Re: accents - and "breathing" marks

From: Isidoros (
Date: Mon Feb 10 1997 - 22:42:13 EST

Jonathan Robie wrote re my previous post of the same

>>I'd like to point out, if I may, that it is the _accent_ (singular)
>>that may be important in accessing a _text_ in terms of meaning,
>>not "the" accentS. (Isidoros)

>I think you might be missing a fine point of English, which may not be your
>native language.

Hmm, maybe I did miss something fine, of the English, I do sometimes, but
don't see what might it be in this case, for I do seem to understand well
and be in full agreement with you re your

>"Accents", a plural without any article, is used to denote
>a category, and does not indicate how many accents are involved in a
>particular word. Some writers use "the accent" to mean the same thing.

and re your subsequent

>I'm guessing that this is the basis for the confusion. Otherwise, I don't
>really know what you are trying to say.

Say, now I ought say that, at least, I did not feel any confusion here, and
that, whereus I do recognize fairly the above fine point you make, I should
say that I had tried to make quite a different one, which evidently my usage
of English did not aid to get accross to you. Yet I think I did properly, too,
use the term "accents," though not as you stated is, as a general category,
but merely as the plural of the semiotic noun; as did the same, too, with
its singular form, and again to point to the unnecessary horrors of
_having to_ strigently apply all *three* Greek accents, as when
ordinarily teaching biblical Koine, rather than applying en-light-eningly
(burdenlessly) only *one* accent (one common, "accent", TONOS, and that
even in the formal college teaching) just as may be the practice ordinarily
on this list--not any really sign-ificant loss, I hope we shall agree, quite
the contrary; only a loss in (dead) weight. Therefore a gain.

As to Mark O'Brien's reference on lists of words with variance of
accentuation re meaning, one should be very glad there are compiled
such lists, as mnemonic aids to real language practice, and after usage of
texts, where one learns with experience to discern contextually, and then
some good and discriminating lexica.

No confusion. Thank you.

The Ionic Centre, Athens

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