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Some Thoughts

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Some Thoughts

Postby Pros » Tue Dec 01, 2009 6:12 pm

I have been coming here to this forum for over 3 years now. Though I am glad it exists and for those who take the time to answer various questions, the forum lacks a certain vitality which existed at one time. This can be remedied in having newcomers sign up for one of Textkit's learning groups. If you look at the groups listed, there are none operating at the moment. This is unfortunate and a sign the forum is underutilizing its potential. I don't know why there are no ongoing groups and if anyone else knows the reason why or has any criticism of my post to the negative or positive, do post. Overall, my motive is to make the site and forum more active.

Sincerely,
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Re: Some Thoughts

Postby Auberon » Thu Dec 03, 2009 12:53 am

The forum is dead prolly cause people are getting ready for the holidays. I don't think about Greek particles much when I am buying robots for nephews and stuff like that.
Given the choice between accomplishing something and just lying around, I'd rather lie around. No contest.—Eric Clapton
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Re: Some Thoughts

Postby Lex » Thu Dec 03, 2009 1:04 am

If you think a forum is not as active as you would like, post questions to it! You will find it will quickly perk up.
I, Lex Llama, super genius, will one day rule this planet! And then you'll rue the day you messed with me, you damned dirty apes!
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Re: Some Thoughts

Postby IreneY » Thu Dec 03, 2009 2:57 am

Aren't we polite! There's no denying that the forums are not as lively as they were in the past is there? It's not just the holidays really if you ask me; it's like many of us have turned into walking, talking grammar books. Somebody asks a question, we answer it, refer him/her to this or that grammar book, end of story. A bit stale isn't it? I mean even while we're answering we sound like dusty old teachers way too often. Don't know if it's just my feeling but there you go.
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Re: Some Thoughts

Postby swiftnicholas » Thu Dec 03, 2009 4:49 pm

Irene, when did you move to the US? I think I missed that. :)

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Re: Some Thoughts

Postby Essorant » Thu Dec 03, 2009 7:18 pm

I apologize if this offends the people using them, but it is something that comes to mind: I doubt baby-talk like "prolly", a picture of a llama by someone's name and cartoonish characters and stupid signatures give much of an impression that this is a serious learning-place either. In conjunction with other things, it doesn't leave much of an impression of maturity and learnedness. People may be more likely not to stay very long if they come in the "door" and their early impressions involve seeing those kind of things.
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Re: Some Thoughts

Postby annis » Thu Dec 03, 2009 9:58 pm

Essorant wrote:I apologize if this offends the people using them,


What you've said is not so much offensive as rather self-involved. Different people study Greek and Latin for different reasons, and Textkit is set up especially to cater to those who aren't necessarily on an academic or professional Classicist track. The impression of maturity or learnedness is pretty irrelevant — the impression of competence and helpfulness matters a lot more. Everything else will be judged by personal taste.

Besides, even the classics-l mailing list, which is largely professional classicists, sometimes breaks out into a thread of just awful punning.

To get to the original question, one engine for liveliness here is new users. However, the number of new members to the forum has stopped cold until Jeff or his minions have time to put far better spam-control measures in place.
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τίς πατέρ' αἰνήσει εἰ μὴ κακοδαίμονες υἱοί;
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Re: Some Thoughts

Postby Lex » Thu Dec 03, 2009 10:56 pm

Essorant wrote:I apologize if this offends the people using them, but ...[proceeds to insult various other members]. In conjunction with other things, it doesn't leave much of an impression of maturity and learnedness.


I recall that, when I was posting a lot of questions about Greek, IreneY was often quite helpful. The fact that she has a Pinky and The Brain cartoon as her avatar was completely irrelevant. I think that most younger students, who probably drive activity here more than anyone else, would feel the same. Grow a sense of humor, Essorant.
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Re: Some Thoughts

Postby IreneY » Thu Dec 03, 2009 11:52 pm

I must apologize too if my post offended. I'm afraid demureness is just not part of my character and I'm also afraid that I'm an all around geek; that includes many decidedly non-academic interests and that always shows through. I did not mean that serious answers are somehow wrong by default, or indeed, wrong in any way. Nor that the fact that this is a serious, academic site is wrong. I did not mean that we should start chatting about the relative merits of say X-box vs PS3 or start using chat-speak (which I loathe by the way) or even how absolutely brilliant Terry Prachett is :D And for most of the questions a simple answer is just the thing. I'm just saying that if one thing's certain is that all of us here like literature of one kind or another. The way I see it it should be reflected here and there in some posts of ours.
Of course new blood beats any other suggestion for change hands down so there you (or should I say "I") go.

