Wednesday, September 30, 2009


Lexicographical Light Verse

Thomas Hardy wrote a humorous poetic dialogue with the title Liddell and Scott On the Completion of their Lexicon.

Thanks to Farrago, I learned that Gordon M. Messing, following Hardy's lead, wrote some light verse about H.G. Liddell, Robert Scott, H. Stuart Jones, Greek-English Lexicon: A Supplement (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1968). It also takes the form of a dialogue between Liddell and Scott, and it can be found in Messing's review of the Supplement in Classical Philology 64 (1969) 238-239 (at 239):
Says Scott to Liddell,
"Is there some jot or tittle
Of Greek that we've not
In our lexicon got?
Editions reach nine
And I want to resign;
I'm just skin and bones,
Though we did bring in Jones."
Says Liddell to Scott,
"Despite all our swot,
By nineteen sixty-eight
Greek words are in spate—
Papyri, potsherds,
Lord, all the new words!"
Says Scott to Liddell,
"I just won't fiddle
With more Addenda
Nor yet Corrigenda.
Our laurels are age-proof;
I won't read more page-proof,
No more errant glosses.
Let's cut our losses—
If we've missed a couple,
We'll leave them for Suppl.!
Related post: O Precious Codex.

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