Carl W. Conrad cwconrad at
Wed Jul 21 07:52:30 EDT 1999

At 9:07 PM -0500 7/20/99, Mitchell Gray wrote:
>Dear b-Greekers,
>Excuse my ignorance, but what is the "IMHO"?

It's a very common acronym, used in e-mail especially, for "in my humble
opinion." Often it gets used when the opinion isn't especially
humble--which is to say, it may be used in many different ways, but there
sometimes seems to be a hint, when it's used, of " I don't know (or care)
what YOU think, but THIS is what _I_ think." On the other hand, it also
gets used often enough in an authentically humble manner, with the sense of
"I know this isn't what some others think, but my own opinion is ..." It's
sort of like the Greek particle TOI, which was originally a
second-person-singular dative pronoun used as a sentence dative in the
sense, "I tell you"--one is never QUITE sure which overtone/undertone to
read into the use of IMHO in any particular instance.

Carl W. Conrad
Department of Classics, Washington University
Summer: 1647 Grindstaff Road/Burnsville, NC 28714/(828) 675-4243
cwconrad at

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