Hello hellions.

Where does the Greek quote “βίᾳ ἤρχεσαν οἱ τριάκοντα τῶν Ἀθηναίων και τὸν δῆμον ἤδη κατελελύκεσαν” come from?

[Originally: Where does this come from?]

Not a very informative question, I trust you will agree. I have taken the this out of question details, and changed it to:

Where does this quote “βίᾳ ἤρχεσαν οἱ τριάκοντα τῶν Ἀθηναίων και τὸν δῆμον ἤδν κατελελύκεσαν” come from?

Which, one would have thought was the helpful thing to do.

QCR reverted me. I reverted it back.

QCR reverted me again. I reported it for vandalism, and reverted it again.

QCR reverted me once again. “However, the question has been flagged as possibly violating policy and will be reviewed.”

No shit, Sherlock.

Esteemed hellions, we know that QCR has longstanding problems with non-English, but this is worse than that. What is current best practice for getting QCR, aka Poster Boy about How AI Is Not Ready For Prime Time Yet, to shut the hell up? Reverting it and reporting it for vandalism is clearly no longer working.

Thank you, and SHUT UP QCR.

Lest We Forget about Review of Anonymous Questions…

Nick Nicholas timeline.


Nick Nicholas’ answer to Are questions on Quora curated? If so, how did “Why did Loretta Lynch call for blood & death in the streets of the US March 2017?” ever get posted?

“Are questions on Quora curated?”

Only post facto.

Get reporting.


Why don’t we ban or declare war on Islam? [“Why don’t we ban or declare war on Islam?”]

With Christianity being the most persecuted religion, Muslims being most of the terrorists worldwide, and aiming to take over the world by reproducing, I see no reason to criminalize Islam, and maybe even reinstating the death penalty for Muslims as jailing them would make prisons “no-go zones”.

Nick checks Edit Log:…

Question added by Anonymous.

Of course.


Improvements to Anonymity on Quora by Riley Patterson on The Quora Blog (March 2017)

  • All anonymous content will be reviewed for spam and harassment before receiving distribution

Anonymous Screening (Jack Fraser, June 2017)

So we finally have our answer:

There is human review as we were originally promised.

It just seems like they’re somehow doing it spectacularly badly!… (comment on Jack’s post)

Nick Nicholas:

—Can’t you see this ain’t good enough?

—I see what you mean.

—Then you give me some half-assed story about some delivery guy busting his arm. Look, Fawlty, if your chef couldn’t find the ingredients from that guy, why didn’t he get them from somebody else?

—Exactly. Hopeless.


—Completely hopeless.

—Right. You’re the manager, aren’t you? You’re responsible. So what are you going to do about it?

—… I’ll have a word with him.

—Have a word with him? Man, you gotta tell him, lay it on the line! Lay it on the line. Tell him if he doesn’t get on the ball, you’re gonna bust his ass!

(Fawlty Towers: Waldorf Salad)

How to get Quora Content Review to shut up…

This advice is a bit more precise than what I’d heard, which is “report QCR” (and which I’d been doing):

Christopher VanLang:

For the record, you should not report the QCR since they doesn’t get very far since that review process is drastically different from human reports. Instead, you are best off using the link to trigger an event review.


Might be easier to provide the question log to give the reviewer the full picture. The ultimate goal is to get a review of the QCR human or robot that is causing the problem.

Existentialist Parable

Comment thread starting at…

Kelly Kinkade:

The QCR bot needs to have code in it that detects when it is reverted, disabling it from re-reverting and alerting one of its human masters to review the edit immediately. As far as I can tell, this only happens if one of its human minders happens to notice the situation (that is, reactive rather than proactive supervision), which often doesn’t happen. QCR should definitely not be allowed to revert more than once without human intervention.

However, we (the writers who contribute 100% of the content that appears on Quora) have no say over how QCR behaves. Perhaps one of these days Quora’s administration will remember that without us, they have nothing, and actually pay attention to how weexperience the site.

