Biblical Philology: An Exhaustive Treatment

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From Joshua Tyra:


  1. Victor Mair said,

    January 24, 2015 @ 6:14 pm

    Just in case someone didn't recognize it, the famous photograph is that of James A. H. Murray, the chief editor of the Oxford English Dictionary from 1879 until his death in 1915. He is pictured in the Scriptorium, with its two tons of source quotations, on Banbury Road.

    Murray was the son of a Scottish tailor and had written a book on Scottish dialects before he began work on the OED.

    Suggested reading: Simon Winchester, The Professor and the Madman: A Tale of Murder, Insanity, and the Making of The Oxford English Dictionary.

  2. Dick Enzyan said,

    January 24, 2015 @ 6:37 pm

    Standing on the shoulder of two giants certainly, but genius nonetheless.

  3. Mark Mandel said,

    January 24, 2015 @ 9:25 pm


  4. Bob Ladd said,

    January 25, 2015 @ 1:11 am

    @Victor Mair: More suggested reading: K. M. Elisabeth Murray [Murray's granddaughter], Caught in the web of words: James Murray and the Oxford English Dictionary, OUP, 1977.

    This is a more complete biography of Murray, though it obviously focuses on the making of the dictionary (and the fact that the dictionary almost didn't get made – OUP was about to pull the plug on the project on a number of occasions). The book VM cites is primarily about one very interesting side story in the making of the dictionary.

    As for the original post – genius!

  5. GeorgeW said,

    January 25, 2015 @ 5:38 am


  6. Roger Lustig said,

    January 25, 2015 @ 10:02 am

    My paperback of Winchester's book has a blurb complimenting the author on his "spare prose." After my wife read it, she commented that there was indeed a lot of spare prose in there…

  7. David J. Littleboy said,

    January 25, 2015 @ 10:04 pm

    Speaking of making dictionaries, as I've probably mentioned before, there's a fairly recent Japanese novel about the creation of a dictionary. The book was so good, it was made into a movie. I missed the movie, but the novel really was excellent. "The next time you write me a love letter, please, don't write it in classical Chinese."

  8. The Very Model of a Biblical Philologist | David Knopp said,

    January 26, 2015 @ 9:00 am

    […] (HT to Language Log) […]

  9. Jim Breen said,

    January 28, 2015 @ 6:20 am

    I saw the film of the novel David Littleboy mentioned in 2012. It was on a Singapore Airlines flight from Singapore to Melbourne, and I was returning from. of all things, an AsiaLex conference in Bali. It was quite a good film. I don't think it's had a commercial release here.

  10. The Rev'd Canon Douglas Skoyles SSC said,

    January 29, 2015 @ 5:25 pm

    Thank you for the best laugh I have had in a very long time. Long ago I was wont to make some word play between Japanese and Hebrew but had no one I knew who spoke and wrote both languages. In my dotage I have lost almost all Hebrew and my Japanese is growing weaker but I still have enough to madly enjoy this video. Thanks for the Canadian reference!

  11. Yuval said,

    February 1, 2015 @ 2:14 am

    @Mark Mandel, GeorgeW: FWIW, in the Israeli sophistosphere there are several variations on LOL: there's the boring initialism-post-translation צב"ר (צוחק/ת בקול רם); there's indeed the phonologically-adapted לול, and then there's the unpronounceable homotype(*) ךםך, produced by writing LOL on a QWERTY-keyboard set to Hebrew.
    (*) Thamar Eilam Gindin calls this phenomenon "homoklid", but this term uses the Hebrew word for "key". Is there indeed a known international name for this? Bat-signalling VHM.

  12. Charles Munoz said,

    February 1, 2015 @ 5:08 pm

    Glorious! Uproarious!

  13. James Unger said,

    February 2, 2015 @ 4:40 pm

    As a pianistic accomplice to other G&S parodies, I can say with some authority that this one is exceptionally fine!

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