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‘Further the same thing may be effected (as by epithets in the way of elevation or depreciation) by diminutives’, lit. ‘diminutives are, or amount to, much the same thing as epithets’. As epithets, so diminutives, may be applied to diminish the good or bad of a thing, according as a favourable or unfavourable view is to be taken of it. On ὑποκορίζεσθαι, ὑποκορισμός, see note on I 9.29. Add Gräfenhan, Geschichte der Klass. Philologie, I p. 459. It will be seen by the examples quoted in the note referred to, that the term includes much more than mere diminu tives, and is extended to the expression of all coaxing, flattering, soothing, endearing phrases; and does not (properly) include expressions of contempt, which is however conveyed by many diminutives. The two terms are therefore by no means co-extensive: Aristotle, who has merely illustrated this form of language by examples of diminutives, has taken them alone as the most distinctive class of words which convey by the termination endearment and contempt. The form of endearment used in extenuation diminishes the bad, the contemptuous employment of them diminishes the good. There are no less than thirteen varieties of Greek diminutive terminations, which may be found in Matth. Gr. Gr. § 103. Donaldson, Gr. Gr. § 361, 3. f. aa, p. 320, gives only ten. Both of them have omitted a form Ἀττικίων, which occurs in Arist. Pax 214, where the Schol. has καταφρονήσεως ἕνεκα. It is to be noted that some of these diminutives in -διον have the ι long, though by the ordinary rule it is short. τᾠκι_διον, Ar. Nub. 93. οὐδι_διον, Nicom. Inc. Fr. ap. Meineke, IV. 587. σηπι_διον, Arist. Fragm. et octies ap. Comic. Fragm. ἀργυρι_διον, Av. 1622. ἱματι_διον, Lysistr. 470. δικαστηρι_διον, Vesp. 803, and others, ap. Fritzsche ad Arist. Ran. 1301. πορνίδιον has the ι long and short, Arist. Ran. 1301, and Nub. 997. The long ι arises from a contraction, so that πορνι_διον must be, derived from πορνι-ιδιον, and is a diminutive of a diminutive. [Kühner Gr. Gr. § 330.] On Latin diminutives, Madvig, Lat. Gr. § 182. “By means of lus, la or lum, and culus, cula or culum, are formed diminutives (nomina diminutiva) which denote littleness, and are often used by way of endearment, commiseration, or to ridicule something insignificant, e.g. hortulus, a little garden, matercula, a (poor) mother, ingeniolum, a little bit of talent.” On English diminutives see a paper by Sir G. C. Lewis, Phil. Mus. 1 697 seq. in Marsh's Lect. on the Eng. Lang., Smith's ed. p. 218; and Latham's Eng. Lang. c. XV § 337; also a paper by J. C. Hare in (Hare and Thirlwall's) Phil. Mus. Vol. I. p. 679. These are in kin, ling, and et, let (from the Norman, French and Italian (E. M. C.), Marsh. Lect. u. s. Lect. XIV. § 6). To which Latham adds ie (Scotch), (lassie, doggie), en (chicken, kitten), et and let, trumpet, lancet, pocket, owlet, brooklet, streamlet; ock (Grimm), bullock, hillock: paddock, buttock, hummock (Lewis). “The Greek word μείωσις means diminution; ὑποκόρισμα means an endearing expression. Hence we get names for the two kinds of diminutives; viz. the term meiotic for the true diminutives, and the term hypocoristic for the dim. of endearment.” Grimm, Deutsche Grammatik, III 664 (ap. Latham). The contemptuous diminutive in English is ling; lordling, bantling, foundling, underling, hireling. ‘By diminutive I mean that which diminishes the evil and the good (which belongs to the proper meaning of a word; by the addition of a termination), of which Aristophanes' sarcasm in the Babylonians is a specimen, where he substitutes χρυσιδάριον for χρυσίον (this again is diminutive of diminutive), ἱματιδάριον for ἱμάτιον, λοιδορημάτιον for λοιδορία, and νοσημάτιον’ (Fritzsche, ap. Meineke l. c., by a very probable conj., reads νοημάτιον, which is certainly much more germane to the matter). ‘We must, however, be very careful (in the use of this figure), and be on our guard against exaggeration in both’ (in the employment of ἐπίθετα and ὑποκορισμός). On these diminutives of Aristophanes, Meineke, Fragm. Babyl. XXX. Fr. Comic. Gr. II. 982, observes: “Usurpasse autem videtur poeta istas verborum formas, ut Gorgiam et qui eius in dicendo artem sectarentur rideret, quemadmodum etiam in Acharnensibus saepissime ista ornamenta orationis vituperat.” This explains σκώπτει. παρατηρεῖν] ‘to lie in wait for’, see on II 6.20. In the word here there is no ‘evil purpose’ implied. It is rather ‘to wait upon’, watch for an opportunity.
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