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Eric: It's like putting out a call to the Blue Blaze irregulars!

I am developing a need to develop resources for various projects. Among those resources are folks wise in the ways of language.

In particular, I could use a reference point for Latin (modern or classical -- or both!) and Greek (also modern, classical or both.)

I could also use a conversation with someone well versed in alternative punk music -- particularly current/modern alt-punk with a certain measure of popularity that seems ironic. (Otherwise known as "the kind of music you might expect any given 19 year old Suicidegirl to listen to.)

All of the above are for writing projects of one kind or other. Thanks in advance!

Posted by Eric Burns-White at September 22, 2005 4:30 PM


Comment from: Tom posted at September 22, 2005 4:55 PM

I can't help you out with your request, but I had to register to comment on the Buckaroo Banzai reference. Its my favorite all-time film and is underappreciated by the masses. Seriously, why is there a watermelon there?

Comment from: Eric Burns posted at September 22, 2005 5:06 PM

Seriously, why is there a watermelon there?

I'll tell you later.

Comment from: Shay Caron posted at September 22, 2005 5:18 PM

Well, it's been years since the two years of Latin I took in high school, but I've got a dictionary and some reference info around here somewhere, so I'd be happy to do what little I can to help.

Comment from: Glaser posted at September 22, 2005 5:24 PM

Sorry to say I can be of no help with either the Greek or the alternative punk, and if you're looking for more than translation of phrases or sentences from English to Latin I really can't help you out there either.

But I can say that just by how addicted I am to this website and Gossamer Commons(to the point that I check it every day, just in case) and those little references you've made, I'm already in the "oh god can't wait can't wait is it up yet is it up yet is up yet" stage of impatience... so, did you post it while I was writing this? No? Dang.

Comment from: Chris Anthony posted at September 22, 2005 5:33 PM

I can help with classical Latin and Greek. I'm sure you can remember how to get in touch with me.

Comment from: hobgad posted at September 22, 2005 5:33 PM


My Latin is rusty, but I did get a BA with a double-major in English and Latin. Twas a few years go, but I can still manhandle the language of Cicero, Virgil, and Catullus. I'm more familiar with classical Latin, though I have some experience with Spaghetti Latin (what one of my instructors once used to describe ecclesiastical Latin). I even spent a summer in Rome learning conversational Latin.

You can post questions here, or I can send you my email. I'd rather not post it publicly on a forum, but i'd be happy to share it with you.

--hobgad (extra points for you comics fans if you can point out where my monker comes from).

Comment from: Eric Burns posted at September 22, 2005 5:37 PM

Chris -- you know Greek?

Is there anything you can't do?

And thanks, guys! I seriously appreciate it!

Comment from: bryantpaul posted at September 22, 2005 5:40 PM

For all matters Classics, I'd recommend checking out the Perseus Project. http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/

It has all sorts of cool Greek and Latin resources, including searchable databases of classical and renaissance texts.

Though I was a Classics major, my skills have atrophied to the point where I'm no good beyond translating ribald medieval poetry.

As for alt/punk stuff, I'm an aficionado, though a decade beyond your 19-year-old-Suicidegirl archetype. A few days with pitchforkmedia.com and allmusic.com should point you in the right directions.


Comment from: Paul Gadzikowski posted at September 22, 2005 5:41 PM

Well, the last time I used Latin in a comment here I got it wrong, but I was smart enough to know I was guessing. And, while I had twice the years of Latin in high school as the other fellow, odds are high school was four or more times as long ago for me as for any given fellow webcomic fan.

Never mind, better offers have popped up while I composed. But if they don't work out, you know where to find me.

Comment from: Tice with a J posted at September 22, 2005 6:05 PM

Just look up the good folks behind Nothing Nice to Say if you want punk.

Comment from: Ian K. posted at September 22, 2005 6:15 PM

I can help with that. It's been a while, but I can help with that.

Okay, really, it'd just be an excuse to talk with you, but I can still help with that.

Comment from: kirabug posted at September 22, 2005 6:21 PM

Is there already somewhere in the world that comic creators gather together and post stuff like, "Can someone help me with X" or "Does anyone know a good reference for Y"? Like a comic help desk, with all types of other resources (such as the ones Eric's putting a call out for)? I'd be willing to trade medium-level Mac tech support for someone who could teach me how to draw a three-quarter profile that didn't look like the cheekbones had just exploded in a freak accident.

