Friday, November 24, 2017

Only in Larger College Towns With Rich Social Media Networks: The Amazing Episode of Translating a Greek Passage in an Obscure 1736 French Opera (275)

Recently, Davis resident and musicologist Beverly Wilcox was writing an article on an 18th-century French opera that contained a passage, seemingly in Greek, that she wanted translated (images 1 and 2).

In the “old,” pre-digital world she would likely address her query to the UCD Classics department or such. But, we are now in the new digital age and “social media.” So, she took the more direct route of posting the problem on Davis Nextdoor! (Actually, it is on the even more specialized Old North Davis Nextdoor, although also sent to 30 neighborhoods.)

What is amazing to me, at least, is the outpouring of good help she got, as chronicled in images 1 through 5, which are extracts of what ensued. (The URL is

It is of course key to know that she did this posting in Davis, which is a substantial size college town with fair numbers of cosmopolitan people who either know Greek and even study it professionally or know people who know Greek.

The phrase “only in Davis” keeps leaping to mind, but that is not accurate.

Rather, I guess we should say “only in larger college towns with rich social media networks.” Not elegant, but sort of more what this is about.

Moreover, this kind event is just the start. As is sometimes declared, “You ain’t seen nothin’ yet!”