From: Carl W. Conrad (
Date: Sat Mar 20 1999 - 17:37:01 EST

On Friday, March 19 a message was distributed to B-Greek subscribers with
the subject-header, "LOGOU KRISIS KAI BLASFHMIA (Was: Native Greek?)." It
was a response to a sequence of two posts, the first from Jim West on
Monday, 3/15 suggesting that questions regarding a native-born
Greek-speaker's feeling for ancient Koine might be solicited from Isidoros
Kioleoglou of the Ionic Centre in Athens, the second a warning from Edward
Hobbs on Tuesday, 3/16 that it would be better not to consult Isidoros for
several reasons related to the past history of correspondence between
Isidoros and other list-members. Some of the phrasing in Edward's message
evoked the heated and lengthy response from Isidoros that appeared
yesterday. When I saw that message, I took steps immediately to assure that
no more such messages would be distributed to list-members and then sent
the following brief note to the list:

At 8:03 AM -0600 3/19/99, Carl W. Conrad wrote:
>I regret that the list-members have been subjected to the 22K message under
>the above heading. The fact is that the sender of that message was indeed
>removed from B-Greek quite some time ago; the sending of the present
>message made possible a check of the membership list and observation that
>he had at some point re-subscribed offering only an e-address at the Ionic
>Centre in Athens but (contrary to list-netiquette regulations already in
>place before the list moved to our present location) without any user name
>at all. That must have taken place prior to the moving of the list to the
>present site or else the current message would have been intercepted before
>distribution to the list. At any rate, there will be no further repetitions
>of this.
>I am not going to review the history of the incident nor are we going to
>discuss this on the list. What is in the archives will remain there and is
>available to anyone who wishes to consult them. Although I have not
>consulted my co-chair, Edward Hobbs, in advance of posting this present
>message, I am fully confident of his concurrence.

In the interim since I sent that message yesterday morning, I have had to
review some list-history from the past two years, some of which I had
forgotten, but much of which I simply did not know:

It is true that we sent a letter of warning some two years ago following a
string of abusive messages, but it is clear now that the list-subscription
was never canceled. That was, in fact, the very first instance of
disciplinary action taken by the B-Greek staff after its establishment by
then-list-owner, David Marotta, in the Fall of 1996. At some point after we
saw that there were no more incoming messages from Isidoros, we thought the
problem had been resolved. We have now realized that he has in fact
continued as a lurker for most of the intervening months since that
incident two years ago; he was subscribed by an e-address that didn't
indicate the subscriber's name, and his subscription, like those of 500+
others, was transferred electronically to our new site in May of 1998. In
fact, the subscription list transferred to our new site included only
e-addresses, and this means that many of those subscriptions that have
continued from the old days at may in fact not list
personal names of subscribers, despite the fact that our Netiquette does in
fact require that subscribers indicate their real personal names either in
the "FROM" header or in a "signature file" at the close of their messages.
So it is now evident that I was in error in making the accusation in my
messaage yesterday that Isidoros had subscribed anonymously, giving only an
e-address: while it is true that the subscription information we had showed
only the e-address, certainly the name "Isidoros" has been present on every
message received from him. So I do indeed regret and apologize for the
misstatement of facts regarding the "expulsion" from list-membership:
although I stated what I thought to be fact, both my memory and my
knowledge were, to put it bluntly, wanting.

What was true in my message of yesterday morning, in any case, is that I
regretted that the list-members had been subjected to the lengthy message
in which Isidoros vented his injured feelings against Edward and myself. In
retrospect I certainly wish that we had avoided the comments which evoked
that response or at least confined them to off-list messages sent only to
those directly concerned.

BUT: NESCIT VOX MISSA REVERTI--the toothpaste won't go back into the tube,
once it is out. The fact is, as list-moderators, we're still learning how
to do what we're doing after almost three years. Aside from the fact that
we are no less human than others and that we can get as hot under the
collar as anyone --I would hope nobody would be sufficiently interested to
search the archives for my faux pas and gaucheries, but they wouldn't be
that hard to find!--we also don't know nearly enough about the workings of
the software package ("Lyris") that does most of the list-management work
for us without our even beginning to understand its whys and wherefores.
Although I've learned how to subscribe and unsubscribe people or change
their e-addresses so their messages will go out right, I still don't know
why some digests come out truncated or how and when the whole system will
go down and get back up. I ASSUME the grace of God is involved in this when
it works right and I don't even know what questions to ask when something
goes wrong for other than reasons of failure of ourselves as

Speaking for myself alone, I deeply regret and apologize for any offense
that my own stupidity, ignorance, and misdirected efforts have caused to
Isidoros and to any list-members who may still be scratching their heads
over this incident. I hope and pray that we can do better hereafter
(perhaps in the next life?) at keeping the negative aspects of
"personalities" out of our list correspondence.
And I would reiterate here as well what I said yesterday, that we shall do
our best to assure that "there will be no further repetitions of this."

Carl W. Conrad
Co-Chair, B-Greek List
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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