Why was the word Hades used in the Septuagint instead of translating the original Hebrew word for Sheol to Greek?

In addition to the answers from Elke Weiss and Niko Vasileas, note the wrinkle thrown up by Sheol: there is some evidence that Sheol is anthropomorphic in the Hebrew Scriptures, with a womb, a hand, and a mouth.

So Sheol corresponds to the House of Hades, the place (as indeed is the Christian usage of Hades: Christian views on Hades). But the Septuagint translators might have had motivation to map Sheol to Hades himself.

Why does The New Yorker use a diaeresis for some double vowels?

You can use a diacritic only when it’s necessary to prevent confusion, or you can use a diacritic consistently, whenever the pronunciation goes one way rather than the other. In the former case, you reduce the number of diacritics in the language. In the latter case, you reduce the amount of pronunciation ambiguity.

English has a spelling system insane enough to be quite comfortable with pronunciation ambiguity (the more English historical phonology I learn, the more annoyed I get about it). And diacritics have never taken off in English. So the move to avoid diaereses within English, in general, makes sense: Diaeresis (diacritic).

But that’s one language community’s decision. It’s also why Pinyin users aren’t too fussed about <ü>. German does not think the same way about <ü>; and many languages value lack of ambiguity over avoiding diacritics. They don’t want to have to think about how the word is pronounced; if you have to think, you might as well use ideograms.

That’s the general principles. In the 19th century, English was friendlier towards diacritics; hence the profusion of graves like learnèd and diaereses like naïve.

Why does the New Yorker persist in the 21st century, against the global trend in English orthography?

I give you: the New Yorker logo.

It’s a consciously old-fashioned affectation. Of the kind that the New Yorker hopes its readers will find cute.

What do I do when a Quora moderator is out to get me and won’t let me ask questions?

If your grammar is bad (or even quirky), the grammar bot is going to ding questions as meeting improvement, based on the question. Automatically, because it is a bot. And regardless of whether you’ve posted anonymously or not, because it is a bot. If you edit the question, the “needing improvement” goes away; if the question is still ungrammatical, the “needing improvement” will eventually come back.

The bot has a fairly rudimentary understanding of grammar, and will ding questions even for things like apposition.

I have plenty of issues with Quora moderation, but dinging you for grammar is not really Quora moderation’s style; Occam’s Razor dictates that it’s the bot. Try dumbing down the syntax of the question, and refer to

What should I do if Quora marks my question as “Needs Improvement”?

Also, seek advice from the helpful folks at

Need help wording a Quora question?

Is there a word which can be used to describe a pair of names which are different gendered variants of the same name?

It’s a fascinating question, and I don’t know that there is an existing word.

Partly, that’s sexism, and partly, that’s the bias of historical linguistics in explaining derivation: Martina is the “feminine variant” or “feminisation” of Martin, and it doesn’t occur to people to describe the relationship of Martin back to Martina. In the rare instances where a masculine name is derived from a feminine (Catarino < Caterina is the only one that occurs to me), I still think noone has bothered to describe the pair Caterina, Catarino as anything.

Zeibura S. Kathau, I miss having the kinds of pub conversations you’re having.

I like Uri Segal’s zeugonym, and Audrey Ackerman’s didymonym. (Haven’t seen you in my feed in a while, Audrey, but that’s because I’ve muted Game of Thrones 🙂

Heterophylonym “other gender” is the pedantic answer, but it’s too long. Heteronym is already taken; how about phylonym “gender name”? (Phylon is both “tribe”, hence phylum, and “gender”.) There seems to be only very little usage of phylonym in the sense of “phylum”.

Genos has a similar ambiguity between “generation” and “gender”, and to my surprise genonym is already defined to mean a generational name: An Alphabetical Guide to the Language of Name Studies.

How do you say “my siblings” (or “my brothers and my sister”) in Ancient Greek?

There is a gender-neutral word for sibling in Modern Greek, αδέρφι /aðerfi/, derived from the Ancient neuter diminutive ἀδέλφιον /adelpʰion/. But that word is first attested in the second century AD. So Chad’s answer stands.