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[418a] when you pronounced βουλαπτεροῦν, you looked as if you had made up your mouth to whistle the flute-prelude of the hymn to Athena.

Socrates
Not I, Hermogenes, am responsible, but those who gave the name.

Hermogenes
True. Well, what is the origin of ζημιῶδες?

Socrates
What can the origin of ζημιῶδες be? See, Hermogenes, how true my words are when I say that by adding and taking away letters people alter the sense of words so that even by very slight changes they sometimes make them mean the opposite of what they meant before; as, for instance, [418b] in the case of the word δέον (obligation, right), for that just occurred to me and I was reminded of it by what I was going to say to you, that this fine modern language of ours has turned δέον and also ζημιῶδες round, so that each has the opposite of its original meaning, whereas the ancient language shows clearly the real sense of both words.

Hermogenes
What do you mean?

Socrates
I will tell you. You know that our ancestors made good use of the sounds of iota and delta, [418c] and that is especially true of the women, who are most addicted to preserving old forms of speech. But nowadays people change iota to eta or epsilon, and delta to zeta, thinking they have a grander sound.

Hermogenes
How is that?

Socrates
For instance, in the earliest times they called day ἱμέρα, others said ἑμέρα, and now they say ἡμέρα.

Hermogenes
That is true.

Socrates
Only the ancient word discloses the intention of the name-giver, don't you know? For day comes out of darkness to men; they welcome it and long (ἱμείρουσι) for it, [418d] and so they called it ἱμέρα.

Hermogenes
That is clear.

Socrates
But now ἡμέρα is masquerading so that you could not guess its meaning. Why, some people think day is called ἡμέρα because it makes things gentle (ἥμερα).

Hermogenes
I believe they do.

Socrates
And you know the ancients called ζυγόν (yoke) δυογόν.

Hermogenes
Certainly.

Socrates
And ζυγόν conveys no clear meaning, [418e] but the name δυογόν is quite properly given to that which binds two together for the purpose of draught; now, however, we say ζυγόν. There are a great many other such instances.

Hermogenes
Yes, that is plain.

Socrates
Similarly the word δέον (obligation) at first, when spoken in this way, denotes the opposite of all words connected with the good; for although it is a form of good, δέον seems to be a bond (δεσμός) and hindrance of motion, own brother, as it were, toβλαβερόν.

Hermogenes
Yes, Socrates, it certainly does seem so.

Socrates
But it does not, if you employ the ancient word,


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