Is there an aorist in English grammar?

I’d argue there is. Aorist means “indefinite”, and was intended to mean “indefinite (unmarked) as to aspect”, which the Greek Aorist tense was, contrasting with both the Imperfect and the Perfect tense.

Tense naming conventions, however, are dependent on different grammatical traditions. Latin did not refer to aorists, and neither did Germanic grammars or Romance grammars; “simple past” is the term usual there.

Looking at Preterite – Wikipedia, I see that the English past “sometimes (but not always) expresses perfective aspect”. That would make it not so aorist. Then again, there were plenty of Classical Greek aorists that referred to completed actions—the aorist was the default tense, and you used the perfect only to emphasise that the action was completed.

So… yes, you can argue that the simple past is an aorist; but there’s no real point in changing the terminology of English grammar to say so.

If languages are best learned from immersion, how is it possible to revitalize dead languages?

Through immersion.

Please read Daniel Ross’ answer and Jens Stengaard Larsen’s answer, which address the bulk of this.

The language you’re reviving is likely not going to be identical to the original language, as Jens points out; and that’s ok. I have a friend involved in language revival; she’s helping indigenous Australians reclaim their languages, and she’s careful to let them take the lead in the work (as you have to be). Because of both the dynamics of the situation (she’s not indigenous), and the fact that the community members are not professional linguists, she’s ended up skipping things like the ergative.

Yes. The ergative.

And that’s ok. The point after all is not to go back in a time machine and speak an identical language to that of the passed ancestors (even if that is the dream). The point is to revive something, and call it your own. And the most effective way to learn a language is still immersion, even if what you end up learning is not as historically sound.

Just as whatever got revived in the kibbutzim of Palestine was not a carbon copy of the Hebrew of King David: Hebrew had remained in use as a scholarly language, but there was plenty of Yiddish that got added to the mix, to get it speakable. The point was that the real revival of Hebrew happened in the kibbutzim, and not in the household of Eliezer Ben-Yehuda. There was immersion in both places; the immersion in the kibbutzim was less meticulous than what happened to Itamar Ben-Avi—but also more humane, and more scalable.

At least the kids growing up in the kibbutzim were allowed to have friends who didn’t speak Hebrew.

Population of Jerusalem speaking Hebrew when Itamar was a kid: 1.

How did you feel when you found out that Quora banned a person that you not only liked, but followed?

On strike in support of Jay Liu by Nick Nicholas on Opɯdʒɯlɯklɑr In Exile

How did I feel? Well, there’s a reason I run The Insurgency now.

It wasn’t about whether the sanction was fair or not. In fact, a former community admin told me, months later, “do you want to know why Jimmy was actually banned?” And I said no I don’t.

It was the impersonality of it. The surprise of it. The red banner landing with a thud, when I checked his profile to see why he hadn’t been posting lately. As Robert Todd put it at the time, “Do people often disappear from here as if the Black Maria picked them up in the middle of the night?” That was the first time I discovered that yes, they did.

Now, after 8 months of running Necrologue, I’m numb to it. I wouldn’t be surprised if my nearest and dearest here were whisked away by the Black Maria; enough of them have, after all. Pegah. De Guzman. Dockx. Habib’s and Masiello’s time will come; Welch has only avoided it by well-timed swerving.

I console myself with shining what light I can, on what I think needs it.

Did Da Vinci say something like, “If you ever tried flying, you will look at the sky when walking and think that is your home”?

Googling finds:

When once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward, for there you have been, and there you will always long to return

Refuted in Wikiquote Talk:

Talk:Leonardo da Vinci

So to summarize what we know, based largely on the research of KHirsch above, the quote was first used in print (and misattributed to Leonardo da Vinci) in a science fiction story published in 1975, The Storms of Windhaven. One of the authors, Lisa Tuttle, remembers that the quote was suggested by science fiction writer Ben Bova, who says he believes he got the quote from a TV documentary narrated by Fredric March, presumably I, Leonardo da Vinci, written by John H. Secondari for the series Saga of Western Man, which aired on 23 February 1965. If this is correct, then the quote may have been written by Secondari for the TV documentary, and Ben Bova incorrectly assumed that he was quoting da Vinci. Accordingly, the probable author is John Hermes Secondari (1919-1975), American author and television producer.


However, I should mention that a 1976 edition of Contact Quarterly, a biannual journal of contemporary dance, improvisation and performance, cites Leonardo da Vinci’s Codex on the Flight of Birds as the source of the quotation. I don’t know where to get a translation of that Codex, but I imagine one must be available somewhere, so it can be checked. – Embram 16:15, 28 January 2012 (UTC)

  • Having searched the ‘Codex on the Flight of Birds’ for the quote, nothing can be found that even closely resembles it. 2:22, 9 October 2013

Are questions on Quora curated? If so, how did “Why did Loretta Lynch call for blood & death in the streets of the US March 2017?” ever get posted?

Are questions on Quora curated?

Only post facto.

Get reporting.