For instance, while it
is absurd to place a circumflex over all long syllables
since the quantity of most syllables is obvious from
the very nature of the word which is written, it is
all the same occasionally necessary, since the same
letter involves a different meaning according as it is
long or short. For example we determine whether
mains is to mean an “apple tree” or a “bad man” by
the use of the circumflex;
Quintilian. With an English Translation. Harold Edgeworth Butler. Cambridge. Cambridge, Mass., Harvard University Press; London, William Heinemann, Ltd. 1920.
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