A New Book Of Exodus

Allen Matkins
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Allen Matkins

And these are the names of California companies who came out of California . . . .  The California Policy Center, which describes itself as "an educational non-profit working for the prosperity of all Californians by eliminating public-sector barriers to freedom", has published  The California Book of Exoduses.  The "book" lists some 143 companies and individuals that have announced departures from the Golden State.   Many companies, such as Tesla, Inc. and Hewlett Packard Enterprise, have set their eyes on Texas.  However, many other states, including Colorado, Florida, Nevada, and North Carolina, are also on the list.  While the list is dispiriting, it does not appear to be complete.

The book's name is a misnomer - it is just a spreadsheet.  The plural form of "exodus" also caught my eye.  The most famous exodus, of course, was that of sons of Israel from Egypt.  This is recounted in the second book of the Torah (or in Greek, the Pentateuch).  In Hebrew, the book is called Shemoth (in Hebrew, שְׁמוֹת‎), which is the plural of the word Shem, meaning names.  Thus, the book begins by listing the names of the sons of Israel who came to Mitzrayim, which means Egypt or confinement.  The book's Greek name is Exodos (Εξοδοσ), which is derived from the Greek words, ἐκ (meaning from or out of) and ὁδός (meaning road or way).  The English name, Exodus, is a Latinization of the Greek name.  This creates a bit of a puzzle concerning the proper plural form.  In Greek, the plural would be Exodoi (Εξοδοι).  In Latin, the plural form depends upon whether it is a second or fourth declension noun.   If Exodus is a second declension noun, the plural would be Exodi (like cactus and cacti).  If it is a fourth declension noun, the plural form would be Exodus in Latin (with a long ū).  In English, the plural form of Latin fourth declension nouns is formed by adding es (e.g., prospectus and prospectuses).  The plural form of "Exodus" is rarely seen, but the California Policy Center has apparently decided that it is in the fourth declension.

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