Sunday, November 13, 2005

Another great long word

I know it is not Wednesday - the longest day of the week - but it has been such a long time since I posted that I thought I would resume by posting something short.

So here is a nice little poem on a nice long Greek word from Homer:

Polyphloisboisterous Homer of old
Threw all his augments into the sea,
Although he had often been courteously told
That perfect imperfects begin with an e.
But the poet replied with a dignified air,
"What the Digamma does any one care?"

This was from a book I received long ago from my father: A Reading Course in Homeric Greek Vol II, page 184. Alas, I am not enough of a Greek dude to explain the various jokes, except that I do know about digamma. That is the letter that looked sort of like a capital F, but probably was pronounced "w" - and the Greeks gave it up long ago. (The Romans borrowed it, or perhaps kept it, for use in pronouncing the "f" sound.)

Perhaps someday I will study Greek. Ah! for the time to learn Italian, to read Dante, and Latin (to read Aquinas and Virgil, and the Vulgate), and Greek (to read Homer, and the New Testament)... and Hebrew, to read the Psalms! (and the rest of the Bible, too)

Oh, well, it was supposed to be a short posting. My mother always said I was vaccinated with a phonograph needle. (Does anyone even know what that is nowadays?)


At 13 November, 2005 12:30, Blogger rhapsody said...


@ least ur not a broken record :)

At 30 November, 2005 17:28, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Dr. Thursday, I studied Greek from the Reading Course in Homeric Greek almost 30 years ago. Homer did not add epsilon to the beginning of verbs in the past tense as was customary. The addition of the 'e' to the beginning of the verb is called the augment. The poem therefore says that he threw his augments into the sea.


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