Lex thank you so much for your kind words! Nicholas I moved last year. Got married you see and one of us had to move.
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Re: Some Thoughts

Postby swiftnicholas » Fri Dec 04, 2009 1:43 am

Congratulations Irene! How do you like it so far? Are you anywhere near New York?
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Re: Some Thoughts

Postby Einhard » Fri Dec 04, 2009 2:12 am

As someone who's recently started studying Latin again I find these boards most helpful, especially for help and advice in translation. However, I completely agree with the OP. I was looking through posts from a few years back (yes, what an active and exciting life I lead!) and was struck by the variety and vitality of the conversation. There were new and interesting topics every day, whereas now, if I happen to post a few questions at once, they remain on the first page for days afterwards. There also seems to have been a sense of community which has since been lost. I don't know how you'd go about rectifying all of this (although targeting those of us with slightly er, odd, avatars is a sure way not to do it!), but I do know that there is an appetite for a resource like this that isn't being reflected on these boards. I had thought that that the site might have a low Google profile but, after checking just now, that's not the case. I agree that there is a need to attract more members, but it is just as important, in my opinion, to have a diverse membership, reflecting the full range of aptitudes, from novice to master. At the moment, even the most innocuous posts can veer quite suddenly off into the realm of the esoteric which, I know, can be slightly intimidating. If the desire is to boost membership and active participation, then new members must feel that they can partake in the conversation rather than just post questions and receive answers. Of course, the challenge would be how to go about this without compromising the quality of the contributions themselves. It's a good sign though that this debate is happening. Hopefully it's produce some answers as to how the board can be revitalised.
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Re: Some Thoughts

Postby modus.irrealis » Fri Dec 04, 2009 2:23 am

Wasn't it a while ago a bunch of people from a class joined to ask Latin questions. It was pretty busy then, so I agree that would help. And the ratio of beginners to non-beginners is too low -- I think as a forum we're better at answering questions than coming up with them. Maybe it would be better to organize some of the reading groups that have spun off from the forum so that they take place on the forum?

Or, and I'm a hundred and ten percent sure Irene will support me in this, we could be cool and use Ancient Greeklish:

mhnin aeide, 8ea, phlhiadew axilhoc
oulomenhn h muri' axaioic alge' e8hken

It's even got lunate sigma :!:
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Re: Some Thoughts

Postby IreneY » Fri Dec 04, 2009 2:46 am

Sorry for the off topic post but oh well!
Nickolas minus the fact that I have to take the car to go anywhere and the fact that Michigan weather doesn't hold a candle to Greek weather it's great! Close? Well, Ann Arbor is not that far away so I will definitely visit NY at some point but not that close either.

Modus yikes!!That was truly inspired and brought new horrors to Greeklish! (writing Greek using Latin characters). As an aside, have I told you how they transliterated my name in my resident's card for the place I'm living for now? Apparently they missed the "EIRINI" (a truly novel way of transliterating "Ειρήνη" combining modern and ancient pronunciation) in my passport and transliterated (without knowing they were transliterating it I'm sure) "EIPHNH". So, according to that card, my first name is "Eiphnh" (don't any of you dare say "bless you"!)
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Re: Some Thoughts

Postby bedwere » Fri Dec 04, 2009 4:35 pm

IreneY wrote:Sorry for the off topic post but oh well!
Nickolas minus the fact that I have to take the car to go anywhere and the fact that Michigan weather doesn't hold a candle to Greek weather it's great! Close? Well, Ann Arbor is not that far away so I will definitely visit NY at some point but not that close either.

Modus yikes!!That was truly inspired and brought new horrors to Greeklish! (writing Greek using Latin characters). As an aside, have I told you how they transliterated my name in my resident's card for the place I'm living for now? Apparently they missed the "EIRINI" (a truly novel way of transliterating "Ειρήνη" combining modern and ancient pronunciation) in my passport and transliterated (without knowing they were transliterating it I'm sure) "EIPHNH". So, according to that card, my first name is "Eiphnh" (don't any of you dare say "bless you"!)

An Ukrainian friend of mine, whose name is Alexei, had his name transliterated in several ways partly because it was spelled differently in Ukrainian and
Russian documents. Because of that he had a lot of problems when he tried to become a US citizen. Just to let you know...
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Re: Some Thoughts

Postby Auberon » Fri Dec 04, 2009 7:19 pm

Essorant wrote:I apologize if this offends the people using them, but it is something that comes to mind: I doubt baby-talk like "prolly", a picture of a llama by someone's name and cartoonish characters and stupid signatures give much of an impression that this is a serious learning-place either. In conjunction with other things, it doesn't leave much of an impression of maturity and learnedness. People may be more likely not to stay very long if they come in the "door" and their early impressions involve seeing those kind of things.


Sorry if my sense of humor doesn't comport* with yours. But I think you're a dum-dum.

* I used a big word so you would like at least half of my post.
Given the choice between accomplishing something and just lying around, I'd rather lie around. No contest.—Eric Clapton
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