snopes.com Post new topic  Post a reply
search | faq | forum home

  next oldest topic   next newest topic
» Hello snopes.com » Archived Forums » Language Archive » Ayn Rand and God

 - UBBFriend: Email this page to someone!    
Author Topic: Ayn Rand and God
snopes
Return! Return! Return!


Icon 206 posted      Profile for snopes   Author's Homepage   E-mail snopes       Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
Comment: A young female author submitted the manuscript of the book she'd just
finished writing to her publisher, complete with the following dedication
at the front: "I dedicate this book to my parents, Ayn Rand, and God." The
publisher ran it by an editor, and naturally the editor blindly hacked out
commas to match the style specifications of Big Publishing. The result: "I
dedicate this book to my parents, Ayn Rand and God."

I can't find any information on who this is, or whether this is real.

Posts: 36029 | From: Admin | Registered: Feb 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Joostik
The First USA Noel


Icon 1 posted      Profile for Joostik   Author's Homepage   E-mail Joostik   Send new private message       Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
This site claims it was "verified by Straight Dope", but that's as far as I could get.

However, Ayn Rand having been one of Americas most vocal atheists, it seems the dedication could never have been anything more than a joke.

Posts: 794 | From: Utrecht, Utrecht | Registered: Jul 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Silas Sparkhammer
I Saw V-Chips Come Sailing In


Icon 504 posted      Profile for Silas Sparkhammer   Author's Homepage   E-mail Silas Sparkhammer   Send new private message       Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
I've only heard it as an example, not as an actual anecdote.

"The candelabra was held aloft by Margot, all the candles of which had gone out."

Silas

Posts: 16801 | From: San Diego, CA | Registered: Sep 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Santa Mari-a
Happy Holly Days


Icon 99 posted      Profile for Santa Mari-a     Send new private message       Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Joostik:
This site claims it was "verified by Straight Dope", but that's as far as I could get.

However, Ayn Rand having been one of Americas most vocal atheists, it seems the dedication could never have been anything more than a joke.

We've discussed this before, I'm sure, but no one has ever found the dedication, just more references to the example. Since Rand was such an outspoken atheist, I find it hard to believe that anyone would mention both her and God as sources of inspiration.

--------------------
Si hoc comprehendere potes, gratias age magistro Latinae.

Posts: 1720 | From: Charlottesville, VA | Registered: Jan 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Etienne
We Three Blings


Icon 1 posted      Profile for Etienne   E-mail Etienne   Send new private message       Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
It might be because I'm a non-english speaker (With awful grammar in every language) but... I don't get it. What's the difference?
Posts: 1102 | From: Quebec | Registered: Dec 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Noemi
Ding Dong! Merrily on High Definition TV


Icon 82 posted      Profile for Noemi   E-mail Noemi   Send new private message       Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
'Dedicated to my parents, Ayn Rand and God' makes it read as if Ayn Rand and God are the parents.

I'm like Silas, I've only seen it as an example, not as an anecdote.

Noemi

--------------------
Cleverly disguised as a responsible adult.
My blog, no guarantees about witty or intelligent content. My current projects.
Coveted Beads <---- our eBay store, new items being added somewhat regularly

Posts: 8418 | From: Wyoming | Registered: Feb 2002  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Soccer
I Saw Three Shipments


Icon 1 posted      Profile for Soccer   E-mail Soccer   Send new private message       Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
I know this isn't really journalistic, but in many journalistic writings the second comma is stricken all together, hence instead of getting "...my parents, Ayn Rand, and God" you would end up with "...my parents, Ayn Rand and God" but it would have the same meaning as having the second comma there.
Posts: 71 | From: Indiana | Registered: Feb 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Bela Lugosi's Dead
The Red and the Green Stamps


Icon 1 posted            Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
It is possible that the writer really admired and like Ayn Rand's work but just didn't agree with her about atheism. Its not like that was the only thing Rand wrote about. However, Rand WAS incredibly closed minded and militant about everything she believed, so its hard to understand how anyone could tolerate reading Rand unless they agreed with her on every single thing.
IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Jay Temple
It Came Upon a Midnight Clearance


Icon 1 posted      Profile for Jay Temple     Send new private message       Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
Count me as such a person. Believing what she did about human rights is not inconsistent with either belief or disbelief in God. (What's harder to reconcile is that she disapproved of racism but not of sexism.)

--------------------
"Well, it looks we're on our own ... again."--Rev. Lovejoy

Posts: 3572 | From: St. Louis, MO | Registered: Sep 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Mosherette
Deck the Malls


Icon 1 posted      Profile for Mosherette     Send new private message       Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Etienne:
It might be because I'm a non-english speaker (With awful grammar in every language) but... I don't get it. What's the difference?

