Shoot the messenger

My second BNBR violation. You’re gonna love this one.

It’s in a comment that’s been deleted, because that’s what happens when moderation dings a comment. Doesn’t even appear in the logs.

The context is the question:

Nick Nicholas’ answer to How well is the “new anonymity” policy on Quora working at filtering out bad content, as of March 20, 2017?

The trigger is the anonymous question (since deleted):

Why does Jack Fraser have pubes on his head? [Why does Jack Fraser have pubes on his head? Question details: “That’s not a hairstyle you dumbass. Those are fucking pubes!!!”]

My answer had featured an earlier instance of Jack Fraser being victimised by anonymous questions; I’d come across yet another instance, two weeks later, and saw fit to comment on the ongoing lack of vetting by quoting this new lapse:

Why does Jack Fraser have pubes on his head? [ Why does Jack Fraser have pubes on his head? ]

That’s not a hairstyle you dumbass. Those are fucking pubes!!!

How well is the “new anonymity” policy on Quora working at filtering out bad content, as of April 24, 2017?

Blockquotes in original.

That comment has been deleted as BNBR.

*golf clap*

Upcoming Changes to Anonymity on Quora by Riley Patterson on Quora Product Updates

All anonymous content will be reviewed for spam and harassment before receiving distribution.

Why yes. Good to know you’re on the case. Good to know that you’re continuing your track record of ignoring context, too.

I’ve appealed. Jennifer Edeburn, I know you’ll say here too that I should have provided more detail. Currently, I have to say, I don’t feel strongly motivated to.

Picture Policy By Bug

Comment thread starting here, dates from December:… . There are two bugs in this thread.

Robert Matthews (馬學進)

There seems to be a new, unannounced policy. Two images is now too much “You have posted too many images” is the only reason guven.

Graeme Shimmin

I’ve not seen that. Any examples?

OK, I checked a bit and in the Top Writers forum Quora are saying the message “You have uploaded too many images. Please try again later.” is a bug, not a policy change. I assume that’s the same message you’ve had?

So. Too many images in a post:

And only Top Writers get to find out that this was a bug:

Will the word “twice” become archaic like “thrice” has?

Can it happen? Anything can happen; and for what it’s worth, Greek has even gotten rid of “once”: Ancient hapax, dis, tris, Modern mia fora, ðio fores, tris fores “one time, two times, three times”.

But as Mike Richmond argues (Mike Richmond’s answer to Will the word “twice” become archaic like “thrice” has?), there do not seem to be clear signs of twice perishing quite yet. The spread of two times in American English that others have pointed to is interesting; watch this space!

Why would Quora send 1000+ people your answer (to a question posted in here)?

Because the Quora Digest consists of user answers such as yours, and different subscribers to the digest receive different answers in the digest, which Quora thinks match their interests.

If you’re asking, why does Quora send out answers in the Digest at all… well, Chris Lynam’s answer to What is the Quora Digest? If I have a link to a story on Quora Digest sent by a friend, how can I read it?

First things first, the Quora Digest is a compilation of the most engaging answers on Quora. It’s also a way for Quora to nurture their audience, and utilize great content to power their email engagement.

Think of it like the Quora email version of a greatest hits album.

Or at least, that’s the intent. See also What’s your opinion of the range of material selected for Quora Digest? Should a wider range of topics be selected?

Where did the ancient Greeks came before they started settling in Greece and other settlements?

Stoyan Shentov’s answer that Greeks ultimately came from the Proto–Indo-European homeland is not unreasonable; but we can answer the question more proximately, as what the likely homeland of the Proto-Greek speakers were. (And of course, the Proto-Greek speakers did not come into terra nullius: they intermarried with the Pelasgians or whatever they were who were already living there.)

See Greeks – Wikipedia and Proto-Greek language – Wikipedia. It has long been agreed that the proto-Greeks came from north of Greece, and that the Dorians were a subsequent wave of migration.

The Proto-Greeks probably arrived at the area now called Greece, in the southern tip of the Balkan peninsula, at the end of the 3rd millennium BC. The sequence of migrations into the Greek mainland during the 2nd millennium BC has to be reconstructed on the basis of the ancient Greek dialects, as they presented themselves centuries later and are therefore subject to some uncertainties. There were at least two migrations, the first being the Ionians and Aeolians, which resulted in Mycenaean Greece by the 16th century BC, and the second, the Dorian invasion, around the 11th century BC, displacing the Arcadocypriot dialects, which descended from the Mycenaean period. Both migrations occur at incisive periods, the Mycenaean at the transition to the Late Bronze Age and the Doric at the Bronze Age collapse.

