Pedantry’s Proper Place

Ulrich Von Wilamowitz-Moellendorff, History of Classical Scholarship (trans. Hugh Lloyd-Jones):

“The avoidance of hiatus had been noticed earlier – another useful observation, though it has been put to improper uses. On the other hand, attempts to tie the great masters of Attic prose to hard and fast rules are doomed to failure. The microscopic examination of language, whose practitioners here often delighted in compiling statistical tables of average percentage frequencies, has sometimes achieved results. But equally often it has proved deceptive, because the mind cannot be mechanised. We must not despise little things – but neither must we forget that they are little.”

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