I didn't get it either, Etienne. In british English, it's normal to not have a comma between the penultimate item in a list and the word "and". I read it as if it were presented in the USAn way, with the comma still there.

--------------------
Silence should never under any circumstances be construed as agreement. A lot of the time, it's simply a reflection that someone just said something so stupid that no response could possibly do it justice. - Ramblin' Dave

Posts: 8528 | From: Nottingham, England | Registered: Feb 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Wizard of Yendor
Markdown, the Herald Angels Sing


Icon 1 posted      Profile for Wizard of Yendor   E-mail Wizard of Yendor   Send new private message       Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
You see it often enough either way around here (US) in fact I think without is a little more common. But in this case, isn't the meaning ambiguous without the comma? (Or would be if the alternate interpretation wasn't absurd.)
Posts: 2352 | From: California | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Jason Threadslayer
Let There Be PCs on Earth


Icon 1 posted      Profile for Jason Threadslayer     Send new private message       Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Mosherette:
I didn't get it either, Etienne. In british English, it's normal to not have a comma between the penultimate item in a list and the word "and". I read it as if it were presented in the USAn way, with the comma still there.

Try this page on the Oxford Comma.

The disappearance of the Oxford comma may be due to newspapers trying to save column space.

--------------------
All posts foretold by Nostradamus.

Turing test failures: 6

Posts: 5481 | From: Decatur, GA | Registered: Nov 2002  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Mosherette
Deck the Malls


Icon 1 posted      Profile for Mosherette     Send new private message       Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
Personally I didn't find any ambiguity in the statement. If the statement was saying "Dedicated to my parents who are Ayn Rand and God" I would expect to see something like "Dedicated to my parents - Ayn Rand and God".

Or maybe I just didn't get it because I don't know who Ayn Rand is.

--------------------
Silence should never under any circumstances be construed as agreement. A lot of the time, it's simply a reflection that someone just said something so stupid that no response could possibly do it justice. - Ramblin' Dave

Posts: 8528 | From: Nottingham, England | Registered: Feb 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Cold DecEmbra Brings The Sleet
Angels Wii Have Heard on High


Icon 1 posted      Profile for Cold DecEmbra Brings The Sleet   E-mail Cold DecEmbra Brings The Sleet   Send new private message       Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
On first reading, I read it as a straightforward list as well. like Mosh, I would have expected a colon or a dash to indicate the meaning being given to it.

--------------------
I want you to lay down your life, Perkins. We need a futile gesture at this stage. It will raise the whole tone of the war.

Posts: 4495 | From: Surrey, UK | Registered: Jun 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Elkhound
It Came Upon a Midnight Clearance


Icon 1 posted      Profile for Elkhound         Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Mosherette:
Or maybe I just didn't get it because I don't know who Ayn Rand is.

Novelist and philosopher. Foundress of the Objectivist School. Best known works: FOUNTAINHEAD, ANTHEM, ATLAS SHRUGGED, THE VIRTUE OF SELFISHNESS. Militant atheist.

"My philosophy, in essence, is the concept of man as a heroic being, with his own happiness as the moral purpose of his life, with productive achievement as his noblest activity, and reason as his only absolute." —Ayn Rand

--------------------
"The bicycle is the most civilized conveyance known to man. Other forms of transport grow daily more nightmarish. Only the bicycle remains pure in heart."--Iris Murdoch

Posts: 3307 | From: Charleston, WV | Registered: Oct 2002  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Nonny Mouse, on Santa's laptop
Once in Royal Circuit City


Icon 1 posted      Profile for Nonny Mouse, on Santa's laptop   Author's Homepage   E-mail Nonny Mouse, on Santa's laptop   Send new private message       Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
I think I've got it! Ayn Rand became militantly anti-religious after being raped by God and bearing his illegitemate child!

God had apparently been hanging around with Zeus for too long.

Nonny

--------------------
When there isn't anything else worth analyzing, we examine our collective navel. I found thirty-six cents in change in mine the other day. Let no one say that there is no profit in philosophy. -- Silas Sparkhammer

Posts: 10141 | From: Toronto, Ontario | Registered: Apr 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Jason Threadslayer
Let There Be PCs on Earth


Icon 1 posted      Profile for Jason Threadslayer     Send new private message       Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Mosherette:
Personally I didn't find any ambiguity in the statement. If the statement was saying "Dedicated to my parents who are Ayn Rand and God" I would expect to see something like "Dedicated to my parents - Ayn Rand and God".

Try this one: I took my parents, John and Jane.

How many people did I take?

ETA: And how did you get that number?

--------------------
All posts foretold by Nostradamus.

