such behavior. Today was a new day, a different day. I figured it would be ok to look just once at the perpetrator. So I did. They, there were 2 men in the cab of a truck, stared at me. I stared back. Then I tripped. 

The second refers to a salutation, to salute. Hail! to the victors valiant or I need to hail a cab. As a wolverine I KNOW what this word means in this set of the definitions. But how do I explain what Hail! in this context means in a foreign language? I tried all imaginable synonyms. I even used it in a sentence. I, of course, was wearing proper UM apparel when the security guard says to me, "Emily, hail. Ne demek?" My brain immediately starts racking for words. I wanted to just bust out The Victors, but he didn't even know where Michigan was let alone that there was a university there! Nor does he speak English. I'm sad to say that after about 6 min of scrambling through the dictionary and asking bilingual students, I couldn't find a proper translation for the word hail that doesn't have to do with the weather. I am still working on a translation for him. 

Regardless of whose hailing whom or whether you're in Turkey or face-planted in the ground trying to explain the word wherever you go, go blue!


  1. Bahahahaha! That first story was hilarious! That is typical Emily...clumsy ;)