Re: I Cor. 1:20

From: Carl W. Conrad (
Date: Wed May 06 1998 - 17:33:02 EDT

At 3:49 PM -0500 5/6/98, Jim West wrote:
>At 02:56 PM 5/6/98 -0500, you wrote:
>>If I may pedantically cross the I and dot the T here (if you take my
>>meaning), we do tend in English to use the article with a noun in the
>>singular when it is generalized; the same meaning, however, could have been
>>given in English with a generalizing plural WITHOUT an article: "Where are
>>the sages? Where are the scribes? Where are the orators?"
>Excuse me, but isn't "the" an article? Havn't you just exchanged the plural
>for the singular and kept the article intact?
>(I realize its been a long day and my little brain isnt working very well,
>but I am almost positive that "the" is in fact an article. THE definite
>article, right?)

Well ... as I said above, my eyes were crossed and my mind was dotty ...
Who knows what I was thinking? Hey, remember that line of Euripides:


or such like! There's another Euripidean line that might fit better, but I
don't recall the phrasing offhand. Goes: "Who knows if life be death or
death be life in sooth?" I remember that Dionysus cited it to Euripides who
was dumbstruck at being left behind in Hades when D decided in
Aristophanes' Frogs that he would resurrect Aeschylus even though he had
originally come to bring back Euripides.

Carl W. Conrad
Department of Classics/Washington University
One Brookings Drive/St. Louis, MO, USA 63130/(314) 935-4018
Home: 7222 Colgate Ave./St. Louis, MO 63130/(314) 726-5649 OR

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