Will the 2011 edition of the Liddell-Scott-Jones lexicon by the TLG ever be published in print?

I no longer work for the TLG, and I didn’t get to speak for the TLG when I did.

But while a lot of work over several years went into the TLG redaction of the 1940 LSJ (involving myself among others), that work involved proofreading, corrections to mistagging, typos or misprints in the digitisation (and very occasionally the source text), and updates to the hyperlinked citations. No substantive textual content was altered or added. The hyperlinks wouldn’t make sense in print, and the corrections over the source text really were slight. I don’t see an incentive for the TLG to do so, when the original LSJ is still in print.

The TLG Canon hasn’t been reprinted since 1990, and that represents original TLG work, which is updated and available online. If that has not been reprinted in book form, LSJ is far unlikelier still.

Again: I no longer work for the TLG, and I didn’t get to speak for the TLG when I did.

Why isn’t Esperanto the global lingua franca?

As is so often the case here: there are some good answers (Vote #1 Andreu Massana’s answer; Vote #2 or #3 Laurie Chilvers’ answer), there are some bad answers, and this is my answer.

  • The initial hope of Zamenhof, and indeed of most people in the auxiliary language movement, was that the global language would be imposed top-down, by a committee of wise people.
  • That’s not what happened, and that was never likely to happen. Lingua francas are bottom-up affairs. They are bottom-up affairs, to be sure, that harness an existing structure of power. But usually people don’t learn the empire’s language because the empire told them to. They learn it because it’s in their interest to.
  • Esperanto, FWIW, endured as a bottom-up affair itself; and as I was discussing with Clarissa Lohr in the related answer to Could Esperanto seriously become the lingua franca?, we wouldn’t have it any other way. Esperantists are now what Zamenhof had called “Esperanto chauvinists”.
  • When a language is adopted bottom up:
    • Noone cares how perfect the language design is. People are prepared to jump through all sorts of hoops if it will get them advantage. They put up with English spelling, after all.
      • When China overtakes America, it’ll be interesting to see whether Chinese As Lingua Franca will put up with Chinese characters. It may well do.
    • Noone cares how rich the culture of the empire is. You think all those kids learning English in Indonesia give a damn about Milton?
      • Conversely, all those people who assert how culturally vacuous Esperanto is? I give even less of a damn about you. That’s an argument from ignorance.
    • Noone cares how flexible and adaptable the language of the empire is. They’re learning it for purely instrumental reasons.
    • Noone cares how fair the power imbalance is: yes, the natives of the empire speak the language better than you ever will, but we redress the power imbalance in our face with the tools we have now, not with the tools of future hope.
    • People care about their own culture surviving, and keeping the empire’s lingua a second language; but they don’t care as much as you might like. Languages die all the time, after all, and they usually die through the choices made by their speakers.
  • What people do care about is how much access to power and money they can get through the lingua franca. That’s why the native languages of empires tend to do quite well. There is a niche for pidgins (such as the original Lingua Franca), when there isn’t a clear dominant player, or when the language contact is more circumstantial; but that isn’t the world we’re talking about now.

Why are the leaders of the Australian political parties so prone to being toppled?

All the answers given here have been excellent. I particularly liked Kai Neagle’s.

Several factors have contributed to Australia recently turning into postwar Italy, and most of them have already been pointed out.

  • Labor has always been factionalised. The Liberals have become much more factionalised recently, with the resurgence of the reactionary right.
  • Both parties have moved to The Mushy Centre. As a result, there is not a lot of sunlight between them, and there is pressure on them from their extremes: from the Greens, and from One Nation and other right wing populists.
  • This has made the parties much more managerial than ideological, and accordingly much more prone to panic at poll results rather than sticking it out. If you don’t have an ideology, the only reason you are in power is to stay in power.
  • Labor as a movement has suffered much more from the Twilight of the Ideologies, the demise of socialism, and the Hawke-Keating neoliberal reforms. So the cracks were always going to show there first.
  • Labor was also structurally more prone to do this kind of thing, to begin with.
    • Pundits at the time talked of federal Labor contracting Sussex Street disease—referring to NSW Labor, which has always been much more ruthless.
    • The unionist Paul Howes, who was instrumental in toppling Rudd for Gillard, was derided as one of Labor’s faceless men. The insult is 50 years old: it comes from Menzies. The only difference with Howes is that he didn’t stay faceless: he gave TV time to anyone who would ask.

Many of these factors are shared throughout the Western world, and other answers have already mentioned them. They don’t explain why Australia has remained unstable. Others have brought up procedural reasons, which are beyond my expertise. I’ll offer a simpler reason.


Yes, the party leader is leader only by the grace of the party room. But toppling a sitting prime minister used to be Unthinkable. And the country was shell shocked when Rudd was toppled. I was in Melbourne’s Fed Square when it happened, and I remember dozens of us staring mouths agape at the TV screens.

