How do I inflect the verbs be, become, and begin?

Assuming I understood your A2A, Anon (and I’m not sure I did understand “How do i bend those verbs”),

  • I am being (which, as a verb tense of be, is redundant, and you will only hear it as an auxiliary)
  • I am becoming
  • I am beginning

… Have I missed something?

Have you ever overheard someone talking about you in another language?

Originally Answered:

Have you ever caught someone talking about you in another language?

A2A. How many gajillion squintillion answers are there here already? No, not reading the thread.

OK, answering to be neighbourly, Sofia Mouratidis.

I was in Crete. I was not on my nice, cosy familiar native easternmost neck of the island, where the people are gentle and placid, and the native instrument is the violin and not the Cretan lyra, and the villagers are so laid back, they got Italians to occupy them during WWII instead of Germans.

No. I was 14 km south of Iraklio, visiting the birthplace of Nikos Kazantzakis. The birthplace of Kazantzakis is now called Myrtia: myrtle-tree.

It wasn’t called Myrtia when Kazantzakis was born. It was called Varvari: Barbarians. (Or Berbers, if you prefer.)

And as far as I’m concerned, it still is. I was waiting in the village cafe for transport back out to Iraklio. There was a sign in the cafe.

The sign said:


There’s two more things we don’t do around Sitia. One is change the pronunciation of original [tj] to [θj]. So the Venetian balota “bullet” (cf. Italian pallottola) + the suffix –ja, meaning a blow or shot of something, would be pronounced balotja in Sitia. In the rest of the island, it is pronounced baloθja.

The second thing we don’t do around Sitia is use the word balotja. Because we in Sitia do not think that SHOOTING GUNS IN THE AIR IN A CONFINED SPACE, to let people know you’re having a good time, IS A PARTICULARLY SMART THING TO DO.

Like I said. Barbarians.

Oh, where was I? I had to wait a couple of hours in the cafe over at Varvari, underneath the GUNFIRE STRICTLY FORBIDDEN sign, because the local cab driver had gone over to the next village, to repair his mother-in-law’s chicken coop.

I had some rather nice chops while waiting. And I wrote a Klingon sonnet.

Eventually the staff shift changed, and I heard some say on the handover, “the foreigner over there is waiting for a cab to take him back to Iraklio.”

(Actually, given where I was, I wouldn’t be surprised if he used one of the older names of Iraklio. Like Kastro. Or Candia. Or Chandax. Or Knossos.)

*Sheepishly and very Australianly puts his hand up*

“Not… a foreigner, actually.”

… In retrospect, as a Sitiakos in Varvari: yes. Yes I was.

Does word gerokronoliros (γεροκρονόληρος) contain non-Greek (borrowed) elements? What is its meaning and etymology?

I checked LSJ: no γεροκρ- anything. And there wouldn’t be: γερο- for “old” is Modern Greek, the Ancient Greek would be γεροντο-.

I googled γεροκρονοληρος, as Dimitris Sotiropoulos suggested in his exchange with Konstantinos Konstantinides.

The good thing about Google, is that it assumes you misspell things. So it tries taking words apart.

I didn’t guess what κρονόληρος means, which does me no honour, because when you see it in context, it is obvious. (And god knows Dimitris dropped enough hints, in his Quora Jeopardy!)

Κρονόληρος – Βικιλεξικό

Used by Plutarch to refer to an “old twaddler”, a foolish old man. From Kronos, Cronus (Roman Saturn), father of Zeus and a proverbially old god; and λῆρος, (originally) “gaudy”, (eventually) “delirious, silly”. (Modern Greek speakers will recognise it in παραλήρημα, “babbling, nonsense”.)

The etymology of λῆρος is uncertain, but it may derive from a Boeotian word for a gold ornament on women’s tunics.

So: “delirious Saturn”, of a foolish old-timer.

Now. Dimitris reports that:

It was in a phrase with a Description for a neighbor in the village

So what is a modern Greek prefix doing on a word used by Plutarch?

Someone in your village in Greece, Dimitris, had a classical education.

Can I get a Greek tattoo when I’m not Greek at all?

I live in Greektown, Melbourne. Which means I see a lot of Greek tats sported by Greeks. And I do plenty of looking down on the cookie cutter nationalism of biceps with inked Molon labe, and Maeanders that look a little too close to swastikas. But of course, I’m a cultural conservative, so I would say that.

You will have something more imaginative than that, right?

Tats aren’t a Greek thing traditionally, so Greeks won’t feel like you’re “culturally appropriating” anything (that’s a peculiarly American thing). And Greeks in the diaspora will think it’s a Frankish (Western) thing to do.

Of course, plenty of off-the-boat Greeks here in Greektown sport tats: unlike the diaspora, Greece itself is now part of Frankia (the West).

Like others have said, Greeks overall, diasporan or not, will tend to be flattered that you like their ancestral culture enough to get it inked. So long as it’s spelled correctly and thought through, of course—because otherwise, it’s just a dis.

According to which criteria would you name objects and concepts?

I suspect, from your other questions, Gabriele, that you’re interested in a non-arbitrary, logical framework for naming things.

If I’m right, anyone that knows anything about language will tell you it’s a chimera. But most interesting things are.

Your question (if I read it right) is reminiscent of the attempts at a Philosophical language and/or Pasigraphy, such as Wilkins’ An Essay towards a Real Character and a Philosophical Language. They rely on an ontology covering everything in existence; and because of AI and Natural Language Processing, Upper ontologies are now a thing.

Your criteria for naming objects and concepts then become the criteria for your ontology of the universe. And even if it’s chimeric, that effort is going to be quite rewarding. More rewarding than a pasigraphy.

It could be, of course, that I’ve quite misconstrued your question…