The same arguments apply to authority. For
although the use of words transmitted to us by the
best authors may seem to preclude the possibility
of error, it is important to notice not merely what
they said, but what words they succeeded in sanctioning. For no one to-day would introduce words such
“voracious,” or lurchinabundus,
“guzzling,” although they have the authority of
Cato; nor make lodices,
though Pollio preferred that gender; nor say gladiola,
“small swords,” though Messala used this plural,
for parricide, a form which can
scarcely be tolerated even in Caelius, nor will Calvus
persuade me to speak of collos,
were these authors alive to-day, they would never
use such words.
Usage remains to be discussed.