Turing test failures: 6

Posts: 5481 | From: Decatur, GA | Registered: Nov 2002  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Elkhound
It Came Upon a Midnight Clearance


Icon 1 posted      Profile for Elkhound         Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Jason Threadslayer:
Try this one: I took my parents, John and Jane.

How many people did I take?

ETA: And how did you get that number? [/QB]

It could be either two or four.

1. My parents (2)+ John & Jane (2)
2. My parents (2), namely John & Jane.

Of course, these days one may have more than two parents! If one was the product of an 'open adoption', it might include both your adoptive parents and one or both of your birthparents. If your parents divorced and remarried it might include step-parents. And what if there was a surrogacy and/or a sperm and/or egg donation? The permutations are endless.

--------------------
"The bicycle is the most civilized conveyance known to man. Other forms of transport grow daily more nightmarish. Only the bicycle remains pure in heart."--Iris Murdoch

Posts: 3307 | From: Charleston, WV | Registered: Oct 2002  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Jason Threadslayer
Let There Be PCs on Earth


Icon 1 posted      Profile for Jason Threadslayer     Send new private message       Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
Elkhound, you missed one case. One can use the comma to separate the people whom one is addressing ("John and Jane"). That is the vocative case.

In the first case you gave, the sentence was a list without the Oxford Comma. In the second case, "John and Jane" was an appositive.

And don't try to complicate what was meant as a simple grammar example with social complications. [Smile]

--------------------
All posts foretold by Nostradamus.

Turing test failures: 6

Posts: 5481 | From: Decatur, GA | Registered: Nov 2002  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Elkhound
It Came Upon a Midnight Clearance


Icon 1 posted      Profile for Elkhound         Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Jason Threadslayer:


And don't try to complicate what was meant as a simple grammar example with social complications. [Smile]

Why not? It is more fun that way.

--------------------
"The bicycle is the most civilized conveyance known to man. Other forms of transport grow daily more nightmarish. Only the bicycle remains pure in heart."--Iris Murdoch

Posts: 3307 | From: Charleston, WV | Registered: Oct 2002  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Zachary Fizz
Markdown, the Herald Angels Sing


Icon 1 posted      Profile for Zachary Fizz     Send new private message       Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
Posted by Bela Lugosi's Dead:
quote:
However, Rand WAS incredibly closed minded and militant about everything she believed, so its hard to understand how anyone could tolerate reading Rand unless they agreed with her on every single thing.

I still enjoy reading Ayn Rand, though I no longer agree with everything she says.
Posts: 2370 | From: Arabia | Registered: Feb 2002  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Bela Lugosi's Dead
The Red and the Green Stamps


Icon 1 posted            Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Zachary Fizz:
Posted by Bela Lugosi's Dead:
quote:
However, Rand WAS incredibly closed minded and militant about everything she believed, so its hard to understand how anyone could tolerate reading Rand unless they agreed with her on every single thing.

I still enjoy reading Ayn Rand, though I no longer agree with everything she says.
I'm the same way with Michael Moore.
IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Heroic Muse, Catfish Lover
The First USA Noel


Icon 05 posted      Profile for Heroic Muse, Catfish Lover   Author's Homepage   E-mail Heroic Muse, Catfish Lover   Send new private message       Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
We've discussed this before, I'm sure, but no one has ever found the dedication, just more references to the example. Since Rand was such an outspoken atheist, I find it hard to believe that anyone would mention both her and God as sources of inspiration.
Why not? I believe strongly in God, yet Ayn Rand continues to be an important influence.

Like many posters here, I don't consider her ideas to be everything, but some of what she says makes quite a bit of sense. And her "Anthem" continues to inspire me.

Of course, this is coming from the same person who, at the age of 16, declared that I wasn't American because I didn't want to be limited to any particular culture... I wanted to take what seemed true from all cultures, ideologies, etc. and throw out the rubbish.

Which explains why I'm not quite an Objectivist, not quite Jewish, not quite Christian...

Heroic "you can return to your regularly scheduled discussion now" Muse

--------------------
Elsie Worthing and the Hydra's Curse
Can one small girl overcome the darkness within to thrive at Hogwarts?
http://fanfiction.mugglenet.com/viewstory.php?sid=57042
In memory of David Newton (1962-2006)

Posts: 689 | From: Fayetteville, NC | Registered: Oct 2002  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
   

Quick Reply
Message:

HTML is not enabled.
UBB Code™ is enabled.

Instant Graemlins
   


Post new topic  Post a reply Close topic   Feature Topic   Move Topic   Delete topic next oldest topic   next newest topic
 - Printer-friendly view of this topic
Hop To:


Urban Legends Reference Pages

Powered by Infopop Corporation
UBB.classic™ 6.7.2