Comment from: Alexis Christoforides posted at September 22, 2005 6:50 PM

I'm Greek (Greek-Cypriot actually) , So I guess I could help? Please let me help!

Comment from: Matt Sweeney posted at September 22, 2005 7:11 PM

I may be able to help with the music stuff, depending on how in depth you want to get. If you haven't looked over pitchfork (pitchforkmedia.com) you'll probably want to do that though.

You can find me at mattwsweeney over at gmail

Comment from: gwalla posted at September 22, 2005 7:19 PM

It's been a while, but I studied Latin in high school. I also know a bit about linguistics, being a conlanger, although I'm mostly self-taught.

No matter where you go, hey, there you are...

Comment from: TheNintenGenius posted at September 22, 2005 8:10 PM

I don't know Latin or Greek, and I probably don't know enough about punk and such to really have much of an impact, even if I have such a huge interest in music. I'm mainly commenting because, yes, I caught the Buckeroo Banzai reference too. Man, I need to watch that movie again.

Comment from: Matt Sweeney posted at September 22, 2005 8:29 PM

Just did a look over at Suicide Girls to get an idea of what you're talking about. You might want to narrow it down a bit. Things seem pretty much all over the map over there. Which makes sense, since the whole indie scene is all over the map these days. If you want, drop me a line and even if I can't answer your questions exactly, I should be able to point you in the right directions.

Also, if you have access to a PC* you may want to look into downloading the soulseek client. Chances are a lot of the bands you'll be looking for can be found there.

* There is a OSX client for Soulseek called Nicotine. The last time I used it though it was crap. It is/was a X Windows app that I never was able to get working correctly. If you want to give it a try, do a search on boingboing, David posted about it around the time he went to Paris.

Oh, and a warning about pitchfork, if you aren't familiar with the site. Several of the writers there are the very definition of indie snob. Keep that in mind when reading reviews.

Comment from: Chris Anthony posted at September 22, 2005 8:31 PM

Eric - there are many things I can't do. It just happens that Classical linguistics doesn't fall into that category. ;)

Comment from: sylvan posted at September 22, 2005 9:03 PM

I'm 21 and not a porn actress, but I'm sure I can help you out on any music questions you might have.

Comment from: JackSlack posted at September 22, 2005 9:29 PM

I can't help you with the punk questions, but I know someone who can. I've got a brother and his house-mate heavily involved in the alternative punk scene, both of whom used to work as music store clerks, and my brother still does.

If they don't know the answer, no-one will.

Comment from: Prodigal posted at September 22, 2005 9:45 PM

I'm taking Latin this semester, so I'd be more than happy to offer whatever help I can.

Comment from: Prodigal posted at September 22, 2005 9:47 PM

As for the watermelon? It was a hunger-relief project. The idea was to produce a watermelon that could be air-dropped into areas dealing with famine. Had to produce a rind elastic enough not to rupture when it impacted, but which could still be cut through so that people could eat it.

Comment from: Eloriane posted at September 22, 2005 9:52 PM

I'm into my fifth consecutive year of highschool Latin, happily translating Vergil for an hour or two a night, so my skills are fresh, though not as advanced as, say, someone currently taking a college course. It depends on what you need. If, however, I could be helpful to any extent, I have been reading websnark for ages and would gladly help. At the very least I could attempt to forward some questions on to my teacher, who knows both Latin and ancient Greek quite well, but is significantly busier than I.

Comment from: Haydee posted at September 22, 2005 10:06 PM

Well, I just got laid off from a music store. While I'm not great with the original punk music I do know more then I ever wanted to about new punk music, especially if it's from the last two years. I'm thinking specifically about music were the bands are portrayed as too cool and different to be mainstream, and then the band plays in front of thousands of people at the Warpped Tour and I hear them every day on the radio. Quite a few of the early twenties and late teens girls I worked loved this music. If that's what you need I can help. Email me any questions, I'm unemployed so I've got time to answer.

Comment from: siwangmu posted at September 22, 2005 10:13 PM

Story: A few years back, I did "Pirates of Penzance" with a group called the Savoyards (grown-ups, except three of us). The rehearsals there were so tightly run and effective that, instead of a conventional brush-up (i.e., what did we fuck up last week? let's fix it) rehearsal, their Thrusday-night-preceding-second-weekend rehearsal was...
well, a spoof. Everyone just cut up, and you haven't lived till you've watched passionate operetta fans make fun of themselves and their show.

