Paul Schmehl pschmehl at sbcglobal.net
Thu Mar 28 21:55:01 EST 2002

All I can say is, I wholeheartedly concur with what Carl says here.  It's
difficult enough for me to read Greek (and I imagine at least one or two
more on this list) without trying to wade through multiple transliteration
schemes.  The one Carl uses routinely has become quite familiar, and when I
see others, I tend to not even read them.  It's too much work.

Paul Schmehl pauls at utdallas.edu
pschmehl at sbcglobal.net

----- Original Message -----
From: "Carl W. Conrad" <cwconrad at artsci.wustl.edu>
To: "Biblical Greek" <b-greek at franklin.oit.unc.edu>
Cc: "Biblical Greek" <b-greek at franklin.oit.unc.edu>
Sent: Thursday, March 28, 2002 6:17 AM
Subject: [b-greek] Re: [b-greek]transliteration

> At 10:44 AM +0000 3/28/02, Maurice A. O'Sullivan wrote:
> >At 07:35 28/03/02, c stirling bartholomew wrote:
> >
> >>Many of us, by the way, don't read the transliterated Greek in the posts
> >>anyway, we just open up the text in Accordance or whatever and read it
> >>there.
> But if that's the case, it's not  because the transliterated Greek is
> unintelligible, whereas the copied & pasted Greek text depends very much
> upon the Greek fonts one has in one's computer's operating system, and
> that's very likely to come out as gobbledy-gook on screens of those who
> don't have the same system.
> >Good advice, which I strongly endorse.
> >Surely it is only in a few cases, such as textual variants, grammatical
> >queries involving differing forms, antecedents etc that transliteration
> >required, and then only the relevant terms rather than chunks of text?
> >
> >Should we not take it as a given on a list named B-GREEK that the text,
> >either in printed or electronic form, is to hand?
> That's fine, and I do that myself when I receive a BG message that doesn't
> cite the text, but in responding I (personally) cite the relevant parts of
> the text in our standard transliteration scheme; I prefer for my own part
> to have the text immediately in the message where I'm commenting or
> responding. Many indeed do send messages asking questions about a text
> which they don't cite--and sometimes it's not even clear that they're
> asking a question about the Greek text at all.
> In his off-list complaint to me about my complaint regarding this matter,
> Dave Willis cited that BG FAQ regarding transliteration schemes, pointing
> out the opening sentence in particular:
> >19. How do I transliterate Greek in messages sent to B-Greek?
> >
> >                TRANSLITERATING GREEK into ASCII
> >
> >        B-Greek has from the beginning allowed every poster to use
> >        any scheme he/she found comfortable, since we all could usually
> >        figure out what text was meant.     For those who wish some
> >        guidance, a generally accepted scheme has evolved on the List,
> >        with two or three matters still not fully settled.
> It is true that we haven't dictated use of one particular transliteration
> scheme over another, but from my perspective "Greek" text pasted into a
> message from a copied text composed in a Greek font is not a
> transliteration at all, and as I've said before and repeat, it's likely to
> appear as gobbledygook on most reader's screens.
> Ultimately I think that using a conventional transliteration scheme when
> citing Greek is a matter of courtesy in e-communication. The FAQ doesn't
> dictate use of one particular scheme; probably Beta-code is the most
> precise of all schemes; many use our conventional scheme with variants (X
> for Chi instead of C for Chi; TH for Theta instead of Q for theta; even C
> for Xi, probably because one has already used X for Chi).
> When I first started transliterating text for BG messages I DID have
> initial difficulties because the equivalencies are far different from
> of the SMK GreeKeys fonts that I had used for years as a teacher in
> preparing materials for class, but the difficulties are not nearly as
> as those we had when, though native users of a Roman alphabet, we were
> learning Greek for the first time and nowhere near difficult as those we
> had learning Hebrew.
> Perhaps we SHOULD require a single scheme of transliteration, although I'm
> not prepared at this point to urge it upon my co-moderators. Most new
> list-members have adapted to our conventional scheme without complaining
> about it, and those who have used lower-case characters instead of
> upper-case and have omitted breathing marks and subscripts (however
> these are in recognition of morphological elements) have at least
> endeavored and have, I think, succeeded, in making their cited Greek
> intelligible to other list-members.
> I repeat that, in my own view, transliterating the Greek one cites or
> raises questions about or comments upon is a matter of courtesy to other
> list-members. I personally think that pasting from a Greek text into ASCII
> equivalents in a message implies either an expectation that the reader has
> the same font in one's own operating system or that one doesn't care
> whether others can readily read that text or not. I would personally
> see an authentically-transliterated text in a message than a pasted text,
> and I tend, like George Somsel, to ignore a text that doesn't use SOME
> intelligible transliteration scheme.
> --
> Carl W. Conrad
> Co-Chair, B-Greek List
> Department of Classics, Washington University (Emeritus)
> cwconrad at artsci.wustl.edu OR cwconrad at ioa.com
> WWW: http://www.artsci.wustl.edu/~cwconrad/
> ---
> B-Greek home page: http://metalab.unc.edu/bgreek
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