From: Isidoros (
Date: Sun Jan 19 1997 - 18:22:18 EST


am not so sure myself how clear it is some times that words have
indeed been misspelled--knowledge and experience are often taken for
granted, and especially by the one who has got it--the fact is that
Greek is so extraordinarily rich that at times even words that are
spelled quite properly cannot be really made out!

And of course, Yes, HQETHSAN could have been a candidate, too, after
HQWTHSAN, in place of the given HRWTHSAN, albeit not the likely one,
though, for three reasons:

(i) the H augment substituting for the A in the case, specifically,
of the verb AQETW is a truly rare (and not a "fair," either, aesthetically,
nor is it, in its usage, a very effective) one, such that
it is to be expected to be met anyway rarely
(ii) a substitution of this type, and while using this or any such a verb,
is altogether an unlikelihood for ordinary teaching demonstration
purposes, such as those given by John, whereus the RWTW, ERWTW, is
a fairly common case to be used for teaching (unless of course the
manual writer did not know what was doing, not an impossibility, but)
(iii) given that most errors in texts are copyists' miss-takes (and
especially so with the case of cheap production of old manuals, such as
may have been the case, as John in his latter post seem to indicate, when
often the "poor" writer is not given even a first chance to have a
proofreading go at it) one should think that it is more likely that a
copying typesetter mistook the R for Q, than the E for an W.

Anyway, though batteries were quite low late last night, they came
through. What can I say, but keep being thankful.

As far as the checking procedure you outline, I agree, it could be, indeed,
very helpful, for this type of a case but, of course, one would
have to really at least generally know what type of a case it is
that he/she are faced with, in advance, as the possibilities for
misspellings/mistakes with Greek are almost endless, as you know,
so that one would have to know or devise and apply apriori an extraordinary
number of "grid" procedures so as to check against all manner of mistakes,
such that, I am afraid, would make Greek grammar (and then add to that the
dynamics of syntax) even more cumbersome
and labyrintine than it is already. In any case, tips and clues to
students, and simle rules of thumb, are quite useful and most always
welcome by the students (provided they do, precisely, do not become
overwhelming in their ambitious complexity.)

It is perhaps unfortunate but there just cannot be, and I think we should
agree on this, any safe-proof complex net of rules to be spread by
teachers before the students. For, if you think otherwise, I must think,
indeed, that you do take your considerable knowledge and experience
for granted.


The Ionic Centre, Athens

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