User talk:Americist

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Hello, and welcome to Wikipedia. Thank you for your contributions. I hope you like the place and decide to stay. Here are a few good links for newcomers:

I hope you enjoy editing here and being a Wikipedian! By the way, you can sign your name on Talk and vote pages using three tildes, like this: ~~~. Four tildes (~~~~) produces your name and the current date. If you have any questions, see the help pages, add a question to the village pump or ask me on my Talk page. Again, welcome! --Lst27 (talk) 21:47, 29 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Hebrew text in "Carthage"[edit]

Hi Americist.

Would you mind rechecking if something is wrong with the Hebrew text you've added to Carthage? I've normally no problem seeing Hebrew text but this one is different. Regards. Valentinian (talk) 22:05, 6 June 2006 (UTC)

If you mean this 𐤒𐤓𐤕𐤟𐤇𐤃𐤔𐤕, it's not Hebrew but Phoenician -- and wow, you are really on top of things! :-) I'm adding an explanatory note to Talk:Carthage at this very moment... --Americist 22:17, 6 June 2006 (UTC)

Phoibe/Phoebe spellings in "Atlas"[edit]

Hello Americist. I see you are a linguistics person so I'm curious about the origins of "Phoibe." I left some comments behind on the Atlas article that I was leaving your revert in place until I could learn more. Most references on Wikipedia use the "Phoebe" spelling. Is there some reason more of these should be changed to "Phoibe?" Or is your usage perhaps archaic? I'm curious about the difference. Thanks Anon Y. Mouse 19:05, 16 June 2006 (UTC)

Hello, Comrade Mouse. This is a problem buried in the foundation of Wikipedia, reinforced by centuries of "Western" convention. It effects virtually every article dealing directly with any aspect of Ancient Greek culture or Hellenism. The spelling <Phoebe> began as a Latinization of the Greek name <Φοιβη>, which in Ancient Gr was pronounced something like /pʰojbe/. Latin transcribed Greek <φ> as <ph> instead of <p> because it could "hear" the aspiration, and because of some degree of awareness of the Greek π/φ distinction. It didn't transcribe <φ> as <f> because that pronunciation (of both φ and <ph>) didn't emerge until much later.
On the other hand, Latin transcribed the most common Greek diphthongs ending in <ι> as a corresponding diphthong ending in <e>. (So <αι> → <ae> and <οι> → <oe>.) I don't know enough about Latin phonology to even speculate as to why this was done, given that Latin had a perfectly corresponding letter <i>. But in any case, over the same time that <ph> came to pronounced /f/ in most European languages, these two Latinized Greek diphthongs came in English to both be pronounced as a "long" E (/ij/) — as in "encyclopaedia" and "homoeostasis." (Rather than keep this on the long list of English spelling idiosyncracies, American spelling converted nearly all these <ae> and <oe> spellings to <e>, and this has been done to some words in other English conventions too.)
So the standard English pronunciation of this Greek-derived name is /fijbij/. And I wouldn't dream of advocating that the spelling <Phoebe> be changed in any more general context. (For instance, in a discussion of the use of this mythological figure in British Romantic poetry, or the popularity of the name over time.) But it seems to me that when discussing Greek-named matters in Greek or Hellenistic contexts that the Greek terms be spelled in a way that reflects the Greek spelling as directly as possible. I don't think the English (or other language) versions of Wikipedia should spell Greek terms with Greek letters except as examples of their original forms, because I don't see any good in forcing people to learn the Greek alphabet. But I also don't see any good in veiling Greek terms in Latinizations just because it's conventional to do so. If anything, I think it's better that a name like Phoibe or Kuklopis (= Cyclops) not look immediately familiar, because it can let people know on an almost visceral level that while certain elements of "Western" culture are derived from Greek and Hellenistic culture, they aren't identical.
This has gotten to be a long response, and I don't want you to feel like I'm ranting at you, Comrade Mouse. Mostly I've used your question as an excuse to write out my thoughts on the subject, which have been percolating for some time now. I'll close by noting an otherwise unexamined point, what to do with the <η> at the end of <Φοιβη>. The letter in question corresponds to the Latin <h>, which is used there and in English to represent a sound that Greek decided not to show with a distinct letter. So while <Phoibh> might be a closer transliteration, it doesn't suggest anything like the original pronunciation, and introduces too much confusion regarding the use of the <h> letter. In Ancient Greek, <η> represented the long equivalent of <ε>, and that letter corresponds to Latin <e>. Ideally a transliteration would preserve this distinction — but there aren't any really appropriate letters in this case. My preference would be to use a common length diacritic, as in Phoibē — but only in the first use of a term in its own article, just so that anyone looking for such information can see that the Greek term behind our transcription was spelled with <η>. Everywhere else I think Greek <ε> and <η> should both be transcribed <e>, so as not to overburden editors or readers. For most of the latter the Greek type of vowel-length distinction doesn't signify anyway.
Thanks for checking with me! The issue is name spelling in general, not any particular interest in Phoibe herself. If you look through the Atlas article, you'll find several Greek names with similarly "deviant" spellings. I'd probably be agitating for the practice in more places, but Atlas is the only such article on my watchlist, and it seems to be out of the way enough not to have attracted organized opposition. I've joined a discussion about a general Wikipedia convention for Greek spelling, not so much because I want everyone to go my way but because I'd like the matter settled so I have a standard to follow. --Americist 18:17, 18 June 2006 (UTC)
Wow! My head just exploded! That was really interesting and I have to agree with your comment about names not being immediately familiar stirring interest in the origins. It would be good if all related articles carried an abbreviated version of this explanation so people could get more of the "flavor" of history without making it impenetrable due to language changes. Anon Y. Mouse 15:30, 19 June 2006 (UTC)

