Wednesday, December 28, 2011


Indictment of the Present Age

Henry W. Chandler (1828-1889), A Practical Introduction to Greek Accentuation, 2nd rev. ed. (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1881), pp. xxii-xxiii (preface to the second edition):
One serious omission there is which I much regret, and for which, in any country governed rationally, I should incur a heavy penalty. To make the present work really useful, it ought to have a complete index of all the Greek words mentioned in it, amounting on a rough estimate to some twenty thousand. I would have constructed one myself, only the fact is that it requires keener eyesight and greater patience than I possess. A hundred years ago it would have been easy enough to find in this place a score of mere schoolboys, anyone of whom would have been willing and able to execute such a task with neatness, quickness, and accuracy; but nowadays, thanks to the spread of omniscience, it is difficult to meet with a young scholar who is sufficiently acquainted with his Greek grammar to be entrusted with such a work as an index; and as to zeal, industry, and accuracy, where are they to be discovered?

In bidding a last farewell to a subject in which I never took more than a languid interest, I may be permitted to say that in England, at all events, every man will accent his Greek properly who wishes to stand well with the world. He whose accents are irreproachable may indeed be no better than a heathen, but concerning that man who misplaces them, or worse still, altogether omits them, damaging inferences will certainly be drawn, and in most instances with justice.
Hat tip: Alan Crease.

<< Home
Newer›  ‹Older

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?