Re: Smooth breathings

From: Carl W. Conrad (
Date: Wed Oct 13 1999 - 06:09:28 EDT

At 8:44 PM -0400 10/12/99, Jim West wrote:
>At 01:31 AM 10/13/99 +0100, Michael wrote:
>>Does ANYBODY out there think that the smooth breathing serves a useful
>function, and would any of you regret its lost if it were omitted from
>printed and published texts?
>The oldest manuscripts of the NT did not have them; so their loss would be
>no great loss at all.

There are other things too that the oldest MSS also didn't have, such as
punctuation and word-division; I think I might get used to looking at texts
as they appear in the oldest MSS, but I'm grateful for being able to look
at the texts as they are printed today.

I think there are lots of improvements that could have been made with the
alphabet, but that sort of reform is the hardest to effectuate, unless one
has a tradition and authority such as those that govern German and French

Carl W. Conrad
Department of Classics/Washington University
One Brookings Drive/St. Louis, MO, USA 63130/(314) 935-4018
Home: 7222 Colgate Ave./St. Louis, MO 63130/(314) 726-5649

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