December 27, 2012 by Malcolm Brown 2 Comments
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I know little or nothing of the Vuitton, but ‘pas cher’ means something to me. Tres cher is this word-combination “Taint’t” Puts me in mind of the 4-bit word late in Bk IV of Plato’s Republic (you won’t find it often elsewhere, except in his commentator Proclus) — “ALLOTRIOPRAGMOSYNE” ἀλλοτριοπραγμόσυνη [I have recently called the attention of a classics professor at Amherst College to this specialist word. It’s truly a rarity in Ancient Greek, thus deserves the rubric ‘PAWAG’, i.e. PoorlyAttestedWordAncientGreek.
It has precisely the relation to Younger-Socrates that its companion word POLYPRAGMOSYNE has to Elder-Socrates. It is precisely the interchange of these two Socrates’s which, by an editorial ‘manoeuvre’ in the final lines of Politicus does some damage [I judge] to the 1995 OCT text. Slings appears to have thought the editing of some Tetralogy II works are doing damage to OUP and Clarendon (see Slings’s scolding review in Mnemosyne 1998, where he echoes a Stepmotherly phrase “dummes Aberglauben”, from Wilamowitz (!)
Here is that pair of words, de-interpreted back into ancient Greek: ἀλλοτριοπραγμόσυνη πολυπραγμόσυνη seems a bit of lighthearted wit when one first reads it (one of those ‘pas cher’ ). But then if you align it with the far more famous word in the context of the accusations against Elder Socrates, ‘POLYPRAGMOSYNE’, you get some ‘tres cher’ meaning indeed. Plato’s teacher (ours too), Socrates of Athens, stood accused of polypragmosyne (i.e. ‘not minding your own business’). Have a look at Chapt. xviii at the end of Republic Bk IV (near Stephanus 442, f). One thing led to another (Soc. defied the judges), and Socrates incurred the death penalty. A death which, however, was anything but light. Like that of the Man from Galilee. Pas mal de cher. Nietzsche called them both free deaths.
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