SHaNaNשנן , Learning the Drill
ושננתם לבנך Deuteronomy 6:7 is weakly translated “teach your children diligently,” then “impress them upon your children” by the older (1917) and newer (1985) renditions of the Jewish Publication Society (JPS). As usual, the older JPS is a wannabe KJV: And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children... The Jerusalem Bible (Koren 2000) settles for this now-venerable bluntness as well. ArtScroll (Mesorah, 1993) at least made a token change to teaching “thoroughly.”
Ben-Yehuda’s dictionary knows that שנה SHaNaH means “to repeat, to teach,” and that שנון SHiNOON means “repetition, continuous study … thus the repetitive motion of “sharpening.” שיני SHaiNeeY means “twice” because of repetition, not sharpness.
Even שנינה SHiNeeYNaH a “sharp word or taunt,” is different from other Biblical words for taunting because it is about repetitiveness (like children’s taunts). There are other, ח-ד Het-Dalet, words for “sharp” ( חד) and “riddles” (as in the Socratic method of teaching with questions and answers.)
Chinese san is defined as “again and again" or "repeatedly." But those of you who were drilled and brainwashed by Post-Biblical Western “thought” should ignore the sentence above as irrelevant.
“Diligence” is not the meaning, the theme of the ש-נ Shin-Noon root. “Impress” is better, closer to literally impressing, making a dent, as teeth do. שן SHaiN, after all, is a tooth. But, again, the repetitiveness of teeth chewing (and drilling) is the key point, not sharpness or indentation (see the entries “TINE” and “SCAR” in the E-WORD: Edenics Digital Dictionary).
שנן SHeeNaiN, is to constantly repeat, to drill (as in the more accurate teaching of children in Deuteronomy 6: 7. ) DRILLING , rehearsing… as in a fire drill, may have been considered but rejected by politically correct JPS translators who disliked anything resembling teaching Catholic-school catechisms. The well-meaning post-Sixties reformers dismissed memorization as mindless brainwashing. This turned America from being a country where many students learned Latin conjugations in high school, to a nation where most U.S.-born college students require remedial English to learn basic sentencing skills.