Is Quora encouraging a culture of reporting on one’s colleagues?

Obviously the OP was looking for the word peer.

Quora expects members to report infractions against Quora’s policies, since they cannot detect all the infractions themselves. So yes to the letter of OP’s question.

The spirit of OP’s question, of course, by using the term “colleague”, is: should not group allegiance count against reporting to Quora? I have group allegiance to fellow Quorans who I see making good contributions, and there is a hell of a lot that Quora expects we report on, which I regard as at best chickenshit, and at worst specious. So yes, I empathise with what I suspect OP’s premise is.

That aside, I agree with Maura Rudd: see Maura Rudd’s answer to Is Quora encouraging a culture of reporting on one’s colleagues? If someone violates community norms egregiously, e.g. by issuing death or rape threats, by being insulting, or by spamming, then they are no peers of mine, and I am happy to dob them in.

(There are one or two respondents on this thread that I do not regard as peers, also, for their sneering attitude towards Quora as a community. )

I am also happy to make my own decision as to what counts as an infraction worth reporting. It’s not like Quora is paying me to enforce their standards.

In Early Modern English the pronunciation of “housewifery” was /’ʔɤzɪfɹəi/. What caused the apparent (partial) reversal in modern pronunciation?

Why did housewifery used to be pronounced uzzifrie, and now it’s pronounced house-wife-ree?

Well, let’s look at housewife itself. I’m looking up OED.

OED reports that the usual pronunciation in the second half of the 18th century of housewife, as given in pronunciation dictionaries, was /ˈhʌzwɪf/, huzzwiff, with its start matching hus-band (which has the same prefix). Often the w dropped off as well; cf. Warwick, Greenwich (hence huzzif); and the initial h would have dropped off in some dialects (hence uzzif, and uzzifry).

housewife started being pronounced like it is spelled, with an initial house, a bit later. hussy is a development of housewife (> hussif > hussy), and scholars suspect housewife changed to its modern pronunciation to differentiate it from hussy:

This diphthongal pronunciation became more common in sense 1 in the 19th cent. (it is either the preferred or the sole pronunciation in this sense in most late 19th-cent. pronouncing dictionaries), and is entirely predominant from the early 20th cent. onwards. While N.E.D. (1899) records the pronunciations (hɒ·zwif) /ˈhʌzwɪf/ and (hɒ·zif) /ˈhʌzɪf/ as frequent in sense 1 (and also records for the plural (hɒ·z(w)ivz) /ˈhʌzwɪvz/, /ˈhʌzɪvz/); D. Jones Eng. Pronouncing Dict. records /ˈhʌzɪf/ as ‘rare’ in this sense in 1917, and for the last time (as ‘old-fashioned’) in 1947; Webster (1934, 1961) gives it as still occasionally used in sense 1.

So the old pronunciation huzzif died out as late as the 1940s, though it was already marginal by 1860. housewifery would have followed the pronunciation of housewife.

Answered 2017-02-26 · Upvoted by

Heather Jedrus and

Logan R. Kearsley, MA in Linguistics from BYU, 8 years working in research for language pedagogy.

Does Quora have “survival plans” in place, in case its main staff is wiped out?

Uninformed speculation here in, and enthusiastic agreement with Jake Mannix (Vote #1: Jake Mannix’s answer to Does Quora have “survival plans” in place, in case its main staff is wiped out?)

Does Quora have contingency plans in place of hardware failure of disks? Yes, inasmuch as Amazon cloud servers do; if Amazon does not have backup and contingency plans in case of hardware failure, a whole lot of enterprises are screwed.

Does Quora have contingency plans in case of a massive natural disaster in Silicon Valley? The prudent thing for them to do is to have them, but with users not paying for the privilege, and with Quora not yet monetised, there would have been less incentive to do so—that kind of contingency costs money, after all.

Over and above what Jake says—which should be seared into every user’s brain here: recall that Quora does not allow the site to be spidered by, for fear of people not being able to delete their posts clear off the internet. So if Quora goes belly up, as many an unmonetised Silicon Valley startup has done, no, there is no contingency plan for the community.

As I say whensoever this issue comes up: read Brian Bi’s answer to When, and how, will I be able to download all of the Quora content I have produced, like the Facebook and Twitter feed export options?. And if you can’t run Python scripts yourself, find someone who can on your behalf.

What are some characteristics of the Greek dialect spoken by Sarakatsani?

Stand back everyone, I’ll handle this one. 🙂

The Sarakatsani are traditionally nomadic shepherds in Northern Greece and Bulgaria, who speak Greek. Their origins have excited interest, because the Vlachs are traditionally nomadic shepherds through the southern Balkans, who speak Aromanian, and there has been speculation about whether the two populations are related.

The most complete study of Saraktsan dialect I know of is Carsten Høeg’s PhD Thesis, Les Saracatsans: Une Tribu Nomade Grecque. I: Étude Linguistique. Paris: Edouard Champion. 1925. His fieldwork was done in 1922 in Papingo, near the Greek–Albanian border, but the also visited Macedonia and Thessaly, and thought that the Sarakatsan of all three areas was very similar.

