Love / Hate relationship with Greek.

I have this love / hate relationship with Greek. I feel continually drawn back to it, struggling to memorise its various formats. I have mentioned before, how some years ago I suffered some amnesia through viral encephalitis, which wiped out a lot of my working knowledge of grammar.

It’s also caused difficulties in my remembering facts and figures – such as dates, times, lists etc – and so I have tried flash cards and writing lists over and over again, but have really struggled in remembering the various structures of Greek. yet I have no problems in understanding concepts. This week I remembered a technique I learnt when I was involved as a salesman in 95/96 and used it successfully to train other sales people during that time.

It’s to take a sentence and reduce it to the first letter of each word from that sentence. Therefore the previous sentence would be reduced to – i t t a s a r i t t f l o e w f t s and we would practice memorising the sentence through reading the redacted sentence.

This week I discarded all of my previous flash cards and have started to rewrite them. And for the cards relating to grammar, I have written at the bottom of each card the redacted sentence. One of the basics I have struggled with is in regards to remembering what the Nominative and Accusative  case endings means.. and so for those two cards I wrote…

  1. A Nominative noun is the subject of the verb and the subject uses nominative case endings. A n n i t s o t v & t s u n c e
  2. A Accusative noun is the object of the verb and the object uses accusative case endings. A a n i t o o t v & t o u a c e 
I have found that this has greatly helped my ability to remember.. and this week have had a breakthrough in remembering those two structures…now I can imagine for some people – your eyes have glazed over with thinking – how mundane and easy is that to remember – which is pretty much the reaction I had when some years ago in hospital, when I had some visitors whose eyes glazed over when I excitedly told them that I was taught that morning how to get out of a chair… It’s always mundane till you find you can’t do it!
See if you can read these two sentences
  1. A n n i t s o t v & t s u n c e
  2.  A a n i t o o t v & t o u a c e
It works hey! Well at least it does for me 🙂 Time will tell how I get along over the next few weeks. I’ll let you know.

About Craig Benno

I'm an average aussie guy who has lived perhaps a not so average life.
This entry was posted in Grammar, Greek and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Love / Hate relationship with Greek.

  1. Dave Black says:

    That is amazing! You go, Greek scholar!

    • Craig Benno says:

      Thanks Dave.

      A well known Greek scholar (whom we both know )encouraged me that Greek can be learnt through continued plugging away, 😉 On another note – my interest for learning Greek came about from reading about Dan Wallace’s experience with viral encephalitis which wiped his working knowledge of Greek completely from his mind and he re-learned it through studying the text book which he wrote on the subject. Hence my voyage into 1st semester Greek in 1999…

      That was a semester of great struggles, I had seen my specialist on the morning of the exam, who told me she thought I had M.S… needless to say that was an extremely interesting day. I thank God that, that diagnosis has since been dismissed. 🙂

  2. Dave Black says:


    I tell my students: Greek is easy. It’s just us Greek teachers who keep getting in the way 🙂

  3. Thomas says:

    Hey, brother! Very thankful for your link to this post. It is very insightful. I’m convinced that educators have to think about how every student learns instead of the typical classroom setting which asks students to adapt to a one-size-fits-all learning process. That type of thinking says, If they get it, they get it; if not, they are not trying hard enough. As you have pointed out, it may not be a student “problem” of not trying hard enough. Our minds are different. Different students learn different ways. Add on to that other matters that complicate the learning process and it gets messy. But, the skilled teacher is going to think through these issues. The goal is that every student “gets it!” I’m very encouraged by your post. And, thank you for sharing how so transparently. Instead of a “give up” mentality, you’re demonstrating a “press-foward” (in the grace of God) mentality, which is an example for us all. Excellent!

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