Tue Feb 24th, 2015
My lord, Alan Garner is a classicist and no mistake. Have had to look up words as I read him, not something I'm used to in these latter degenerate and above all non-academic days. Onomastic, apotropaic, euhemeristic... and of course he expects his listeners to know the meanings as well. I mean, they're actually useful words, describing concisely a particular thing: but not something one runs across all the time.
Onomastic: of or relating to the study of the history and origin of proper names. Which is not how Garner uses it- he means 'the invocation of proper names for some purpose'
Apotropaic: having the power to avert evil influences or bad luck.
Euhemerism: "the philosophy attributed to Euhemerus which holds that many mythological tales can be attributed to historical persons and events, the accounts of which have become altered and exaggerated over time."
There's also a vague but pungent scent of smrtrthnu to the man. "Why, I had no difficulty at all in understanding Preiddu Annwn; it's perfectly clear to *me*." Good for you, bunny; now put on your shoes, I'll walk you to the subway.
I would definitely have had to look up all of those, yes.
Yes, but you didn't read classics and English in uni and I, theoretically, did. (weeps)
I'm fairly sure that my father at least would give me a disapproving look for not knowing apotropaic.
The word comes up so often in French literature?
I'm not sure about that. It's more that he knows how widely I read.
I knew apotropaic, because it turns up a lot in discussions of ancient art, but both of the others left me confused. I actually managed to mix up 'onoma' with 'oneiros', and so thought that it was something to do with dreams. Apparently my Greek vocabulary has deteriorated quite alarmingly!
Truly, my first thought was 'my Greek has gone, ototoi!' My second was 'but it's ὁ νόμος, it's not all one word!' And my third was 'that's *law*, twit. My Greek has *really* gone.'