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Month: October 2016
What do you like about Athens, Greece?
Me? Yes, Athens is crowded and outsize and horrid and smoggy. But. The Sacred Rock: The back streets of Plaka. A reminder that once, this used to be a chic 19th century town: … with a lot of 21st century Greeks jammed in: The peekaboo of antiquities against the cityspace. Like the Roman Forum: The […]
What are the reasons why Apollo finally befriends Hermes?
People of Quora. Before you read this my answer, read Amy Louisa’s answer. And before you upvote my answer, upvote Amy Louisa’s answer. It would be a bad thing if you upvote the linguist over the classicist. It would be an even worse thing if you upvoted the writing of a Greek screenwriter over the […]
Is the English “because noun” an instance of grammaticalization?
If only. No, it’s a novel elliptic construction (drop the copula and subject, by default, including an expletive subject: because reasons = because there are reasons). The form Wellington Mendes reports, because wow, is a straightforward analogy. But the function, meaning, and phonetic content of because has not changed: it’s still a conjunction. Its scope […]
If the Byzantine Empire hadn’t fallen, and instead became the first colonisers of the New World, what would their colonies have been called?
I am not herewith contradicting Dimitris Almyrantis’ answer. For Dimitris Almyrantis is awesome and stuff. I think I’m saying the same as him. I don’t think much would have been different, except that there’d be Greek names instead of English and Spanish; the naming principles, I suspect, would have been the same. Byzantine town-naming procedure […]
Why does the Chinese government actively support Esperanto?
User has mentioned in comment to question the magazine El Popola Ĉinio (“From the People’s China”), and I remember its impeccable glossiness and low-key propaganda. Argh! I did read about this at a bookstore the other day, in a collection of essays about the posterity of Mao’s Little Red Book. But no, I didn’t buy […]
Which poem or song best represents Greece in your opinion?
I’m going with the Birds of the Netherworld. stixoi.info: Του κάτω κόσμου τα πουλιά It’s got a lot of what makes Modern Greek culture so rich: Cryptic, magical dread. The lyricist based it on a nightmare he had; but the song was released in 1974, during the death-throes of the Greek dictatorship—so people assumed what […]
What languages use the word “ox” as a common insult?
Not a surprise: Greek βό(ι)δι vo(i)ði is used to refer primarily to someone unmannered or dull. Per the Triantafyllidis dictionary: 2. (μτφ.) μειωτικός ή υβριστικός χαρακτηρισμός για άνθρωπο: α. αργόστροφο· βλάκας: Είναι ~, δεν καταλαβαίνει τίποτα. ΦΡ σαν το ~ στο παχνί*. β. άξεστο, αγροίκο, αναίσθητο· ζώο: Mε πάτησε κι ούτε συγγνώμη δεν είπε, το […]
What are the rules for accenting words ending with -ic in English?
I’m OP, and the question isn’t mine. The question in details is my third cousin’s, Manny Sfendourakis’. Let me explain his question, and then go to the more general answer. The Nicene Creed refers to the Christian Church as “one holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church”. Catholic back then meant just Universal. Of course, you call […]
Which Western language has the most un-phonemic spelling system?
Irish, especially before the mid-20th century spelling reforms, quite possibly; its marking of slender vs broad consonants is still pretty baroque even now. It led to the following comment on the Lojban mailing list in 1993 by And Rosta: “Some of the English might say that the Irish orthography is very Irish. Personally, I have […]
What are the differences in grammar between Australian English and British English if any?
Thanks to Robert Charles Lee for his answer. The one grammatical difference I’ve noticed is that British English allows do next to auxiliary verbs as a pro-verb; Australian English does not. So Did you ever see the Pope? can be answered I haven’t done in British, but only I haven’t in Australian. Answered 2016-10-25 [Originally […]