5 case

   (1) Salacious whips (2) Puritanical melon insurgents (3) Fraudulent
   rectum commotions

   Date:    Mon, 19 Oct 1992 17:18:43 -0500 (CDT)
   From: Tom Geer <GEER@acuvax.acu.edu>
   X-Vmsmail-To: SMTP%"nt-greek@virginia.edu"

   I've got to admit...I'm a little confused here.  I thought the message
   I sent went only to Gary but David captured part of it and asked about it.
   I meant for it to go to the group, but I hit reply instead of send.  
   But on to the point...
   I am not dogmatic about it at all, but it seems to me that the 8 case
   system for Greek is a little artificial.  Blass/Debrunner/Funk use only 5;
   H. W. Smyth's Classical Greek grammar refers to only 5.  There are, of course,
   only 5 forms.  There are just as obviously more then 5 functions.  My
   question is why we would stop at 8 cases and not instead use 25 or 30?  Of
   course that would be too unwieldy, but if function determines case, why not?
   I wonder where the 8 case system worked its way into NT Greek grammars.  I
   suspect it is primarily because of A. Robertson's massive grammar, but I
   don't pretend to really know.

It is my belief that Greek got described with the eight case system
because Latin has eight cases.  (Yes, I know you thought it had only
six, but the locative and instrumentative really did survive in
various vestigial forms into classical Latin, and are certaily as
worthy of mention as the lowly vocative.)  Just like people decided,
quite arbitrarily, that English should follow Latin grammar, people
also decided that Greek should be described within the same framework.

As examples of rules which were never part of English (and which I
refuse to obey) until grammarians decided Latin grammar should govern:

"Don't use a preposition to end a sentence with."
"It is wrong to ocassionally split infinitives."
"It's me, the one who uses the objective after linking verbs."

As Winston Churchill said, in reference to the first of these, "That
is one thing up with which I will not put."