"Deponent" verbs

From: James H. Vellenga (jhv0@viewlogic.com)
Date: Wed Feb 26 1997 - 11:24:29 EST

I think Carl's points are well taken (as they were the last time

After the last time, I got to wondering if there are verbs that
we use only in the passive in English -- or that, like DEOMAI,
seem to take on a different meaning when used in the passive.
A couple of suggestions: while my dictionary lists both
"nonplus" and "discombobulate" as transitive verbs, I don't
think I've ever heard or seen them used in the active voice,
as in "He nonplussed his mother" or "You just discombobulated me".
If I heard them, I'd understand them, but they would have a
touch of jocularity about them.

Another one would be "I'm delighted to see you." While we
do use "delight" actively ("Her antics delighted her father"),
when we use it passively, I think we're focusing more on
an internal state of feeling than on receiving some kind of

I'm wondering if the KOINE-speakers of Biblical times didn't
have similar feelings about the verbs we now call "deponent."

Jim V.

James H. Vellenga | jvellenga@viewlogic.com
Viewlogic Systems, Inc. __|__ 508-303-5491
293 Boston Post Road West | FAX: 508-460-8213
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