Anyway, the relevant bit: One of my favorite surprises of that night was that when Mabel (lead female) made her grand entrance, our Mabel came out and... sang the entire show in Latin. She was a High School Latin teacher.

(another highlight; we usually addressed one of the songs to our rehearsal accompanist, sitting in a box in the theater and dressed as Queen Victoria--that Thursday one of the guys in the chorus hopped up on a chair in front so we could all sing to the Queen)

Oh, and finally: hobgad, I need to learn to read more carefully... I could've sworn you'd said you spent a summer in Rome learning controversial Latin.

Comment from: Dave Fried posted at September 22, 2005 10:52 PM

I'm a bit of a linguistics buff. If you need some advice on phonetics and grammar and how they differ in various languages and language families - or how they evolve over time - followup and I'll send you my email.

Comment from: miyaa posted at September 22, 2005 10:56 PM

One of my proudest moments of my undergraduate career was to turn a D grade in Latin 103 (2nd year advance Latin) into a solid B+ by the end of the semester. And while I'm a meteorology student (see: Rita), I think I was no prouder of myself than passing Latin. Especially, when the professor didn't think I could do it.

So yeah, I can help you with Latin.

Comment from: Alexis Christoforides posted at September 23, 2005 12:54 AM

For some reason my electric mail did not appear in my name in the comment above, so here it is (the spam-me-freely one, and I'll give you the good one if/when you decide to contact me)

Comment from: Clodia posted at September 23, 2005 2:21 AM

I'm a Classics major and have taken 8 years of Latin so far and two of Greek (classical for both). (I feel infinitely stronger in Latin.) Also, I currently have access to my Latin and Greek professors as I am a senior in college. My email should be provided through the site.

Comment from: Mitch Clem posted at September 23, 2005 5:27 AM

Hello, my name is Mitch Clem and I like to listen to punk rock music.

Comment from: Matt Sweeney posted at September 23, 2005 10:15 AM

OK, now that I can respond while I'm not in the middle of doing something else.

Again, Eric, you'll probably want to get a little more specific about what you are looking for as far as music. The term 'punk' as an adjetive is as useless as 'rock and roll.' Depending on your background it can include everything from the rough and rowdy of the Dropkick Murphy's to the acoustic finger picking of Iron and Wine, from the pop-punk of Blink 182 to the droning free form raga-blues of Jack Rose.

After a quick scan of the "Favorite Bands" question over at Suicide Girls I assume you're refering to either emo, indie, or metal/hardcore/industrial/post-goth. Your reference to "a certain measure of popularity that seems ironic" makes me think you mean pop-punk or some of the poppier emo stuff that's been getting air play these days. (BTW, it isn't as ironic as it may appear) The above scenes do have a little overlap, but are fairly distinctive, with very subtle differences between various sub-genres (just take a look over the entries at Wikipedia for Screamo and "emo violence").

If you are going for emo, and are looking for a certain level of authenticity, you'll likely want to talk to someone who is actively involved in the emo scene. Emo is a world in and of itself, and no one from the outside is going to be able to give you a good view of it. Emo kids can also be fairly hyper-sensitive to steriotypes and generalizations.

I don't know how much help I'd be for any of the above genres besides indie, but I can give you a hand with figuring out what you're looking for if you want. My email is in my first post.

Comment from: 32_footsteps posted at September 23, 2005 10:24 AM

Bonus points if you somehow work in Nothing Nice to Say's Bananarchy strip - easily the funniest strip I've read anywhere all year. And yet, it didn't get a biscuit, proving there's no justice in this world.

I'd complain that nobody ever is searching for a knowledge set that I have, but then there are plenty of people more skilled in the languages I know, and most people don't need to know video game facts considered obscure by the video game industry. It's only fair, given my desire to specialize in knowledge that not only isn't needed, but isn't even all that wanted.

Comment from: everythingevil posted at September 23, 2005 12:36 PM

I was about to offer my musicology prowess to your efforts until I saw the post by Mitch Clem. How can I compete with that? nothingnice? the coffee achievers? Strips I read everyday and weep when they are not updated? Damn you Mitch! You Blew it up! You maniac!

So, Eric, if you choose anybody to help you with music make it Mitch. Accept no substitues.

Comment from: BadgerGirl posted at September 24, 2005 12:58 PM

I don't think I have anything remotely relevent to add, but I'll offer my services if you decide you're interested in the Indie scene. For punk, though, I bow to the reigning master...

Oh Raffi. One day I shall win!

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