An alternative hypothesis has been put forth by linguist Vladimir Georgiev, who places Proto-Greek speakers in northwestern Greece by the Early Helladic period (3rd millennium BC), i.e. towards the end of the European Neolithic.

What is the word for the thief in the every day language of your country and in the New Testament?

Ancient Greek made a distinction between thieves and robbers: kleptēs vs lēistēs or harpax. Both kleptēs and lēistēs are used in the New Testament; the men crucified with Jesus were lēistai.

The Modern Greek vernacular had lost the word lēistēs, and had kept the word kleptēs (as kleftis) to refer to both thieves and robbers.

Brigands are robbers are thieves. Brigands were also celebrated in folksong as indomitable rebels, and formed the backbone of the Greek War of Independence. So brigands, as Klephts, were much feted in the newly independent Greece:

Klephts (Greek κλέφτης, kléftis, pl. κλέφτες, kléftes, which means “thief” and perhaps originally meant just “brigand”) were highwaymen turned self-appointed armatoloi, anti-Ottoman insurgents, and warlike mountain-folk who lived in the countryside when Greece was a part of the Ottoman Empire. They were the descendants of Greeks who retreated into the mountains during the 15th century in order to avoid Ottoman rule. They carried on a continuous war against Ottoman rule and remained active as brigands until the 19th century.

The catch is that Klephts were really just brigands. As folk songs make clear, they would rob rich Christian and rich Muslim alike. They fought the good fight during the War of Independence—and after the War of Independence, they went back to robbing the citizens of the new Greek State. Which was more than a little embarrassing if the new Greek State is using them as part of its foundation story.

The Greek State had a means to deal with this embarrassment: the introduction of Puristic Greek, as a move back towards Classical Greek. The indomitable heroes of the revolution could go on being called klephts. The current scoundrels holding up Greek nationals in mountain passes may well have been the exact same people; but they were not going to be called the same heroic name. They were listis (lēistēs): the ancient and Biblical word was brought back, to castigate them. (Those folk songs featuring the brigands robbing Christians were judiciously ignored, too.)

As a result, Modern Greek now has a word for robber, listis, a word for thief, kleftis, and a cognitive dissonance about the fact that kleftis is also a heroic indomitable hero type.

What does Turkmen sound like?

Now, I’m been led astray from a romantic notion of Turkmenistan as the homeland of Turkdom, and from the religious content of the video, which is clearly triggering some sort of heightened rhetorical register.

But this sounded like… a hyperauthentic Turkish. A Turkish that ululates, proudly, what it is. Stern and guttural, with no mumbling.

What are the worst Disney lessons taught to kids?

That one should take life lessons from an animated fictional character available as merchandise.

As only one example of this, see:

Disney: Say No to the Merida Makeover, Keep Our Hero Brave!

In an interview with Pixar Portal, “Brave” writer and co-director Brenda Chapman stated, “Because of marketing, little girls gravitate toward princess products, so my goal was to offer up a different kind of princess — a stronger princess that both mothers and daughters could relate to, so mothers wouldn’t be pulling their hair out when their little girls were trying to dress or act like this princess. Instead they’d be like, ‘Yeah, you go girl!’”

I don’t salute a world where Merida subverts Barbie, only to be Barbified herself. I can’t salute a world where you need to look to a Merida doll to begin with.

How is your experience of reading a text in a language other than English different from reading the same text in English?

Reading English is just flowing water to me. The information just snarfs up.

Reading Modern Greek, I’m hyper-aware of stylistic differences; every concession to Ancient Greek or opening up to dialect was a political act up until the 70s, and I learned my Greek in the aftermath of that. Journalistic rigid syntax dismays me; I can rejoice with good choice of words, to the point of forgetting what the prose is talking about. That can happen in English, but the threshold is far higher.

Reading Ancient Greek, which I’m really not comfortable with, is assembling a puzzle. With a sledgehammer. I know what the bits mean, although there’s a fair bit of running to the dictionary; I find it very hard to put the bits together.

Reading French, and reading German, is glimpsing a coastline through a fog. My understanding is foggy, but good enough that I can skim—especially if it’s scholarly writing, where the vocabulary is more familiar.

Reading Esperanto is surprisingly smooth; there’s less texture and shoals to get in the way. My eyebrow still arches if I see a stylistic choice I don’t like.

Answered 2017-04-24 · Upvoted by

Logan R. Kearsley, MA in Linguistics from BYU, 8 years working in research for language pedagogy.