Høeg, and almost all other scholars cited in Wikipedia, believe the Sarakatsani are not hellenised Vlachs. Their dialect has Aromanian loanwords to deal with pastoralism, and the words for “uncle” and “father”, but their dialect does not have any grammatical features that look like Aromanian. He contrasts their language with that of the Kopachars, a group of linguistically hellenised Vlachs, whose language has much clearer signs of Aromanian influence.

At the end of the book, Høeg gives a list of loanwords. The largest list is Latin and Italian, and there are not many surprises there. There’s more Slavic and Albanian than I recognised, but as I found in exchanges with Dimitra Triantafyllidou, that applies to Northern Greek in general. There’s about as much Aromanian as Slavic, and the list is not overwhelming:

  • αλαμπούμπουρδα, βετούλι, βίτσα, βλάχος, γκαβός, γκέσο, γκόρμπο, γκουργκόλια, γκουργκούτσια, γριμπός, ζούρα, κανούτο, κάτσινο, κλιάστρα, κόλλα, κρεπιτούρα, λάλας, μανάρι, μηλιόρα, μίγγος, μοαμπέτι, μούργκος, μπάλιο, μπάρτζο, μπάτσος, μπούκα, μπουμπούκι, μπουμπουνίζει, μπουσουλώ, μπούτινα, μπράσκα, σαρμανίτσα, σιγκούνι, στουρνάρι, τάτας, τσιντζιά, τσιπούνι (?), φλέτουρα, φλετουρώ, φλώρο, χαζός. pell-mell, one year old goat, rod, Vlach, blind, chalk, black, pebbles/potatoes, ?, curved, stain, grey goat, orange-faced sheep, colostrum, sheet of paper, boulder, uncle, lamb fattened for slaughter, one year old ewe, ?, entertainment (< moabete < Turkish mühabbet), dark grey, animal with a white spot an a black head, goat with a ruddy brown head, slap?, jaw, bud, thunder, crawl, butter churn, toad, cradle, woollen coat, flint, daddy, ?, overcoat, butterfly, to fly, white, stupid.
  • Høeg does not define all of these in Vol I which I have, and I was helped out by…

Høeg regards Sarakatsan as an independent branch of Northern Greek dialect, not closely related to the dialects of their sedentary neighbours—which therefore proved to him that they were not “recently embarrassed villagers”, as the Sarakatsani themselves preferred to believe, but longtime nomads.


Høeg does list 13 particularities of Sarakatsan:

  • Consonants softening before s, l: Kostakis > Kushtaks
  • Deletion of /v/ in provato “sheep”: prota, pratina
  • Stressed /e/ becomes /æ/
  • Use of tun as a nominative clitic: pu tun ini (Standard Greek πού ’ν’ τος)
  • Pronouns aftinus, ikyos (Standard αυτός, εκείνος)
  • ña, miña (Standard μια)
  • θana (Standard θα)
  • Columnar stress in verbs: ˈkaθumasti (Standard καθόμαστε)
  • 1st sg verb ending in (buˈru, Standard μπορώ)
  • Conjugation aniw, anijs, anij, animi, aniti, anin (Standard ανοίγω, ανοίγεις, ανοίγει, ανοίγουμε, ανοίγετε, ανοίγουν)
  • Passive of contracted verbs –jomi, -josi, -joti, -jomasti, -josti, -jondi; e.g. aɣapjoti (Standard αγαπιέται)
  • 2nd pl imperfect and aorist active –itan, e.g. ˈmaθitan (Standard μάθατε)
  • 1st sɡ imperfect passive –man, 2nd –san: ˈkaθuman, ˈkaθusan (Standard καθόμασταν, καθόσασταν)

One further peculiarity is accenting of the vocative particle o, and the lack of accent on the following name: ώ μανα, ώ Κωστα “Oh mother, Oh Kostas”.

I didn’t find any clear archaisms.

How are the verbal attacks toward Trump on Quora not in violation of BNBR?

I draw your attention to:

Quora Moderation — Election Season PSA by Marc Bodnick on The Quora Moderation Blog

Disrespectful insults and attacks are not allowed against:

  • Democrats or Republicans generally
  • Any of the presidential candidates
  • Any other politician

No attacks / insults in comments, answers, or questions. No rhetorical questions making political attacks.

I also draw your attention to the baffled responses from many commenters; e.g.


Is it a new policy or an interpretation of an existing one (which one)? Is it an extension of BNBR to public figures? Or is it an extension of the TOS clause that prohibits libel?

Is it an exception specific to US Politics and “election season”, or should people in other continents also take heed? Should Europeans talking about Merkel and Tsipras, or Indians discussing Modi and Kerjiwal take heed? What about Putin?

