[b-greek] Re: Help on Teaching Contract Vowels

From: Kevin D. Williford (KandSWilliford@aol.com)
Date: Sat Apr 21 2001 - 12:50:18 EDT

Here is a mnemonic device that my Greek Professor at Midwestern Baptist
Theological Seminary (Dr. Terry Wilder) taught us to remember the
contraction rules. I'm sure he would not mind if I passed it along to

1. When we have a "crab" (an epsilon) and a "bomb" (an omicron) [i.e., EO
or OE], or two "bombs" -- then we say "OU" (omicron upsilon) what a mess!

RULE: OU is formed by EO, OE, and OO

2. When we see two "crabs" fight [i.e., EE] -- then one "crab" will win
and the second will lose a claw (clawless crab = iota) [i.e., EI]

RULE: EI is formed from EE

3. When a "fish" (alpha) eats a "crab" [i.e., AE] -- then only the "fish"
remains [i.e., A]

RULE: A is formed from AE

4. But if the "crab" eats the "fish" [i.e., EA] -- then only a "crab" with
a bigger claw (big-clawed crab = eta) will remain [i.e., H]

RULE: H is formed from EA

5. If we have a "bomb" in combination with anything other than a "crab" or
another "bomb" -- then a "ruptured fish" (omega) will result [i.e., W]

RULE: W is formed from the combination of O with any vowel other than
those described in Rule #1

This may be a little whimsical, but it did help me remember the big five
contraction rules, as Mounce calls them. I hope it helps your students as

Kevin D. Williford, M.Div. Student
Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary
Kansas City, Missouri

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