I have dinner every second week with a diverse and fun group of people.
One of them is Andrew, who read Classics at Oxford, and has edited the letter P for the Oxford English Dictionary.
He is now working on proof reading Oxford’s latest edition of Liddell and Scott’s Greek Lexicon. “What are you working on, Andrew?” someone asked. “Words beginning with Hol,” I think he said. Holocaust, Hologram. Holiness.
The next week, an over-hearty (fairly unEnglish!) member of the group, asked cheerily, “So Andrew, how’s the letter H?”
“It was the letter O.”
“I thought you said H,” his inquisitor said, befuddled.
Andrew, a very shy man, sighed. With an effort he said, “It’s a Greek dictionary.”
Dead silence reigned.
I have had a year of Classical Greek, so helpfully stepped into the breech. “Greek doesn’t have an H. It’s indicated by a rough breathing sign over the O.”
“Yes,” Andrew agreed, with the most beatific smile.
And, having cleared that up, we proceeded to dinner.