And what do you define as an “attack”? Criticism of the political stance of public figures ,no matter how harsh, is in the essence of democratic discourse. So is ridicule (parody, political cartoons, etc). Are you referring to ad-hominem attacks? If I say: “Candidate X is a crony of big business.” or “Candidate Y is corrupt.” or “Candidate Z is an idiot running on his daddy’s name.”, will I be running afoul? But what if these are exactly my arguments about why people should not vote for them?

And what have you seen that makes you feel the need to post this, especially since this isn’t the first election that Quora has gone through since 2010?

And Bodnick’s responses

No change in policy. We insist on civility so that people of all political persuasions feel that the environment is safe. I’ve posted many times along these lines.

Nope. We’ve talked about this many times in the past. The point is less about “BNBR applies to politicians” and more, we want people of all political persuasions to feel safe writing on Quora and attacky/insulting content often has a chilling effect on people whose views are similar to the target’s.

Assuming that Bodnick, who was still a Quora employee at that time, was speaking as one: BNBR does not apply just to other members but to anyone on the planet, and “attacky/insulting content” violates BNBR. Whether or not Trump is a member of Quora is irrelevant.

Of course this interpretation of BNBR has not been consistently applied on this site. I’d go further and say, I don’t think applying this interpretation of BNBR consistently is even feasible.

I did get a BNBR for calling ex-Prime Minister Abbott of Australia an idiot. At least, I *think* that’s what I got it for; it might have been for saying Wahhabism led to the destruction of archaeological sites by ISIS instead. It’s very hard to tell what you get a BNBR for.

Why doesn’t Quora have Most Banned Writer category?

For the same reasons presented at Tatiana Estévez’s answer to Why does Quora delete all questions pertaining to the ban of Quora users?

It would be seen by Quora as violating BNBR, and it would be seen by Quora as embarrassing to writers. The scenario brought up recurrently by Quora moderators is the writer going for a job interview, and the prospective employers having Googled ahead the writer’s activity on Quora.

What names were historically used to refer to your spoken language before assuming their current form?

As Names of the Greeks – Wikipedia details, the name that the Byzantines gave themselves, and the name that Modern Greeks traditionally gave themselves as a result, was Romans: Romioi, with Hellene reserved for the Ancient Greeks (or for pagans in general).

It follows that the name Greeks traditionally gave their vernacular was Roman, Romeika, with Hellenic reserved for Ancient Greek. And this term entered 18th and 19th century English as Romaic.

In fact this book written in 1855 explicitly contrasts Romaic and Modern Greek: Romaic and Modern Greek. Romaic is what Greeks called Demotic, the spoken language; “Modern Greek” is what Greeks called Katharevousa, the diglossic written language.

Romaic passed out of usage by the end of the 19th century in English, as Demoticism gained ground and as Greeks grew uncomfortable with anything Greek being called anything but Greek. Romeika is obsolete now in Greek too, though many will still remember when people used to say “am I speaking Romaic to you?!” (same meaning as “English, m*thaf*cka, do you speak it?”). That’s “am I speaking Hellenic [Greek] to you?!” now, of course.

Answered 2017-02-23 · Upvoted by

Steve Rapaport, Linguistics PhD candidate at Edinburgh. Has lived in USA, Sweden, Italy, UK. and

David Minger, Master of Arts, Linguistics, UC Davis

What are some surprising things about you?

Habib le toubib, you already know about me having three cousins also called Nick Nicholas, and that I translated Hamlet into Klingon, so those things I won’t count as surprising.

So what should I count?

  • I can dance. Not just dad dancing as I walk into a cafe, although I certainly do that. I do dance Greek dances, and I can pick the steps up for unfamiliar dances readily—although not if they’re from up north. (I did try to dance along to a 13/8 number from Florina/Lerin once. I really did try.) I have had salsa lessons too, although I think my hips are not yet Latino hips.
  • In high school, the disciplines that fascinated me were mathematics and physics. No, you’re not missing any pearls of wisdom from me in those topics. When I switched to the humanities, I really switched. My engineering education had successfully killed off any love I had for those disciplines.
    • Oh, and word to the Melbourne Uni Physics Department. If anyone thinks teaching students Special Relativity without teaching them Classical Mechanics first is a good idea? Fire them.
  • You would think that, with my prodigious intellect, my analytical background, and my incisive insights, I’d be genius at strategy games, right?

    … Why the hell would you think that?!

    My gameplay in Civ—all iterations of Civ—was best summed up 15 years ago, by my colleague idly watching me play. “You’re not actually playing Civ at all, are you? You’re just randomly moving all the pretty horseys around the screen.”

    I do enjoy escape rooms. Though they’re not a good combination with anxiety disorder.

Is there a way to view my Quora stats from the date I joined instead of from the data Quora was created?

My all-time stats start from 2013, not from 2010:

Of course, given that I joined in 2015, that makes my stats graph nowhere near as usefully granular as it could be.

Is there a way to view my Quora stats from the date you joined instead of 2013?

Not that I know of. Be grateful you can see your all-time stats at all. (Takes me about a minute.)