Monday, February 28, 2011

The closest to a podcast that this blog will ever come

Miss Self-Important on the radio (very briefly). And yes, after hearing "Our baby is Hartford," I'm done with this topic, for now.

Friday, February 25, 2011


The entire month of February has gone by, and all I've done is study Greek so that someday soon I might be able to produce better translations than this. Did you know that if you learn a new Greek verb form every day for an entire month, you still won't know them all by the end of that month? You will, however, develop a kind of low-level, permanent exhaustion from waking up at 7 AM every day to try.

This leads me to wonder:
1. Is any currently-spoken language as inflected as Greek, and how did anyone in the 5th century speak it correctly?
2. A friend points out that grammars seem to simplify over time--Attic Greek to Koine, for example, or classical Latin to modern Latin--but why would that happen? Shouldn't they become more elaborate instead? Or does the proliferation of vocabulary serve the elaborating function?

Monday, February 21, 2011

Aggressive undergrad marginalia

A note found in my copy of The Prince, next to the part of ch. 3 about the Roman conquest of Philip and Antiochus:
Pre-emption: take the war to the terrorists before they bring the war here
Grrr! What must we have been discussing in first quarter sosc?