Ancient Near East warfare taskforce[edit]

I see you’re a member of Wikipedia:WikiProject Ancient Near East. Might you be interested in Wikipedia:WikiProject Military history/Ancient Near East warfare task force? See its talk page at Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Military history#Ancient Near East taskforce? Neddyseagoon 15:38, 18 June 2006 (UTC)

dear Americist[edit]

Dear Americist,

I'm reaching out to researchers and writers interested in the emerging, or re-emerging, movements inspired by ancient culture in the areas of religion/theology/mythology/culture...I spare-headed an artistic collaboration between a music professor, rock-vocalist and poet to create a modern multi-media experience of the cathardic journey inspired by ancient pagan poetic traditions; A romance to nature seen as a beautiful, divine and omnipotent woman.

It has singularly been my goal to respect tradition while allowing a free and spontaneous interpretation...I believe the utility of a quasi-rebirth of some aspects of the ancient religious tendancies would be achieved in an increase of tolerance, sympathy, and freedom of expression in our modern discoures on much needed. Until we have a cultural revolution tantamount to the politcal revolutions of the 18th and 19th centuries [aiding the rebirth of a government of, by and for the people] in the area of religion, I will not rest. Until the rebirth of religions which are of, by and for the people, as fluid as art, as deep as mythology and theology and as powerful as culture, I do not believe we will be truly free no matter what economic or political conditions surround us. Democracy without a democratic cultural is as frustrating as it is ineffectual.

If you have a moment could you peruse the poetry project site. As you are a worker in these areas, having ebhanced the Wikipedia, the world's greatest encyclopedia, I would be very honored with any remarks or critisms you could offer either me or my collaborators.

thanks much,


Pdiffenderfer (talk) 00:51, 1 July 2011 (UTC)

paul m. diffenderfer

düsseldorf germany +49 (0) 178 178 2117


User:Dr. Blofeld has created Wikipedia:WikiProject Africa/Contests. The idea is to run a series of contests/editathons focusing on each region of Africa. He has spoken to Wikimedia about it and $1000-1500 is possible for prize money. As someone who has previously expressed interest in African topics, would you be interested in contributing to one or assisting draw up core article/missing article lists? He says he's thinking of North Africa for an inaugural one in October. If interested please sign up in the participants section of the Contest page, thanks.♦ --Ser Amantio di NicolaoChe dicono a Signa?Lo dicono a Signa. 01:11, 21 July 2016 (UTC)