So in a flood, which would you read?

So.

Increasingly, the conjunction “so” seems to be used to launch a comment rather than to connect it to something that went before.  News reporters and interviewees seem often to start commentary with “So . . ,” and it sometimes strikes me as though the interviewer is little more than a necessary prelude, interrupting the interviewee’s presumably superior, ongoing observations.

Q:  “Kristi, what are you seeing there at Comdex?”
A:  “So it’s quite the melée this year.  People everywhere.”
Q:  “What is the best new technology you’ve seen?”
A:  “So this great new app by BlitZGen Creations filters out interviewers’ questions, allowing us more knowledgeable commentators to be heard uninterrupted during the livestream experience.  It’s, like, the coolest thing since the mute button.”

Yeah, yeah.  Whatever, Kristi.

So in the livestream of my life, I am unable to keep up with much.  I always seem to get plenty to eat, to my detriment, but parenting items and household tasks and Bible studies and music projects and other things seem to stay in piles in my head—and also in puddles in the corners of life.  Just when I’d completed a couple tasks, so that things looked better this week (life has a way of balancing out like this), a pipe burst, and we got water in our basement.  Since there is no drain, it took hours to mop and sop up an estimated 25-30 gallons, and we’re grateful for the help of a friend yesterday evening.  We will lose a few items like area rugs and maybe a laptop, but many people have had it much worse.  The actual costs involved will doubtless amount to less than our insurance deductible.  In other words, our monetary losses will not be absorbed (ha) by the insurance company.  The impact on us is probably more to time, morale, and strained backs and hands.  Ah, well.

So as thoughts flood into my mind, in an effort to think about something other than the mess and the work ahead, I read a bulletin about a conference on Linguistics and NT Greek.  Then I clicked on a link about a Discourse Analysis lecture and found it took me to a festschrift in honor of one of the lecturers.  So here are the contents of the book (which is lovingly and beneficently marketed by the Logos folks here):

  • “Discourse Analysis as an Aid to Bible Translation”
  • “Why Hasn’t Literary Stylistics Caught on in New Testament Studies?”
  • “Let Me Direct Your Attention: Attention Management and Translation”
  • “How Orality Affects the Use of Pragmatic Particles, and How It Is Relevant for Translation”
  • “Organization and Allusion in Ezekiel 20”
  • “Breaking Perfect Rules: The Traditional Understanding of the Greek Perfect”
  • “Greek Presents, Imperfects, and Aorists in the Synoptic Gospels: Their Contribution to Narrative Structuring”
  • “The Verbal Aspect of the Historical Present Indicative in Narrative”
  • “Particles and Participles: A Helpful Partnership”
  • “The Semantic Effect of Floating Quantifiers in New Testament Greek”
  • “The Discourse Function of ἀλλά in Non-Negative Contexts”
  • “Information Structure Issues in Copular εἶναι Clauses”
  • “Evaluating Luke’s Unnatural Greek: A Look at His Connectives”
  • “The Use of the Article Before Names of Places: Patterns of Use in the Book of Acts”

So which chapters catch your eye?  Which would you read, and why?  I don’t yet know enough about some of those things to satisfy myself . . .

For there is much to learn . . .

Yet I do not tend to learn what I want to learn. . . .

So I will put my own five choices in the comments, hoping a few readers will do the same.


This has been a blogpost brought to you by the alternative/nonstandard use of coordinating conjunctions (and maybe a couple of adverbs).

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One thought on “So in a flood, which would you read?

  1. Brian Casey 03/16/2018 / 12:54 pm

    So here are my top picks, in approximate order of preference. I couldn’t narrow it to three or five.
    1. “Let Me Direct Your Attention: Attention Management and Translation”
    I don’t know how that chapter would be directed, but I’m fascinated by the ways and means of written communication, and I want to know more about the methods of getting readers’ attention, from a literary perspective.
    2. “How Orality Affects the Use of Pragmatic Particles, and How It Is Relevant for Translation”
    Since the cultures in which biblical writings were produced were primarily oral cultures, almost anything that deals with oral communication/transmission interests me.
    3. “The Discourse Function of ἀλλά in Non-Negative Contexts”
    I know something about the word ἀλλά and how it functions as a “strong adversative.” This would be interesting to read a survey of some possible alternative uses.
    4. “Why Hasn’t Literary Stylistics Caught on in New Testament Studies?”
    I have no idea what that would be about, but it looks interesting. I like to ponder the impact of style on literature once in a while.
    5. “Discourse Analysis as an Aid to Bible Translation”
    The little I know about DA tells me I will continue to gain in interpretive ability simply by reading and hearing more about it.
    Finally, two chapters that deal with narrative (also the subject of my recent post Gaps and another to follow this one) would be great interest:
    6. “The Verbal Aspect of the Historical Present Indicative in Narrative”
    The “historical present tense,” also known as “narrative present,” appears often in Mark, John, and Matthew.
    7. “Greek Presents, Imperfects, and Aorists in the Synoptic Gospels: Their Contribution to Narrative Structuring”
    I’ve come to understand that the present and aorist tenses/aspects are not often, in themselves, significant for interpretation. On the other hand, the imperfect is often significant. The mere fact that the three are tied here is curious, and I’d like to read this.

    Like

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