Talk:ancient Greek

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ancient_Greek and ancient Greeks[edit]

Sum of parts, right? Seriously, the lower-case singular seems a necessary delete along with its plural. The best Old Church Slavonic see-also earns the title of Exhaulted Flowery Triod. Salmoneus Aiolides χαῖρε 06:31, 26 June 2011 (UTC)

Delete. The definition is absurd, and not very informative. --Pilcrow 07:24, 26 June 2011 (UTC)
Delete, same reasons. Equinox 10:03, 26 June 2011 (UTC)
Keep. Has a specific meaning (namely a citizen of Greece during the classical period) that can't confidently be figured out just from "ancient" and "Greek". However, the current definition of "An old Greek man or woman" is inadequate (or possibly a joke?). Perhaps "A citizen of Ancient Greece (n) / Pertaining to Ancient Greece (adj)" would do. I'm not completely sure about the capitalisation; some people seem to capitalise Ancient Greeks. 11:45, 26 June 2011 (UTC)
That specific meaning is the capitalised Ancient Greek, isn't it? (Seems we need a common noun there.) Equinox 11:47, 26 June 2011 (UTC)
Yes, it could be that the "person" meaning should go as another meaning at "Ancient Greek" , (with the uncapitalised as a redirect?). 11:51, 26 June 2011 (UTC)
Quick scan of Google Books suggests that "ancient Greeks" is quite a bit more common than "Ancient Greeks" (in body text, not titles). 12:00, 26 June 2011 (UTC)
Okay, I have added the common noun at Ancient Greek and added an "alternative form of" sense at ancient Greek. Equinox 12:05, 26 June 2011 (UTC)
I don't really understand the "proper noun" versus "noun" distinction now at Ancient Greek. If we're saying both are capitalised then why aren't they both proper nouns? Also, should we add the adjectival meaning? 12:26, 26 June 2011 (UTC)
You can have several Ancient Greeks (people; they are countable) but not several Ancient Greeks (languages), except possibly in esoteric discussions about dialects. By the same token I'd say that France and French (language) are proper nouns but Frenchman is common. Equinox 17:28, 26 June 2011 (UTC)
I don't see how that's a valid test. "John" is a proper noun, yet you can have several Johns. "furniture" is a common noun, yet you can't have several furnitures. 19:38, 26 June 2011 (UTC)
I dunno. Opinions from others please? Incidentally, IIRC, Wiktionary policy is not to include plurals of personal names. Equinox 19:57, 26 June 2011 (UTC)
"Several Johns" is an extended use, using "John" as a common noun. (Basically all proper nouns have such extended uses; Equinox mentioned above, for example, that the proper noun "Ancient Greek" could have such a use in an esoteric discussion about dialects.) "Furniture" is a common non-count noun, hence its lack of a plural. Pluralizability, taken alone, is not enough to distinguish proper nouns from common nouns, but it's one major difference between them. Capitalization is generally not helpful, because while nearly all proper nouns are capitalized, many adjectives and common nouns are also capitalized, if they derive from proper nouns. (And of course, capitalization is an aspect of writing, not of speech.) —RuakhTALK 17:58, 28 June 2011 (UTC)
I of course still think the "joke" meaning should go, but 86.160 makes a good point and is right that "ancient Greek" is most common when speaking of a person. Perhaps Equinox's definition at Ancient Greek should go here (with an "Alternate form of" at the proper noun?) and the plural then kept. The capitalization does get sketchy when used as a compund adjective. Salmoneus Aiolides χαῖρε 23:04, 26 June 2011 (UTC)
Delete "An old Greek man or woman" (total tosh, um, Wonderfool?) and keep the other meaning, whatever capitalization that turns out to be. Mglovesfun (talk) 21:47, 27 June 2011 (UTC)
Delete. --Vahag 17:36, 28 June 2011 (UTC)

Deleted non-idiomatic def. DAVilla 18:05, 4 July 2011 (UTC)

RFD discussion: July 2013–April 2014[edit]

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This is a mistake not an alternative form. Hardly worth creating {{misspelling of}} entries for wrong capitalization. Mglovesfun (talk) 09:35, 18 July 2013 (UTC)

I’m on the fence on whether wrong capitalisations should have misspelling of entries, but if kept it should have an {{&lit}} definition as well. — Ungoliant (Falai) 10:31, 18 July 2013 (UTC)
  • I'm not. Delete. —Angr 18:45, 18 July 2013 (UTC)
I don't think using ancient + Greek to signify the ancient form of Greek is a mistake. Greek: "The language of the Greek people, spoken in Greece and in Greek communities." hardly indicates that Greek refers to Modern Greek. (I think I'll add a note about when Greek means Modern Greek and when it means Ancient Greek later, but we can hardly exclude that it sometimes does refer to Ancient Greek or both. (I'd have a hard time citing both, though.))--Prosfilaes (talk) 23:42, 20 July 2013 (UTC)
Re your last sentence: Maybe I misunderstand you, but I think it'd be simple enough to cite both "Greek" = modern Greek and "Greek" = ancient Greek. For the latter, just look for works that say "the (Latin|English) word foo was borrowed from the Greek word ..." or mention famous Romans who spoke or were fluent in "Greek", etc. - -sche (discuss) 00:22, 21 July 2013 (UTC)
Certainly any modern work on Indo-European studies will say "Greek" to refer to Ancient Greek and "Modern Greek" to distinguish the modern language (if they mention it at all). (Back when I was studying Indo-European linguistics I once told someone "I've never been to Modern Greece", making them laugh and ask if I had been to Ancient Greece, but all my brain was doing was making a kind of back-formation for "the country where Modern Greek is spoken".) —Angr 09:06, 21 July 2013 (UTC)
I was thinking about a sentence like "Greek is the language that is currently spoken in Greece, and has been since before the time of Homer." Maybe formulated that way, it would be possible to cite; I still think that most works would either make a Greek/Ancient Greek divide or a Modern Greek/Greek divide, if the other one was ever important enough to worry about.--Prosfilaes (talk) 10:58, 21 July 2013 (UTC)

Deleted. bd2412 T 21:03, 28 April 2014 (UTC)

Not a mistaken form[edit]

Pace the editors above, lower-case ancient is more (not less) common when dealing with the people and adjective, with an established meaning very much more restrictive than simply the SOP of "anything very old related to Greece". Ancient Greek may be written either way, albeit it's increasingly common (as we learn ancient Greek less often) to give the name "Greek" to the modern form and instead describe ancient Greek as an all-capped thing-unto-itself.

Further, Ancient Greek is properly restricted to the Greek of antiquity. The phrase however is sometimes used (as in ISO 639) as inclusive of all Greek up to 1453, a sense where it should be lower-case (but still not SOP). — LlywelynII 22:17, 26 July 2015 (UTC)