Among the many interesting tidbits I've been learning in Marilyn Keiser's course on Hymnody (probably more accurately called Hymnology) is the following:
Stanza and verse, synonymous? Yes. But really synonymous? No.
Their dictionary entries refer to each other. I've accepted and practiced their use as interchangeable terms, but I've also preferred the term verse over stanza.
Tangent: For some reason, whenever I hear the word "stanza" my mind conjures up images of a brass band playing in a gazebo. Because I wasn't raised in Connecticut, this is just weird.
Because hymns are poetry, I've been persuaded that verse, at least with regard to hymns, should be used in its archaic sense: a line of poetry.
Stanza, meanwhile, should correspond to the numbered "stanzas" in the hymnal. (So much for defining a word without using that word in the definition. Numbered blocks of text that are set to the same music? You know what I mean.)
This way, one might have a rival to the bible study: the hymnal study. ("In Wesley 525, stanza 2, verse 8, what is the meaning of the word 'endued?'")
On top of this, I suspect that "stanza" and "verse" are to hymns what "coke" and "pop" are to carbonated beverages. It's probably a regional preference.
Tangents: The 1982 Hymnal refers to numbered divisions of text as stanzas. What do other hymnals do? Anyone want to help out with this one?
en*due (-dues, -dued, -duing) v., endow or provide with a quality or ability : Alright, I'll stay here and try to pick up Thurston on the communicator. You run back to Slippery Gulch and see if you can round up some help. And see if you can pick up a few more granola bars. Here, take the company card. Endued, watch out for snakes.
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