Tuesday, May 13, 2014


Philologists' Credo

Peter A. Boodberg (1903-1972), Cedules from a Berkeley Workshop in Asiatic Philology, 019: Translations, Hyperbatic and Hyperbathetic:
A pedant I take to be: 'a self-disciplined and disciplinarian disseminator of painfully acquired knowledge to the young'. His decalogue begins: "Thou shalt not, without apology, attempt to avoid an issue which thou hast taught thy disciple to face squarely". Now, pedants who call themselves philologists have a short and simple confession of faith: 'Grammar = Order = Beauty'. This naive credo sustains them through endless hours of drudgery spent in scribbling palimpsestic paradigms, and serves them as a potent incantation for dispelling phantasmagorias conjured by the solecistic sprites who haunt them in the night.
Hat tip: Ian Jackson.

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