Sophia de Tricht’s answer to Who would turn down Donald Trump if asked to be his Vice President?

Sophia de Tricht welcomed the opportunity to become VP in an El Donaldo administration, in order to… creatively subvert it:

My gaffes would be art.

I’m talking about hung over vomiting in the Louvre on camera, calling heads of state fat balding pussies to their face, having intercourse with not one but three of a dignitary’s adult daughters. Simultaneously, if I can swing it. Preferably from somewhere really conservative. I mean, pictures in the NY Times where I’m straddling the leaning tower of Pisa so it looks like a massive erection, getting butt-checked with a Queen’s Guard rifle after fucking with the sentries outside Buckingham Palace, accused of setting fire to more than one royal palace in Saudi Arabia, throat-chopping Vladimir Putin, walking around Hiroshima saying “this place is the bomb!” kind of tone-deaf gaffe turds.…

Herewith, find attached an artist’s impression of:


What has been your most pleasant surprise on Quora?

That BNBR works. And allied with that: that I can learn from people with quite different views on life.

Far be it from me to praise Quora for how they police it: that is Kafkaesque.

Far be it also from me to think that BNBR reflects a superior stage of human evolution. Quite unlike David Stewart’s answer to What has been your worst surprise on Quora?, I’m relieved that Quorans let their hair down in other fora. (And there are plenty of prominent Quorans here who I don’t find nice or respectful anyway.)

But the pleasant surprise is that, if you hold your fire instead of attacking someone for some perceived slight or folly, you find that (a) they may well actually have been agreeing with you, (b) even if they don’t agree with you, their reasons why may be interesting, and (c) you can learn things from them either way.

One of the tuthree Quorans I’ve bonded most with is Dimitra Triantafyllidou. We did not start on a promising note. And because we assumed good faith from each other, we’ve ended up with a quite satisfactory distribution of labour over Greek topics. 🙂

There’s been several other exchanges that could have soured and didn’t, because we assumed good faith of each other. (Or at least, I think so.) Bing Sanchez, for instance. Shane Dhury. Jens Stengaard Larsen.

And there’s been several people who I’m learning from, even if they’re not my ideological default buddies. Dan Holliday. Jay Liu. Irene Colthurst. Beth Briony. Edward Conway. Sam Morningstar. Elke Weiss.

Is the word Synagogue Greek and the word Havra Spanish?

Thanks to all respondents.

As Dimitris said, χάβρα is the colloquial Greek word for synagogue, typically derogatory (unsurprisingly 🙁 ). It is used in two expressions I know of:

(Antisemitism alert, with apologies to respondents)

1. As Dimitris also said, χάβρα Ιουδαίων, “a synagogue of the Judaeans”, meaning “confusion, free for all”. Pretty rich, you’d think, for Greeks to accuse Jews of something they freely practice. The word for Jews is not colloquial but learned, which makes me think the expression is pseudo-ecclesiastical, meant to sound like something said in church.

2. When Greeks say fuck (γαμώ) as an expression of anger towards someone, they pick a blasphemous target, to give it that extra taboo-breaking frisson. The targets are almost always internal to religion, and are always associated with the interlocutor. Thus, γαμώ το Χριστό σου “your Christ”. (Your Christ, not mine.) Similarly, την Παναγία σου “your Virgin Mary”.

Because Greece has been pretty much a monoculture religiously for a while, you don’t hear other religions targeted much. But from literature (Kazantzakis), I know the counterpart addressed to Muslims: γαμώ τα γένια του προφήτη σου “your prophet’s beard”.

When my dad was angry (which was rare), he’d say γαμώ τη χάβρα σου: “fuck your synagogue”.

No, my father is not, to the best of my knowledge, antisemitic. (Any more than the people who say “fuck your Christ” are atheists.) I’d be surprised if he even knows what a havra is. It’s just this thing he’d have heard people say.

The Triantafyllidis dictionary lazily derives Greek havra from Turkish havra: Λεξικό της κοινής νεοελληνικής. The Babiniotis dictionary goes further: < Turkish havra < Hebrew hebra.

