Why is the carol “peace on earth and good will to all men”, when the Luke 2:14 says “to men of good will”?

OP, but I’m answering a question raised elsewhere by Zeibura S. Kathau.

Luke 2:14? The source of the confusion is a manuscript variant.

Δόξα ἐν ὑψίστοις θεῷ καὶ ἐπὶ γῆς εἰρήνη ἐν ἀνθρώποις εὐδοκία[ς].

The version I as a Greek grew up with has “good will” in the nominative, εὐδοκία. “Peace on earth, among people good will.” That’s Erasmus’ text, which is the established Greek Orthodox text (the Receptus).

It kinda looks odd, and modern editions of the Greek go instead with the genitive reading in manuscripts, which is also what the Vulgate has: people of good will, hominibus bonae voluntatis.

The wording “good will to all men” comes from someone looking at the old Receptus Greek text.

Which is what the King James did: Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.

What’s interesting is what contemporary English translations do with the genitive of εὐδοκία:

  • NIV: and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.
  • RSV: and on earth peace among men with whom he is pleased.
  • The Message: Peace to all men and women on earth who please him

See what’s happened there? The contemporary interpretation is that it’s people of Good Will alright; but it’s not their own Good Will. It’s God’s Good Will. People in God’s eudokia.

Why Turkey doesn’t form a Turkic Union instead of joining the European Union?

Mehrdad, I feel bad when I pass on A2As from you that I can’t answer. I can’t answer this either, but let’s analyse this.

Why was the EU formed? Really, for political reasons: with the hope that a closer financial, and then political union between France and Germany would prevent World War III. That agenda has in fact been embraced by a lot of people, who really do think of themselves now as European in Europe. It’s also been implemented very arrogantly, but that’s another discussion.

The exclusion of Turkey is probably a mistake, but if you’re going to build a United States of Europe, you do need a foundation of cultural commonality. I prefer to regard cultural commonality as a family resemblance kind of thing: the German and the Turk have nothing in common, but the Greek and the Turk have a lot more in common. But the deciding vote isn’t the Greek’s. (And the Greek’s vote for yes is not so much out of affection for the neighbour, as it is a “keep your enemies close” thing. Sorry.)

So. What about the Turkic Council that User-13062983365168259472 mentions?

It exists, but it is mainly cultural, it is not political or financial.

Culturally, Pan-Turkism is already a success; you don’t need a structure to teach people they are Turkic, the way the EU needed to teach people they are Europeans.

Politically? Erdoğan can influence Turkic nations without needing to resort to a formal arrangement; a formal arrangement would probably bind him into consensus too much, and make Turkey a primus inter pares, rather than what he’s likelier to prefer.

Economically? You’ve heard the arguments already: Turkey is doing very well, and the other Turkic nations would need Turkey more than Turkey needs them.

So I’m guessing that’s why.

But Mehrdad, I now have to ask you an indelicate question.

If there is a Turkic Union…

… what does Iranian Azerbaijan do? 🙂

What is so controversial about Ivanka Trump joining Donald Trump for the meeting with Shinzo Abe? Is it really that bad to bring your daughter when talking to foreign diplomats and people of power?

Is it really that bad to bring your daughter when talking to foreign diplomats and people of power?

Why stop there? Why not bring the in-laws? And your cousin Vinny, who just loves sushi?

Is it really that good to bring your daughter along? What are her qualifications for being there? What is the reason for bringing her instead of a seasoned diplomat? And what perceptions does it raise about your judgement, be she qualified or no? Claire Underwood was not intended as a blueprint for US governance.

The Donald may or may not work out why established politics has put in the ringfences it has. The Donald’s supporters ditto.

But yes, there is a very good reason why nepotism is considered a bad thing. Over and above the lack of security clearance. And there’s a very good reason why conflicts of interest are meant to be both avoided, and to be seen to be avoided. Presidents get a salary precisely to avoid that perception.

It’s this little thing called corruption. You know. The kind of thing that has been happening a little less blatantly in DC all these years. The kind of thing Trump was voted in to drain the swamp of, ostensibly.

Actually, US politics stopped being fun for me for a decade now, so I’m surprised I’m even wading in here. But though I am a staunch republican [Australian definition], I really must defend the dignity of the monarchy against my confrere Michael Masiello (who has wisely turned off comments on Trump answers).

That is not what constitutional monarchs do. That’s not even what absolute monarchs do, really.

That’s what banana republics do.

What are your most controversial criteria when looking for a romantic partner?

Well, this one has worked out well for me. More or less. 🙂


The coupling of Beatrice and Benedick in Much Ado About Nothing is the coupling that’s brought me to tears. To me, that’s the marriage of true minds.

What are the main differences between natural languages and Lojban?

  • Explicit predicate structure of arguments. Which throws natural language notions of case out the window (although prepositions are included as well): it really is a matter of argument #1, argument #2, rather than accusative, dative, etc.
  • Very explicit, computer-parsable syntax, with spoken brackets for syntactic structures.
  • Logical, rather than natural language, notions of negation. (Again, more natural representations are included alongside it.)
  • Berserk allomorphy in compounding, and no distinction between derivational morphology and compounding.
  • Differentiations in determiners that are also very logicish and independent of definiteness.
  • No substantial noun/verb distinction (the terms are avoided in Lojban); a noun is just a verb with a determiner, and thus can have tense or mood the same as a verb.
  • Locative as well as temporal tense and aspect, and explicit Vendlerian categories of aktionsart.

Is saying that a whole race and gender should go fuck themselves racist and sexist?


I’m going to regret this. I’m so, so going to regret this.

I’ve recently muted Erica. Realising, after a year, that I have not found one of her posts enlightening or informative.

That’s my choice. Just as it’s her choice to snap back at commenters for telling her how to think, or for trying to impose their male-white-cis-het sense of decorum on her. She has her groove, I have mine.

Now. Tessa Norris nails it in the first para. The useful definition of racism and sexism is not prejudice, it is prejudice plus hegemony. So by a socially useful definition, it is not racist or sexist.

It is of course prejudiced. And proudly so.

But, for those who exercise reactive prejudice as a self-identified minority? Even if they’re just “venting”?

(The deplorables are deplorable because they, too, are “venting”.)

All I can say is: It’s worse than a crime; it’s a mistake.

Is “Ebonics” a sprachbund?

Vote #1 Shuochen Huang (黄硕琛): Shuochen Huang (黄硕琛)’s answer to Is “Ebonics” a sprachbund?

Thank you for the details, OP, which I will reproduce.

Wikipedia defines Ebonics as ” the language of all people descended from enslaved Black Africans, particularly in West Africa, the Caribbean, and North America”. That includes AAVE, Bozal and any number of creoles, be they derived from Indo-European languages or not. Since the peculiarities of African-American English have had (more dull, admittedly) names before, this understanding of the word seems to make more sense than the one I encounter, “BAE if you want to raise a stink about it”.

The definition is news to be, I assumed Ebonics was only AAVE (African-American Vernacular English), and was not extended to creoles. That’s certainly how the term originated.

Even under that definition, that would not make Ebonics a Sprachbund, just a cover term for a number of genetically (?) related lects. For there to be a Sprachbund, there would have to be ongoing contact and structural coalescence between them. The opposite is the case, as Shuochen points out.