[MGSA-L] Proverb

Terkourafi, Marina mt217 at illinois.edu
Wed Sep 5 08:42:43 PDT 2012

Dear list members

I recently received the following query by a journalist:

Can you confirm that this phrase is a Greek proverb or forward me to someone who can?

“A society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they know they shall never sit in.”

This isn't a phrase I recognize but if any of you do, please feel free to get back to me on or off list.

Many thanks,


Marina Terkourafi
Associate Professor of Linguistics
Associate Editor, International Review of Pragmatics
Series Editor, Empirical Foundations of Theoretical Pragmatics

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
4080 Foreign Languages Building
707 S Mathews Avenue, MC-168
Urbana, IL 61801

Telephone: +1 (217) 244-3061
Fax: +1 (217) 244-8430



An idea is a curious thing. It will not work unless you do. — W. H. Smith
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