Why does the third generation of Greek immigrants in Belgium use only French, while their counterparts in Germany speak excellent Greek?

Really, the question boils down to, why are Greeks in Belgium assimilating faster than Greeks in Germany.

At a guess, critical mass: lots more Greeks in Germany, so much more community life, much more community use of Greek.

I don’t know enough to speculate further, and I invite others to. Other factors could include:

  • Demographics of the migrant groups. If, say, the German Greeks are all factory workers, and the Belgian Greeks are all European Union functionaries, then the German Greeks will have more cultural, social, and ideological blockers to assimilation, and the Belgian Greeks will have fewer. (I have no idea if that is the case.)
  • Attitudes of the host population. If, say, Belgians all bed Greeks as a competitive sport, whereas Germans avoid Greeks in the street, there will be less assimilation on the German side. (I’m reasonably sure that’s not the case. But Germany did assume that Greek migrants, like Turkish migrants were all guest workers who were going to go away, and to everyone’s surprise they never did. If the assumption was not in place in Belgium, there would have been less resistance to assimilation.)

Why are there no Most Viewed Writer tags for the classical composers like Bach, Beethoven, and Mozart when there are for bathrooms?

How many followers does a topic need to have on Quora in order to have its own Most Viewed Writers section?

Quora: Why do some topics not have a ‘Most Viewed Writers’ section?

Why do some famous topics on Quora does not have most viewed writers category?

Likely, a matter of critical mass for the algorithm to start assigning MVW, rather than a human deciding it. Tag more Bach questions with Bach if they aren’t already, to encourage the visibility of the Bach topic, and eventually the MVW may follow…

Who composed the National Hymn of Palestine. Not an Arab?

There’s plenty of evidence online that Arafat got Mikis Theodorakis to write A National Hymn of Palestine, when he visited Greece in 1981:

It’s also quite clear that this anthem, which online evidence says had lyrics by Mahmoud Darwish and was presented in Algiers in 1988, is not the current national anthem of the Palestinian Authority.

Frustratingly, I can’t find any details online about what Mikis’ anthem was. But it’s neither Fida’i/Biladi, the current anthem, nor Mawtini, the old unofficial anthem.

What do Quora users think of Quora Product Management?

A2A by Steven de Guzman (or, as I like to think of him, Lazarus, only Lazarus was only brought back to life once).

I don’t have much to add. I mean, I likely do, but Scott Welch (the Scourge of the Mensa Members of Mountain View) would put it much more insightfully than me.

First Quora user meeting for me by Nick Nicholas on Opɯdʒɯlɯklɑr In Exile

Feifei Wang is a Quora user too. And she has an astonishingly perceptive take on Quora product management here:

Feifei Wang’s answer to What is your review of the new Quora Product Update which enables a focused reading page from your feed? (17.6.2016)

Should I change my surname when I get married? My name means a lot to me. I’m educated and have started a career, but more so I worry I will feel my identity is lost without it. My fiancé doesn’t mind either way, but I can’t decide.

Odd you’d A2A me, Anon. But OK.

I didn’t change my name once married, as it happens. I’m rather attached to Nick Nicholas.

My wife didn’t change it either. She had changed it on her first marriage; she’d gotten used to the new surname, and her professional identity was bound up in it. She now also uses my surname, but only in very limited contexts. In fact, Facebook and Quora are it; and she’s not on Quora much.

Race and Ethnicity: When and how did the myth of white Americans having Cherokee ancestors develop?

Like Anon, I defer to Sam Morningstar. And Sam has another outstanding response to this question, buried in this comment thread:


It even has maps!

Exec summary:

  • Name recognition
  • Perception Cherokee were more “civilised” than other Indian tribes
  • Longstanding contact with whites
  • Felicitous accidents of skin pigmentation 🙁
  • Larger area of Cherokee land claims, extending beyond where Cherokee lived; so lots of white people had nominal contact with Cherokee when they moved in

Is the Holy Spirit (ruach hakodesh) the wife of God, and is the Holy Spirit the only feminine being in Heaven?

Depends on your theology, but mostly, no.

The female personification of Wisdom in the Sapiential Books in and out of the Hebrew Scriptural canon (including Proverbs) is as close as Judaism got to a female aspect of divinity. It’s not very close.

