First post – first notes

Notes on Studying Greek Nov. 8

Greek? Just getting started. Here’s a cute tidbit. It has two letters for “o” … One isο“omicron” and the other is ω “omega.” οOmicron is a short ‘o’ and ω Omega is a long ‘o’ Then I took another look at the names “O-micro(n)” and “O-mega” Get it? “Little-O” and “Big-O?” One is short and the other is long.

Since you asked … horse is ἳππος “hippo” and river is ποταμός “potamus.” Put ’em together and you have a “river-horse.”

Nov. 10

Watching “Dirty Jobs” on the Discovery channel, about cleaning up a hippopotamus pool at the zoo. So I can’t resist telling my family about “hippo + potamus” = “river horse.” My daughter rolls her eyes and groans as only a 13 yr old girl can. I was immensely gratified when, three minutes later, the host said the same thing about “river horse in Greek.”

Nov. 13

There’s a greek word διάμετρος “diametros” that means “diameter.” But that’s only part of it. Originally, in Greek, διάμετρος was an adjective, and the line through the middle of a circle was a διάμετροσ γράμμα “diametros gramma.”

διά dia = through, μετρος metros = measure, γράμμα gramma = line, so a “diametros gramma” was a “line measuring through” (a circle).

After a while, Greek dropped the “gramma” because it was clear what “diamatros” meant. Like we might say a “gas-guzzler,” dropping the word ‘automobile.”

Nov. 16

for the greek word of the day? λόγος “logos” which means “word, or story, or reason, or rationality” And any of the “-ologies” come from it, like biology, or ecology, or cardiology.

Nov. 19

Have been studiously reading about prepositions since then. They mean different things depending on the ‘case’ of the noun. So the preposition παρά ‘para’ can mean “from” (like away from) or “by the side of” or “to.” And that last usage of “to,” with the ‘accusative case’ can even mean “up to and beyond.”

Nov. 27

The genus name for remora is “Echeneis,” from Greek ἒχω “ech-aw” meaning “hold, have,” which seems like a good connection for fish that holds onto another one.

My head really exploded yesterday, contemplating 150 varieties of each verb, spread across 5 dimensions. But I went back to the Unit Eight, and just focused on what’s he’s doing there – learning about 20 verbs, but just within the limited “plane” of the Present Active Indicative, and the eight forms of each word in that simple framework. It’s kinda like “Don’t look over the edge.”