Robert Thornton:

I can’t think of any commercial reason why they should worry about an individual writer or individual writers. They just need a sufficiently large mass of writers producing a sufficiently large mass of commercially useful content. It doesn’t matter exactly who. They give Top Writer awards and have Top Writer parties not so much, if at all, to keep those Top Writers happy as they do to have a kind of brass ring for those who are interested in acquiring it and to give those who aren’t interested in TW status the impression that Quora is interested in writers as individuals and in the quality of their work that’s other than commercial—so that they will keep producing.

Perfectly reasonable behavior from a certain point of view.

Nick Nicholas:


We’re all fungible, and Quora is an existentialist parable.

Why does the unmarked “or” usually imply the exclusive meaning in natural languages?

Tamara Vardo’s answer is most of the answer.

I think there’s a psychological component as well, though this is getting into speculation. It’s convenient for implicature to have xor on a scale before and, and to require the less natural notion of inclusive or to be expressed as a combination of the two, rather than allow it to be implicit.

But there is a notion underlying this, that xor is a more natural notion than inclusive or, to begin with. And that’s likely to do with humans making sense of the world through binary opposition: the notion that things are either X or Y, but not both, is very helpful if you’re trying to classify the world. The notion of things being both X and Y does not really challenge a model of the world through binary opposition: you’re just introducing a new binary opposition.

But I think the notion that things may be either X or Y, and you don’t care whether they’re both or not—which is what inclusive or means—undermines binary classification. Which is why it’s not the default.

See also: Which natural language differentiates exclusive and inclusive or?

Why do we not use morpheme analyzers for English language?

Do you mean, why is something as ludicrously unlinguistic as Snowball the state of the art of stemming in English? And why do we stem words, instead of doing detailed analysis of affixes, when we parse words in Natural Language Processing of English?

Because English lets us get away with it.

  • There’s not a lot of morphology compared to other languages, and its morphophonemics is relatively clean, with some respelling rules—so stripping off suffixes is doable.
  • Syntax does more work than inflection, so it’s not as critical to understand the inflections to work out what is going on in the sentence meaning.
  • There’s limited and predictable amounts of inflection in English, so stemming is not that onerous. (The Snowball stemmer for English is quite a small program.)
  • Our derivational morphology is only somewhat productive—so we can throw that work back on the lexicon; you couldn’t do that as readily for Turkish.

As a linguist, reading Snowball is deeply offensive. And if anyone is building a search engine for English text, and *not* adding a list of exceptions to your Snowball stemmer, you are doing your users a disservice. But English is such that it’s not as big a deal as it would be for other languages.

What is the difference between η and ᾱ in classical Greek (first declension FEM nouns)?


To clarify, the question is about the nominative singular ending of first declension feminine nouns.

Some of those nouns end in a short -ă, and they’re accented accordingly on the antepenult: thálassa “sea”.

The remainder end in either a long -ā or a long -ē.

The difference in Classical Greek is a matter of dialect.

  • Proto-Greek, along with Doric and Aeolic, used -ā. So “day” was hāmérā.
  • Ionic regularly changed ā pretty much everywhere to ē (aː > æː > ɛː). So “day” was hēmérē.
  • Attic famously was in between: it changed ā to ē, except after r, e, or i. So “day” was hēmérā.
    • The rule gets violated on occasion, because it wouldn’t be Ancient Greek if there weren’t exceptions. The exception is when there used to be a digamma (w) between the r and the ē: kórwā “maiden” went to kórwē in Attic, because the ā wasn’t following an r at the time. Then the w dropped out, and the word ended up as kórē.

Things got unpredictable in the Koine, because dialects got mixed up, and because Latin loans messed things up as well by keeping their final a.

The basis of Modern Greek is Attic, but there has been some analogy at play; ē (now i) can be used after r, though still not after e or i (they’ve been merged phonetically in that context to [j]). So the adjective “second” has gone from deutérā to ˈðefteri. But “thick” has gone from pacheíā to paxˈja [paˈça].

What is the Greek word for “one’s lot in life?”

