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Here’s an odd bit of translationese about translation of ‘Latin and Greek Plato’s texts’:
If the first modern translators of Latin and Greek Plato’s texts had worried to translate the texts adjusting the possible maximum to the own written words, to their true meaning etymologises and contextual, he is to say to translate metaphrastical and not to interpret on which he assumes that he meant Plato, because probably never so many fantasies would have been written and speculations on the Atlantis neither would have been tried to look for their rest by almost all the Earth corners, until in the absurd and remote points the more of “Columns of Hercules” or Straits of Gibraltar.
One more reason why machines haven’t yet risen.
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After the turn of the last century J.W. Mackail served at Oxford in the same position once held by Matthew Arnold: Professor of Poetry. His light does not shine as brightly but he has left some fine specimens of criticism and prose style, exemplified perhaps in his delightful Lectures on Greek poetry. The the book begins and ends, oddly enough, with selected verses from Whitman. He begins, ‘O a new song, a free song.’ And at times that’s what his prose becomes.
His sympathy for the Alexandrians seems almost modern:
The whole history of early Alexandrianism, a steady laborious poetical movement which went on at full pressure for something like half a century, is the history of an attempt to bring poetry back into touch with life, to reinstate it as a living art. This statement of the case may at first sight appear paradoxical. The Alexandrians are dismissed in common surveys of Greek literature, as little more than pedants. They are called artificial poets, as though all poetry were not artificial, and the greatest poetry were not the poetry of most consummate artifice.
I think it’s worth reading. It’s easy reading, enlightening, unapologetic, and uncluttered by appeals to theory.
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For those of you who take pleasure in the endless errors that plague purveyors of print, UPI writer James J. Kilpatrick has collected a bunch but committed an error of his own:
This past December, two AP writers provided a feature story about a midnight hike through a botanical garden. “At the end of the trail was a beautiful opening in the canapi.” An opening in the what? Perhaps those hungry campers saw cheese and caviar. The word the writers wanted was “canopy,” a noun rooted in ancient Greek and Latin. The plural “canopies” may be purchased in grocery stores throughout the world.
I sent him the following:
“The word the writers wanted was “canopy,” a noun rooted in ancient Greek and Latin.”
Which is it?
The answer is Greek. The Latin form is merely a transliteration of the Greek (drawn from the word for ‘gnat’ or ‘mosquito,’ which means literally ‘cone face’). An example of a noun rooted in ancient Greek *and* Latin is ‘television,’ the second element presumably drawn from Latin because ‘-scope’ was already taken.
I think now tht ‘needle-face’ would have been more to the point.
I can’t think of any other words at the moment derived from both languages, so if you can please leave a comment.