Friday, May 20, 2022

Third Declension Nouns Are Amazing!

Today we will learn the third (and final) declension in the Greek language.

Whoop whoop. Many of my favorite Greek nouns belong to this declension, including my all-time favorite: charis ("grace"). 

Years ago, after I had had bought Becky a new Honda Odyssey, we were at the DMV to get her a personalized licence plate. Although she was struggling with cancer at the time, she wanted a license that said:


Of course, this is an allusion to the great hymn "It Is Well with My Soul." Because that hymn was so popular, the best we could do was:


But I think most people got the point. While we were at the DMV, I decided I would also get a personalized license plate for my car. So I spelled out the Greek word for "grace" on a slip of paper and handed it to the receptionist. She scratched her head when she saw the following five English letters:


She said, "You really want ex, ay, pee, i, and cee?" I said, "Yes, if that's possible." I couldn't believe it when she did a search in her database and told me, "I'm sorry, sir, but that licence is already taken." No way! What to do now? "Okay," I said, "let's try XAPITOC." (That's the word "grace" in the Greek genitive case.) She looked down at her computer, then looked up at me and said, "I'm sorry, but that's also taken." Not to be deterred, I said, "Well, then, let's try XAPITI (the dative case)." Amazingly, that word was taken too.

At that point I gave up :-) 

Today our vocabulary will include such words as blood, Spirit, name, mouth, body, water, light, hope, flesh, hand, husband, witness, father, nation, mercy, end, high priest, scribe, resurrection, knowledge, faith, woman, and mother. Not a bad selection, eh?