Chi in Greek is of course /x/, so chavurah /xavurah/ and χάβρα /xavra/ are pretty damn similar; and it’s hard to tell whether the word went straight into Greek from Hebrew, or via Turkish.

[EDIT: Duh. Vowel Harmony. Turkish first.]

I’d never checked the etymology of χάβρα, and am glad that in between shunning Jews and ridiculing them, my people at least noticed their own word for a gathering.

How many nationalities have you met?

A fun question! And I’m not going to win. But I do live in God’s Own (Australia), which gives me an unfair advantage.

I’m listing people I’ve had conversations with In Real Life.

  1. Albania: random guy at a shopping centre cafe a months ago, several in Greece in various capacities.
  2. Algeria: boyfriend of a fellow intern I was visiting in France
  3. Armenia: went there
  4. Australia: live there
  5. Austria: went there
  6. Belgium: went there
  7. Bulgaria: fellow conlang geek, met in Scotland
  8. Canada: went there
  9. China: several fellow engineering students, several programmer colleagues
  10. Taiwan: programmer colleague
  11. Croatia: fellow linguistics student
  12. Cyprus: went there
  13. Czechia: my massage therapist
  14. Denmark: a conlanger, met in Scotland
  15. East Timor: fellow research assistant
  16. Egypt: parent’s neighbours
  17. El Salvador: server at my local Del Taco in Cali
  18. Ethiopia: linguistics lecturer
  19. Fiji: fellow engineering student
  20. France: went there, a few French lecturers
  21. Georgia: owner of Georgian restaurant I go to
  22. Germany: went there, lots of German lecturers
  23. Greece: lived there
  24. Hungary: fellow high school student
  25. India: several programmer and BA colleagues
  26. Indonesia: fellow engineering students
  27. Iran: fellow linguistics students
  28. Ireland: I live in Australia 🙂
  29. Israel: fellow high school student, fellow BA
  30. Italy: went there, lots of Italian lecturers
  31. Japan: fellow linguistics students
  32. Kazakhstan: fellow linguistics student’s boyfriend
  33. Lichtenstein: some tourists I met in Crete
  34. Luxembourg: CEO of assessment software company
  35. Macedonia: uni student I befriended while working tech support
  36. Malaysia: fellow engineering students
  37. Malta: wife’s best friend
  38. Mauritius: former boss
  39. Mexico: I lived in SoCal
  40. Netherlands: went there
  41. New Zealand: I live in Australia. Latest was a data architect just this week
  42. Norway: linguist at historical linguistics conference
  43. Philippines: fellow linguistics student; admin in linguistics department
  44. Poland: fellow linguistics student, student I co-supervised
  45. Romania: neighbour’s daughter in law
  46. Russia: fellow high school students, fellow linguistics students
  47. Saudi Arabia: students I lectured
  48. Serbia: student I lectured
  49. Seychelles: neighbour’s wife (deceased)
  50. Singapore: fellow engineering students, fellow high school students
  51. Slovenia: solutions architect at work
  52. South Africa: owner of bike shop next door to my parents
  53. Spain: Spanish lecturers
  54. Sri Lanka: fellow high school student
  55. Sweden: Swedish lecturer
  56. Switzerland: programmer colleague
  57. Syria: My dry-cleaners in SoCal
  58. Turkey: been there
  59. Ukraine: friends of fellow linguistics student, boss
  60. UK: been there, boss, personal trainer
  61. US: lived there
  62. Uruguay: boss’ wife
  63. Vietnam: French lecturer; fellow PhD student

If I add restaurants with cuisines from those countries (who, it stands to reason, will likely employ at least one person from that nationality—so I’ll have met them if not spoken to them):

  1. Afghanistan
  2. Argentina
  3. Brazil
  4. Cambodia
  5. Jamaica
  6. South Korea
  7. Lebanon
  8. Morocco
  9. Nepal
  10. Pakistan
  11. Peru
  12. Thailand

How can I thank all the people who added appropriate topics to my questions?

By going forth and sinning no more. As in, adding appropriate topics yourself. To your own questions, and then others’.

Why are some of my questions unanswered?