Monday, December 24, 2012


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).

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