Tuesday, January 20, 2015


To most of the world, those initials stand for "Islamic State of Iraq and Syria". Others will recall that it is also the name of a major Egyptian goddess. But to the residents of Oxford and too all the University community, the name refers primarily to the stretch of the Thames above Iffley Lock which flows through the university and past Christ Church. It is also the name given to the second Eight, the first Eight being the boat which competes against Cambridge annually. Particularly to Oxonians the use of the word "isis" for the radical Islamist group is an anathema! Fortunately, there is an alternative set of initials for the radical group: ISIL, meaning "The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant". However, I do not expect to convert the media into using that alternative, instead, I believe that before the end of the present century, the traditional meanings of the word will prevail

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