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Day: January 7, 2016
Selfie is an Australian coinage: No, a Drunken Australian Man Did Not Coin the Word Selfie. (The article disputes only that the particular guy came up with it, not that it was coined in Australia.) The Australian suffix used to coin cutesy abbreviations of words (hypocoristics) is conventionally spelled as –ie, not –y—even when it […]
As a card-carrying linguist (even though they don’t pay me to be one), I am of course honour-bound to repudiate any claims of better or worse grammar. There is just more formal and less formal grammar, and you use the appropriate register and grammar in the appropriate circumstances. And “proper” grammar is quite improper in […]
Counting distinct diacritics on the Wikipedia page Diacritic , and ignoring the distinction between diacritics that generate new letters and diacritics that don’t: Vietnamese has nine: horn, circumflex, breve, bar (đ), acute, grave, tilde, underdot, and hoi (mini-question mark) Livonian has six (macron, umlaut, ogonek, superdot, tilde, hacek), but wins points for multiply stacked diacritics, […]
King Tut is famous now, but his memory had been quite effectively erased by his successors. Manetho wrote a Greek history of Egypt listing pharaohs, whose names only kinda sorta line up with the names we find in Egyptian documents. The pharaoh he lists corresponding to King Tut is Rathotis. See the paper Manetho’s Eighteenth […]
In ancient Greece, in place of “Sire” or “Your Grace,” how were people of stature addressed? Is there a gender neutral term?
The relevant monograph is: Greek Forms of Address: From Herodotus to Lucian (Oxford Classical Monographs) (9780198150541): Eleanor Dickey. See review at Bryn Mawr Classical Review 97.11.09 The male defaults were anax/basileu (king), despota (lord, master), and kyrie (ditto). If you were talking to a king in antiquity, I think you just called them “king”: the […]
The verb ‘to lead” is hegeōmai, but that’s not quite what you’re asking. hysterisis is a noun, derived from the verb hysterizō “to come after, to come late” (e.g. to lag), which in turn comes from the adjective hysteros “latter, last”. Your question sounds like it’s asking “what’s the opposite of hysteresis?” The opposite noun […]
How did the “Swastika”, which is said to be the symbol of the Aryan race, get its place in Hinduism?
As always, good outline in Wikipedia: Swastika To summarise: Lots of ancient civilisations used the swastika as a symbol, because it’s an easy shape to draw. Because lots of ancient Indo-European civilisations used it (including Indians, Greeks, Celts, and Armenians), German archaeologists assumed it was a symbol of the original Indo-European people. OTOH the Chinese […]
Sure. Modern Greek: Πήγε για μαλλί και βγήκε κουρεμένος: He went in to get wool, and came out shorn. Answered 2016-01-07 [Originally posted on http://quora.com/Does-the-expression-bite-off-more-than-you-can-chew-translate-to-other-languages/answer/Nick-Nicholas-5]