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.
Verse Ex40-22b discussing the
erection of the Temple states
And he put the table in the tent of meeting,
upon the Temple thigh northward, without the veil.
Rashi explains: The Temple thigh
refers to the Temple side.
Here Rashi uses the FFF principle, Rashi
names position by the positional form of a
Examples of naming by body positional
form abound in many languages: For example,
in English we have,
the handle of the pot, the eye of
the hurricane, the heart of the west,
the leg of the table, the head
of the mountain and many more. By placing Rashi
in the context of these examples we enrich our