by Edd Doerr
In its 12/22 special Holiday issue the British newsweekly The Economist ran a 4-page piece titled "Into Everlasting Fire", a neat debunking of the religious notion of everlasting torment for sinners, a belief now largely confined to religious fundamentalists of various sorts.
Ah, but wait. There is a Hell. It's the name of a small town in the middle of Norway, a bit south of the Arctic Circle, in Nord-Trondelag County. I have driven through the area. The word "hell" in Norwegian means either a "slope" or "good luck".
So, when someone tells you to "go to Hell", they may mean you should take a trip to Norway. Or maybe just "good luck".
Anyway, have a helluva good new year.
And if a Norwegian wishes you "God Jul", what that means literally is "have a good winter holiday" (Good Yule).