I vaguely recall a story which hangs on the following premise: there’s a Greek word which can either mean lot or some type of food (omelette?).

This one continues to have me stumped. Both the Homeric moros and the Classical moira “fate” are derived from the word for “share”, just as “lot” in English is. moira has been a homophone of myrrha “myrrh” for maybe 1500 years (first as /myra/ then as /mira/); but I’m not seeing that pun.

Of Modern synonyms, other than those in Konstantinos Konstantinides’ answer, there’s

  • ɣrafto “what is written”
  • riziko “what is at the root” (possibly also the etymology of risk, though I think the semantic development is different: risk < shoal at sea < boulder fallen from a cliff < cliff < (mountain root)”: What is the etymology and origin of the word “risk”?)
  • pepromeno “what is fulfilled” (ancient participle, learnèd)

Nothing obvious there. The only halfway possible parallel, from this Synonyms Blog: μοίρα, is meriða. The main meaning of the word is portion (of food), and you can order a meriða of lamb at a restaurant. But the synonym list posits it’s also a synonym of fate (via the same metaphor of sharing as lot and moira.) That meaning is not given in the Triantafyllidis Dictionary, but it is one of the definitions given in Kriaras’ Dictionary of Early Modern Greek (Nathanael Bertos, 15th century: “The blasphemer has no part with God, but his portion is rather with the traitor Judas”), so it must have survived in some dialect or other.

Here’s a PhD on Bertos, if you feel like reading up on 15th century sermonising in Greek:…. Yes, the PhD is in Greek too.

This seems like a stretch; I’m sure that word isn’t it either. Thanks for the Google search you made me do though. Turns out Bertos’ homilies have just been published by Athanasiadou-Stephanoudaki, who wrote that PhD; I didn’t know that, and it’s always good to get more Early Modern Greek prose!


I think I’ve got it.

A strapatsaða is one of the names for a tomato and feta omelette; it’s also known as kaɣianas (from Turkish), and it’s equivalent to the Turkish menamen.

strapatsaða < Venetian strapazzada < strapazzare.

strapazzare: to abuse, maltreat something; to chop into little pieces.

There’s another cognate of strapazzare in Greek: strapatso “disaster, fiasco”.

It’s not the notion of “all sorts of stuff going on”, which OP recalls (and which is proverbially is associated with omelettes). But it’s the closest I’m getting.

What are the good and bad neighborhoods of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia?

Kim Daniels’ answer sounds the most accurate to me, as does Sherï Hussain’s answer to Are there really rough neighborhoods to avoid in Melbourne Australia?

The question is clearly vexed, and if you’re paying close attention, there’s several things going on (which Stacey Johnston’s answer alludes to). The social dynamic in Melbourne is in flux; people’s old prejudices about suburbs die hard, even if they are overtaken by events (and that will be reflected in my answer too); and there’s a lot of class prejudice in both directions, for a people who are in denial about having class prejudice.

Tribes at disdain with each other or overlapping with each other include:

  • The old Melbourne establishment
  • The old working class (or its remnants)
  • Yuppies, creatives and suchlike cosmopolitans
  • Enterpreneurs of varying types, including both tycoons and tradespeople
  • Several different kinds of underprivileged groups
  • Several waves of migration: Southern European, Vietnamese, Indian, East African, and several iterations of Chinese migration
  • Hipsters
  • Bogans
    • The complexity of the tribalisms is illustrated by the complexity of the appellation bogans. It looks like it’s tied to class, and there is a correlation, but it’s not a good correlation. Much more of it is tied to culture; one can readily be a “cashed up bogan”, and plenty of people are rather proud to call themselves bogans.

So, with that in mind:

There are three divides in Melbourne. The least relevant is North Of The River and South Of The River. It is true that there are lots of Melburnians who will never cross the river; but that’s merely a divide of transport laziness. South Yarra is fashionistas and Brunswick is hipsters; they’re not as different from each other as they like to think.

