The FFF submethod states that words can be named by
Form, Feel, and Function.
- Some examples
of naming words by Form include (a) the leg of
a chair, (b) the handle of a pot, (c) the branch
of a family tree, (d) surfing the net or (e) brainstorming
Some of these examples illustrate naming objects by form while
other examples illustrate naming activities by form.
- A good punchy
example distinguishing naming by form vs. function is pentagon-UN.
The pentagon is named after the shape and form of the building
while the United Nations is named after the function and purpose of the building. Although both these buildings have as a purpose world peace they are named
- Examples of naming by feel/substance are
glasses, hardship, ironing-board, plaster etc.
The FFF principle is a special case of the literary techniques of
synechdoche-metonomy. These literary principles, universal to all languages,
state that items can be named by related items, by parts of those items, or by good
examples of those items. For example honey refers to anything sweet
since honey is a good example of something sweet. Similarly hot refers to matters of love since the two are related. Todays Rashi can best
be understood by applying these principles.
Rashi explains that the Hebrew Pay-Resh-Vav-Resh, Parur
means a cooking pot. The root Pay-Resh-Resh means to
cut into pieces, to crumble. Recall, a basic principle of cooking:
to maximize the surface area exposed to heat one does not put in whole
vegetables and meat. Rather one cuts up into pieces or even crumbs before
placing in the pot. This maximizes the surface area exposed to liquids and heat.
But then an appropriate name for this type of cooking pot would be the form
of the items in the pot. They have the form of pieces and crumbs. Hence
we call this cooking utensil the piece-pot or the crumb-pot.
Several decades ago I wrote an unpublished article, The Sacred Letters,
in which I showed how biblical Hebrew used a principle of opposites to name objects.
We ordinarily think of pieces and crumbs as something bad. However a crumb appearance
is good for cooking. Here we see biblical Hebrew at work: crumbs can be both good and
bad - they are good for maximal exposure but bad wholistically.