[Humanist] 31.80 poverty of means mediated by skill

Humanist Discussion Group willard.mccarty at mccarty.org.uk
Sun Jun 4 12:01:28 CEST 2017

                  Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 31, No. 80.
            Department of Digital Humanities, King's College London
                Submit to: humanist at lists.digitalhumanities.org

        Date: Sat, 3 Jun 2017 19:40:46 -0400 (EDT)
        From: lachance at chass.utoronto.ca
        Subject: Nuances of the poverty of means
        In-Reply-To: <20170603034410.8DE9F1A82 at digitalhumanities.org>


While reading this collection of essays, I came across a passage that put
me in mind of digital editions and the ability to turn bells and whistles
on and off at ease. It also makes me wonder about the link between
experience and frugal resources.

Philip Stratford "Translation as Creation" in Figures in a Ground:
Canadian Essays on Modern Literature Collected in Honor of Sheila Watson
edited by Diane Bessai and David Jackel.

It is preferable to struggle to find the right word in your own mind and
in your own vocabulary than to rely on the push-button response of
thesaurus or dictionary. It may even be preferable, since dictionaries are
sometimes indispensible [sic], to use a modest rather than a too extensive
one, just to insure a close and personal engagement in the search.

When I first read this, I took "extensive" as "expensive". And my big two
volume OED (with the magnifying glass) informed me that "indispensible" is
an obsolete form for "indispensable" and which here serves as an indice of
the Canadian pronunciation.

BTW the Oxford English Dictionary in my possession was purchased at a cut
rate price since "the definitive record of the English language" has
migrated to a subscription service online and many persons have been
offloading their old paper behemoths.

The point that Stratford is making is that a poverty of means induces a
valuable outcome when mediated by skill (in internalizing the resources of
target and source languages). The other point that he is making is that
there is a personal stake in the enjeu.

Francois Lachance

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