The old class divide was Western Suburbs vs Eastern Suburbs. The money was in the East; the working class was disproportionately in the West, as were the underprivileged. Broadmeadows was a project in social engineering gone horribly wrong—dump a bunch of social housing in the Western outskirts with no amenities and nothing for kids to do but beat each other up. Footscray was notorious in the 80s for its Vietnamese gangs and its all-round seediness.

Half the suburbs in Kim Daniels’ answer are Western: Sunshine, St Albans, Broadmeadows. That class divide is pretty much gone now. Williamstown and Yarraville are a stone’s throw from Footscray, and they’ve transmogrified from Southern European industrial dormitories into Yuppieville West. Footscray has gone from Vietnamese turf to Vietnamese vs Somali turf, but gentrification is well underway. It’ll eventually hit Sunshine too.

The divide was never that sound anyway, as you can see from the other suburbs Kim Daniels names. The real class divide is now Inner vs Outer suburbs, with better vs worse access to amenities. There’s an inner affluent zone; a middle suburbia that’s getting increasingly expensive, and an outer zone mixed between the disaffected and young families that can’t afford suburbia. It’s why Footscray simply has to gentrify—it’s too close to the CBD not to. And it’s why Broadmeadows will not.

Dandenong and Frankston were the outer eastern limits 30 years ago, and I guess they’re still outer, though there’s 20 km of exurbia past Dandy now. Dandenong has had an increase in crime, and people looking askance at its newly arrived immigrants. Frankston is often derided as Bogan Central, although it has nowhere near the criminality of Dandenong. It’s laughed at rather than feared, I’m afraid. (And it knows it has an image problem: Faces of Frankston are all over my train carriage.)

Springvale, which is geographically middle now, historically was the Other Vietnamese centre, and had some criminality in the 80s. I suspect this is more reputation than fact.

The last two suburbs on Kim’s list are inner, which may seem odd. Fitzroy is a strange mix of ghetto and hipsterville. (Well, maybe not that strange: it’s gritty, and that’s what hipsters like.) It has a junkie problem (the McDonalds has blue lights in its toilets—Why are there blue lights in public toilets?), and it has Melbourne’s best known Aboriginal enclave. It also has an overrepresentation of vegetarian restaurants, and the loathsome hipster smugness of Offspring (TV series), set in Fitzroy.

God damn it, I hate those arrogant, Ooh Look At Me I’m So Unconventional neurotic hipster turds on Offspring. I don’t care that it’s fictional, I just want them DEAD.

Screw you, impeccably accessorised hipster bastards, and your fricking hipster inner city parks.


There’s a very insalubrious patch of Heidelberg West overrun by drugs too, as you can tell by the abrupt dip in house prices. Far cry from when it was Melbourne exurbia 100 years ago, where the Heidelberg School did their thing.

As for St Kilda, it was rough maybe 20 years ago, in patches; Grey Street really was Streetwalker Alley, and there really were bits it was not wise to venture into at night. Again, I think this is people’s memories at work: it’s now overrun with British backpackers and British migrants reliving their backpacker past, and I find it pretty damn pleasant.

Oh, the good suburbs?

  • For Old Melbourne Establishment, Toorak and adjoining suburbs, and (I think) Camberwell.
  • For hipsters, fricking Fitzroy, and adjoining Brunswick, moving northwards now to Northcote. South Yarra for more money and glitz. Hawthorn for grit South Of The River.
  • As suburbia goes, it gets bland quickly. For nicest and pleasantest—Glen Waverley? Ivanhoe? Glen Iris?

Is this grammar correct for a tattoo with my fiancé: Ki’taxa vathia’ mes sta ma’tia sou ke I’da to me’llon mas?

Yes, it’s correct: “I looked deep into your eyes, and I saw our future.” I’d have used a more poetic verb for “see”, like atenisa “I stared right at” or antikrisa “I faced, I came face to face with”, but iða is fine.

Do use actual Greek script though. Κοίταξα βαθιά μες στα μάτια σου, και είδα το μέλλον μας.