[B-Greek] Con Campbell on Interlinears

James Spinti JSpinti at Eisenbrauns.com
Tue Oct 6 09:02:36 EDT 2009

I saw Con's post and was thinking a nice bonfire was in order. Then I
remembered that most interlinears are electronic now; I don't want to
cause toxic smoke, but perhaps a few electrons should be rearranged? 

At the very least, if you must use electronic cheat-tools, turn off the
automatic pop-up so you have to think  before the answer appears. I was
appalled when I first started using electronic tools at how quickly I
came to depend on them--even after reading Greek for 25 years. My Greek
got worse, not better because of the auto-parsers.

Another old curmudgeon,

James Spinti
Marketing Director, Book Sales Division
Eisenbrauns, Good books for more than 30 years
Specializing in Ancient Near Eastern and Biblical Studies
jspinti at eisenbrauns dot com
Web: http://www.eisenbrauns.com
Phone: 574-269-2011 ext 226
Fax: 574-269-6788 

-----Original Message-----
From: b-greek-bounces at lists.ibiblio.org
[mailto:b-greek-bounces at lists.ibiblio.org] On Behalf Of Carl Conrad
Sent: Tuesday, October 06, 2009 6:41 AM
To: B-Greek
Subject: [B-Greek] Con Campbell on Interlinears

That old curmudgeon Clay Bartholomew once described his posts to B- 
Greek as Molotov cocktails stealthily-tossed into the public square to  
create a stir. Things have been relatively quiet on B-Greek for a day  
or so, wherefore it seems worth noting that Con Campbell, about whose  
"Basics of Biblical Greek Verbal Aspect" I have raised some questions  
heretofore, has posted a nice remark about interlinears in a blog post  
= http://turl.ca/tkkf

Says Professor Campbell:

"Just as performing bicep curls without using your biceps is  
counterproductive and lame, so too is reading Greek without using your  

"Instead of using the primary 'muscle group' needed to read Greek-your  
memory!-the interlinear allows you to underwork your memory and rely  
on the stronger 'muscle group'-the printed English vocabulary sitting  
right there under each Greek word.

"So, go ahead and burn that interlinear. Or, at least, give it to  
someone you don't like very much."

Of course, there is hardly any danger that we shall be seeing a  
bonfire of the interlinears in the near or distant future; things like  
that have a long lifespan.

Carl W. Conrad
Department of Classics, Washington University (Retired)

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