Spirit in Hebrew is the feminine noun ruach, and if Hebrew had any role in the development of the Christian notion of the Trinity, you could have seen something like a feminine aspect of divinity in Christianity. But spirit is neuter in Greek (pneuma ) and masculine in Latin (spiritus), so that’s not the direction the Trinity went. The Orthodox/Catholic understanding of a female being in Heaven ended up being the Virgin Mary instead, as intercessor rather than Godhead.

So, standard flavours of Judaism and Christianity have not gone there. I see from the first link I googled (The Feminine Aspect of the Godhead) that there were Gnostic trends to associate the Holy Spirit with femininity, and that the Gospel of the Hebrews referred to the Holy Spirit as a mother. So some theologians have thought so, but most have not.

How do Australians feel when they are mistaken for being English?

Quite a variety of answers here.

I’ve gotten that from Americans, usually followed by some bizarre mélange of Bostonian English and Dick Van Dyke from Mary Poppins as they tried to impersonate me.

As we say here: “Yeah… no.”

Slightly miffed, but more at the other’s unfamiliarity with Australians than at the comparison. Normally.

In fact, my good friend George Baloglou, Greek who worked for a long time in America, used the confusion in a way I found flatteringly insightful. He was describing me to a third party in Greece, and he said:

“Picture a guy who looks like a typical Greek greengrocer. And is culturally British.”

(The author, 1993)

BS in English Linguistic and literature are different courses?

Not A2A.

Michael Masiello, who is awesome in every way, is right in the question he answered, but wrong in the question I think OP intended.

Linguistics and literature are indeed quite different fields of study. In fact, they have become more separate. Linguistics was invented to help literature study (rhetoric); and literature scholars draw on the toolset of linguistics to understand the aesthetics of the texts they are studying.

On the other hand, linguistics by its nature cannot prioritise one kind of text over all the others, or make value judgements over what is beautiful in language. (Anything I know about Michael’s field, I know from my own reading, before I got into linguistics.) If anything, linguistics sets itself up in opposition to the lay judgements of language that are built on social rather than structural notions; and it prioritises the spoken rather than the written.

As a result, linguistics has ignored social and cultural structures (until very recently), and sociolinguistics is a field we owe to sociologists, not linguistics. Historical linguistics of literary languages is now a niche field; and linguistics ignore at the tools of literature, even when they really shouldn’t. (Nick Nicholas’ answer to What are the differences between linguistics and philology?)

No, for example, you can’t use the presence of infinitives in the Mass of the Beardless Man to prove that infinitives survived in Greek in 1500. The Mass of the Beardless Man is a parody of the Greek liturgy, which was written a thousand years before. As the tools of literature will tell you, that means it will use the older linguistic structures of the text it is based on.

So much for the walls of separation between linguistics and literature as disciplines. But OP has spoken of “English Linguistic” and courses. This implies not only that they are not a native speaker of English, but also that they are asking about the teaching of English linguistics and literature in universities outside of the Anglosphere.

When the Europhobic linguists of the University of Melbourne made it clear that they would never hire a linguist working on Greek (enjoy your funding cuts, guys), I moved upstairs to work as IT support and research assistant in the School of [European] Languages. A BA in French would be a course in French Language and Literature. As far as I know, Australian linguistics don’t speak of French Linguistics and Literature; and in general, linguists in language departments are (a) lonely, (b) mostly sociolinguists. But I know that that wording is used in Greece, e.g. English Linguistics and Literature.

So you can offer language and literature, or even linguistics and literature, in the same course.

What does that mean?

Well, (a) the linguists are still lonely. They don’t have much overlap or common interest with the literature scholars. In fact, I was research assistant to the one non-sociolinguistics linguist upstairs, and friendly with his colleagues; and there was a lot of mutual incomprehension.

(b) The course will consist of language modules, literature modules, culture modules, and linguistics modules, in different proportions depending on the country and current fashions. (The literature lecturers 50 years ago got into French because they want to know about Molière. Most of their students, lecturing now, were more interested in postcolonial literature. And their students may just be interested in aerospace engineering.)

Those different modules will be offered by different specialists, and will not be informed by each other. So intellectually, they will be different. But it makes no sense for the students or the university to split them into separate courses: as a student of French, you should know both the language and the culture — and if you’re more intellectually driven, that means you should know both the linguistics and the literature.