Once it happened, the unthinkable became thinkable. And eventually, expected.

What perks are offered to only some people on Quora?

Generalising from “perks” to “functionality”:

What is the latin rendering of “The difference between pornography and erotica is lighting¨”?

Differunt pornographia eroticaque per luminatione.

I could try to come up with something more historically accurate for pornography and erotica, maybe invoking the Ars Amatoria. But frankly, the reference is to film, and I don’t think historical accuracy is worth it.

What do you think of the changes to the Most Viewed Writer system on Quora?

Most Viewed Writers by Jackson Mohsenin on The Quora Blog. Written Aug 14, 2015.

Every day, people on Quora share their knowledge and expertise across a wide range of topics — everything from broad popular topics like Movies and Food to smaller, more specific topics like Typography and Superheroes.

Or Chicken Wing Eating Contests.

But, regardless of the size of the topic, we want to recognize the writers who are most actively contributing and helping people within the topics they know and care about. So today, we’re introducing Most Viewed Writers on topics.

We think Most Viewed Writers is a great way to highlight the writers who are most actively contributing to the topics they know about. It will also provide readers with a new way to discover outstanding writers and browse popular answers in their favorite topics.

So… how will “writers who are most actively contributing and helping people within the topics they know and care about” be recognised now?

Well I guess the badges are still there. For now.

Change to Most Viewed Writer by Joel Lewenstein on Quora Product Updates. Written Feb 15, 2017.

We found that the Most Viewed Writer component was often dominated by a random set of topics, not necessarily those in which the writer had made the best contributions, or wanted to write in the future.

So the solution is Not To Highlight Any Of Them. And instead:

Over the last year, we’ve made improvements to the profile page to help writers signal to readers what they know about and what they want to write about.

We’ve updated the Knows About section, streamlined the Credentials & Highlights section to be more relevant for readers, and most recently introduced Credentials.

Ah yes. My PhD is bigger than your PhD.

(It probably was, actually. 700 pp.)

These changes and more to come should allow a writer to have more control over how they’d like to be seen on Quora,


and will improve the relevancy of questions they’re asked, and how readers perceive their answers.

Because there will be no MVW on a profile or a topic page. So people will only have credentials to go on—credentials which don’t appear and won’t fit on the A2A modal window, which are meaningless in many a topic, and which leave Quora the province of the formally recognised expert: the tenured academic and the startup developer. (Which no doubt is the Quora that the Founders intend it to be.)

Those that have been following me closely will know that I felt compelled to take a few days off Quora recently.

What did I think, when I found out that anonymous answerers will not be able to comment or be notified on comments—followed immediately by this?

I thought of the Greek saying Θέλω ν’ αγιάσω μα δε μ’ αφήνουν.

“I’m trying to become a saint. But they won’t let me!”

My native language is English, but it seems that more inflected languages are widly more complex. Does every language really have equally complex grammar?

Drop everything you are doing, and upvote Joachim Pense. Vote #1 Joachim Pense’s answer to My native language is English, but it seems that more inflected languages are widly more complex. Does every language really have equally complex grammar?

There are some bad answers here, and some good answers here. There’s a progression of sophistication that needs to be invoked.

  • THESIS: Knuckledragger argument: Savages speak primitive languages, because they are savages, and they don’t have the sophistication to know any better.
  • Reactive linguist argument: Savages have some pretty damn sophisticated languages. And we do not believe that they are lesser human beings than us.
  • ANTITHESIS: Every language must be equally complex, because all humans have equal mental capacity.
  • Supporting argument: Um… sure, language A has the most complex inflectional morphology in existence, and language B has no morphology at all. But have you seen the syntactic hurdles language B has put up, to make any sense at all? Language A doesn’t even have any syntax! So it must all balance out.
  • Supporting argument: it’s pretty damn hard to quantify complexity in incommensurate parameters of language, such as morphology and syntax. Phew. So we can get away with saying languages are equally complex.
  • Opposing argument: A Turing machine can work out an algorithm to generate language. That complexity is not as unquantifiable as you might think.
  • Opposing argument: That Antithesis is not an argument, it’s a statement of faith. Of course, the original Thesis wasn’t even that, it was just uninformed racism.
  • SYNTHESIS: some languages are likely going to be less complex overall than others, particularly if there has been creolisation in their past. Afrikaans is a good example. That depends on your metric for complexity across the various aspects of language, but that metric is not impossible to arrive it.
  • That said, the fact that Afrikaans or, well, English is likely less complex overall than Latin or Finnish or Lakota in no way means that Afrikaaners or English people are mentally deficient compared to Finns or the Teton Sioux.