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SermonIndex.net : Christian Books : Chapter 7. There is, again, an ambiguity arising out of the doubtful sound of syllablesà

On Christian Doctrine In Four Books by St. Augustine

Chapter 7. There is, again, an ambiguity arising out of the doubtful sound of syllablesà

7. There is, again, an ambiguity arising out of the doubtful sound of syllables; and this of course has relation to pronunciation. For example, in the passage, |My bone [os meum] was not hid from Thee, which Thou didst make in secret,| it is not clear to the reader whether he should take the word |os| as short or long. If he make it short, it is the singular of ossa [bones]; if he make it long, it is the singular of ora [mouths]. Now difficulties such as this are cleared up by looking into the original tongue, for in the Greek we find not |stome| [mouth], but |osteon| [bone]. And for this reason the vulgar idiom is frequently more useful in conveying the sense than the pure speech of the educated. For I would rather have the barbarism, |non est absconditum a te ossum meum|, than have the passage in better Latin but the sense less clear. But sometimes when the sound of a syllable is doubtful, it is decided by a word near it belonging to the same sentence. As, for example, that saying of the apostle, |Of the which I tell you before [praedico], as I have also told you in time past [praedixi], that

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