Without saying the number, how old are you?

Another unnavigably long trail of Quora answers! Rejoice, rejoice oh ye peoples!

I am old. I am old.

I shall wear the bottoms of my trousers rolled.

Hendrix was alive when I was born. Stravinsky wasn’t.

One of my earliest memories is the death of Elvis.

PacMan was a diverting novelty to a preteen in country Crete.

Books were my constant companion.

I had a substantial audio cassette collection.

The fall of the Berlin Wall was a defining memory in my life.

When I went to uni, people kept their mouths shut in libraries, and libraries had a function other than as a drop-in centre for people to check their Facebook.

“2 MB of RAM on the new Mac?! What are you going to do with it all?!”

I saw a glimpse of the Web when finishing undergrad. I predicted it would never work out. There wasn’t even a tenth of the stuff on the Web that there was on FTP networks.

I amassed a personal library of photocopies of academic texts.

The most recent electronic music I heard was drum ’n’ bass.

I lectured using an Overhead Projector.

I made a Semtex joke at an airport back when you could get away with it.

Twitter was the first technology I didn’t intuitively understand. There have been many others since.

What is the Greek word for “baby”? Is it used as an endearment, like in English?

Modern Greek, right? μωρό, moro. And yes it is, though you have to say “my baby”, μωρό μου moro mu.

The ancient Greek term it comes from had a final n. Why yes, the modern Greek word for “baby” is the Ancient Greek word moron. In Bithynian Greek, the word for baby is σαλό salo, which is the word for holy fool—same thing.

Added bonus: the masculine vocative of moron is μωρέ more. This is a Balkan-wide vocative particle, and it just means “hey”; typically, it’s reduced to vre, or in Greek re.

Why yes, everyone in the Balkans is calling everyone else a moron just to get their attention.

The feminine vocative is μωρή mori. Unsurprisingly, the feminine vocative is not neutral like more is.

Added bonus: the Elizabethan English for baby is fool. As Polonius used it in Hamlet.

Should I minor in history with a linguistics major?

I will assume that you’ve already been read the riot act about the impossibility of getting an academic position, the need to step on corpses and network, and the imperative to do something fashionable (which historical linguistics is not) in order to get hired.

Why yes, I am jaundiced. Why do you ask? (Nick Nicholas’ answer to What is your personal experience with obtaining a linguistics degree?)

A history minor is not vital. If you’re doing historical linguistics for languages with well-defined histories, like most of the Indo-European languages… well, that’s even less likely to make you employable. For languages without detailed historical records (or without records from the time when the changes were happening, which is pretty commonplace), there’s not much to learn from history anyway: you may end up providing historians with more information than they provide you.

At any rate, you need some level of understanding of historical changes to contextualise language; but I’m not convinced you need much more than an intelligent layperson can get out of Wikipedia. For a lot of historical linguistics, anthropology would be a more useful adjunct to get formal training in than history.

But do read those Wikipedia pages. Linguists can get pretty bone-headed when trying to do history. Just like computer scientists, when they try to do historical linguistics.

Are να and ας translated identically when used with a first person plural verb in Modern Greek?

They differ only by nuance. Ας is encouraging, it corresponds to “let’s”. Να is more like “we should”: it lacks the explicit notion of encouragement.