clayton stirling bartholomew
c.s.bartholomew at worldnet.att.net
Sat Dec 4 20:56:06 EST 1999
>From: Jim West <jwest at highland.net>
> Robertson is dreadfully dense (in a numberof ways)
Actually Robertson is only hard to use at first, after about 10 years
you get used to his style. The first ten years however are a bit
strenuous. The main problem with Robertson is that you need to read the
context which can amount to 25-40 pages just to answer a simple
If you cut all the fat out of Robertson you end up with Dana and Manty
which in spite of its age and rather dull presentation of the material
isn't really a bad grammar but it does not cover a lot of the difficult
and obscure questions like BDF or Robertson.
> and Moule's idiom book is not very useful.
Agreed, one of the least used books on grammar that I own. The only book
I use less is perhaps Albert Thumb (no I don't want to sell it.)
I would vote for BDF not because I love it but because it is the best we
have at the moment. To read BDF effectively you need to already know a
fair amount about Attic grammar because BDF has the habit of always
explaining everything in terms of Attic grammar. BDF suffers from the
reverse problem of Robertson. BDF is often crypticly brief which is fine
if you have used it for a while you appreciate this feature but at first
it will leave you wondering what was being said.
Someone will no doubt mention Moulton-Turner. This is a matter of taste
I suppose but I prefer BDF to Moulton-Turner because it has proved
itself by answering more questions than Moulton-Turner. There is less
choice involved. With BDF you just pick up the book and go to the
indices (which are quite good). With M-T you need to decided which of
the four books to pick up.
One way to choose a Grammar is by the indices. Grammars with excellent
indices are BDF, Smyth, Robertson. M-T is ok but if my memory serves me
correctly each vol has its own which is a minus. Some one has compiled
an index to all the major Grammars but I do not own it or remember who
published it. BDF has cross references to other major Grammars attached
to the articles which is another plus for BDF. Grammars with mediocre to
poor indices are SE Porter, Idioms, the first edition of Robert Young
(wrong page numbers!). A poor set of indices reduces the value of a
major reference work substantially.
It is a dull winter Saturday or I would not be going on and on about
this well worn topic.
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