In the course of this post it is quite likely that I will commit the ‘etymological fallacy’. I’m just warning you now in case there are any young children around and you want to avert their eyes.
[The etymological fallacy is when someone argues from the origins of a particular word to a conclusion about its present meaning. This fails to take seriously that what we mean by a word is primarily governed by its usage in our speaking context. Committing the etymological fallacy is the theological equivalent of walking around with no pants…]
The Real Estate Agent who put up this sign (see pic) obviously thought there was a good chance of this rental property making it into God’s New Creation.
Notice the subtitle: ‘IMPECCABLY RENOVATED terrace”.
I would even venture to say that maybe this Agent has theological students in mind for prospective tenants. I don’t think you could have picked out a set of adjectives with a better theological pedigree.
My dictionary tells me that the word ‘impeccable‘ comes from the Latin ‘impeccabilis‘ – a term coined during the Reformation meaning ‘not liable to sin’.
The word renovate comes from the Latin verb renovare also from the time of the Reformation meaning to ‘make new again‘.
An impeccable renovation is precisely what God is planning to do with us and his world. He will sinlessly renew it. Wonderful!
Interestingly, the term ‘terrace’ can also trace its roots back to the Latin ‘terra’ meaning ‘earth’. Which would suggest that this Real Estate Agent was being Seriously (unintentionally?) Profound. Spooky.
Sadly however, in this case the term ‘terrace’ probably comes from the Old French (also from the time of the Reformation) literally meaning ‘rubble‘ or ‘platform‘.
Maybe the Agent was revealing a little too much about the state of the house?