Linguistics and opposite conclusions
jonathan.robie at datadirect-technologies.com
Tue Oct 29 08:00:33 EST 2002
At 05:59 AM 10/29/2002 -0500, Carl W. Conrad wrote:
>Long ago on this list I
>expressed a dislike for Jonathan's distinction between "big Greek" and
>"little Greek" on grounds that nobody is so competent in ancient Greek that
>he or she cannot learn new things about it from others. We are all
>students, even if some of us have been studying longer than others.
Actually, Carl, I think that the way I use the term "little Greek" is in
agreement with what you say here. Here's an excerpt from my "Little Greek"
What is a little Greek?
A "Little Greek" is someone who is still learning Greek. The phrase
originated when someone on the B-Greek Mailing List suggested that "a
little Greek is a dangerous thing". I replied that I am a Little Greek, and
I am dangerous, but so are some of the Big Greeks. Most Greek grammars say
a few things that are completely wrong, and most noted authorities on the
Greek language have said at least one stupid thing. But there is good news:
even Really Incredibly Awesome Big Greeks can be Little Greeks too, as long
as they realize one thing:
EXOMEN DE TON QHSAURON TOUTON EN OSTRAKINOIS SKEUESIN, hINA hH hHPERBOLH
THS DUNAMEWS hH TOU QEOU KAI MH EX hHMWN (2 Cor 4:7)
Those who don't know aren't dangerous; those who insist they do know are
very dangerous. This is just as true for Really Big Greeks as for Little
Greeks. Each of us knows only in part; if we want to profit by studying
Greek, we must have the humility and the patience to learn one step at a
time, to be corrected by others, and be open to the Spirit who guides us in
I've learned important things in this thread, especially from Iver and
Mark, and intend to keep learning.
More information about the B-Greek