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Agora

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Agora

Postby Dr. Goodword » Mon Nov 18, 2013 12:07 am

• agora •


Pronunciation: æ-gê-rê • Hear it!

Part of Speech: Noun

Meaning: The agora was the place in ancient Greece cities where people gathered to talk, shop, socialize, and to listen to political speeches.
Image Agora at Tyre
Notes: I thought we had already published this word back when we inaugurated our Alpha Agora, our meeting place for the discussion of language and words. Apparently, we didn't, since no trace of it shows up in our database. This word takes us back to Attic Greece, where Western word study began and wherefrom a large number of English words was borrowed (such as agoraphobia ). The plural is agorae or agoras.

In Play: We hope to infuse the word agora with new life. The best source of information on language is our Alpha Agora. It is the meeting place for web-footed word nerds and normals, the uptown marketplace of linguistic ideas. However, any good university is an intellectual agora, and your house could be the social agora of your neighborhood or town.

Word History: Today's Good Word is Greek agora "marketplace" itself, the noun from ageirein "to assemble". The Greek word also underlies category from Greek kategorein "to predicate, accuse" comprising kata "down, against" + agoreuein "to speak in public, speak against" from agora. The original Proto-Indo-European root, (ê)ger-, lost its initial vowel in Latin and the Germanic languages. In the former, it turns up in grex, gregis "herd", found in the English borrowings aggregate, congregation, and segregate. It came through ancient Germanic to English with the suffix -m, as we see in cram.
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Re: Agora

Postby Slava » Mon Nov 18, 2013 1:39 am

At last, we now know why so many of the members of this board never end up making any posts. They must all suffer from AGORAphobia.

I, for one, am proud to declare myself an agoraphile. :D
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Re: Agora

Postby Philip Hudson » Mon Nov 18, 2013 4:08 am

I have a mild form of agoraphobia. I can be comfortable in a large group that is fixed on the same activity, such as in a theater, a football stadium or in church. I avoid riots, shopping malls and other places where people are likely to be milling around. My favorite poet, Emily Dickinson, had agoraphobia. I love Alpha Agora. Perhaps Slava was writing tongue-in-cheek when he declared himself an agoraphile. The word has a questionable meaning.
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Re: Agora

Postby Slava » Mon Nov 18, 2013 4:32 am

:shock: Eek! I had no clue as to the other meaning of agoraphile when making my post. Egad, that is most assuredly not me. :oops:

I do have to wonder how a love of open spaces came to be so intimately related to a sexual disposition.Image
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Re: Agora

Postby call_copse » Mon Nov 18, 2013 8:45 am

Slava wrote::shock: Eek! I had no clue as to the other meaning of agoraphile when making my post. Egad, that is most assuredly not me. :oops:

I do have to wonder how a love of open spaces came to be so intimately related to a sexual disposition.Image


I'm guessing that is more an association with the -phile suffix than anything to do with agora-. In terms of a formal word denoting one with a love of the outdoors I'm afraid I draw a blank.
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Re: Agora

Postby LukeJavan8 » Mon Nov 18, 2013 1:48 pm

no cocktail parties or agorae for me.
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Re: Agora

Postby Philip Hudson » Mon Nov 18, 2013 2:16 pm

-phile as a suffix or phil- as a prefix shouldn't have a sexual connotation. Notice the very good words Philadelphia and Philip. Unfortunately the suffix has been misused and we have words like pedophile. Philo (φιλο) comes from a Greek name for love. It is not sexual love or attraction. That is eros (Éρως). Some jerk created the word agoraphile, patterned after pedophile.
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Re: Agora

Postby LukeJavan8 » Mon Nov 18, 2013 2:32 pm

- -entirely too much labeling, it is hurtful.
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Re: Agora

Postby Perry Lassiter » Mon Nov 18, 2013 2:45 pm

Some of the ancient Greek mystery religions engaged in outdoor sexual activity at night. Some of them, I believe it was Bacchus, dressed as animals and chased each other across the outdoors.
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Re: Agora

Postby damoge » Mon Nov 18, 2013 3:29 pm

sorry to bring the conversation down to such a mundane question, but isn't the 'a' to 'ae' way of creating a plural latin? what is the "normal" way of creating a plural in greek?
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Re: Agora

Postby Slava » Mon Nov 18, 2013 4:49 pm

damoge wrote:sorry to bring the conversation down to such a mundane question, but isn't the 'a' to 'ae' way of creating a plural latin? what is the "normal" way of creating a plural in greek?

In both languages it depends on the gender and blend.

A Latin example would be the full form of "alum,' meaning a graduate of X.

1 male - alumnus
2 or more - alumni

1 female - alumna
2 or more - alumnae

2 or more of a mix - alumni, though this is no longer accepted in modern English. We now use "alumni and alumnae" when addressing a group of them together.

Greek follows the same concept, though I can't come up with an example off the top of my head at the moment.
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Re: Agora

Postby damoge » Mon Nov 18, 2013 5:34 pm

Slava wrote:
damoge wrote:sorry to bring the conversation down to such a mundane question, but isn't the 'a' to 'ae' way of creating a plural latin? what is the "normal" way of creating a plural in greek?

In both languages it depends on the gender and blend.

A Latin example would be the full form of "alum,' meaning a graduate of X.

1 male - alumnus
2 or more - alumni

1 female - alumna
2 or more - alumnae

2 or more of a mix - alumni, though this is no longer accepted in modern English. We now use "alumni and alumnae" when addressing a group of them together.

Greek follows the same concept, though I can't come up with an example off the top of my head at the moment.




I know it goes by gender, but is it literally A to AE (which would be feminine in latin) or do they use something else? we use S, generally, dutch and german is usually N (e.g. kinder, kinderen), greek??
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Re: Agora

Postby Slava » Mon Nov 18, 2013 5:46 pm

In Latin, yes, that is the spelling.

In Greek, the masculine ending -on becomes -a. So a biblion (a book) becomes biblia, which gives us both the combing form biblio- and the capitalized word Bible.
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Re: Agora

Postby damoge » Mon Nov 18, 2013 6:18 pm

so a word ending in A in greek is what? feminine? neuter?
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Re: Agora

Postby MTC » Mon Nov 18, 2013 8:37 pm

I have come late to the discussion, and see that it has moved safely away from the prurience of "agoraphile" to the drier ground of Latin and Greek endings. Being of a perverse nature, however, I find the earlier subject far more congenial. Now, thanks to Slava, I have a name for those who enjoy sex out of doors, something I witnessed (serendipitously, of course) in my bacchanalian Berkeley days. Don't worry, though. I won't go further for fear of scandalizing the elders of the Goodword temple, and risking the censor's blue pen. Still, every word is a door into another world, isn't it? Now I see Thoreau, Emerson, and even Ansel Adams in an entirely new light. Thanks, again, my fellow Goodwordians, if not agoraphiles.
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