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Are These still popular?
 
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Some websites (particularly blogs) have tried to revive the use of colopha.


Ceci n'est pas un seing.
 
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Smile so thats what the plural is..
 
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goofball, I think most would use colophons as the plural. I was being pedantico-humorous. Wink (It would be the learned plural.)


Ceci n'est pas un seing.
 
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It spooks me when my Sprachgefühl flags up a word I've never thought of in that context: but I just knew colopha looked wrong. The Greek stem ends in -ôn-, so it's colophones... if I've remembered my plurals right.
 
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Right you are, aput. Probably explains why I didn't do well on the test of Greek declensions in Latin.


Ceci n'est pas un seing.
 
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Well, never fear, Zmj, you're always way ahead of me. I didn't know what the word meant. Wink

I see that it is an inscription placed usually at the end of a book, giving facts about its publication and that Colophon is also an ancient Greek city. It's not an eponym, is it?
 
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If it does, indeed, have some connection to the city, wouldn't it be a toponym instead of an eponym?


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Goofball began our thread by asking if colophons are still used. I suppose that depends on what a colophon is. So let me ask a dumb question: is a colophon something put at the end of a book, or at the beginning?

AHD seems to want it both ways:
quote:
1. An inscription placed usually at the end of a book, giving facts about its publication.
2. A publisher's emblem or trademark placed usually on the title page of a book.
 
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Hello! Your friendly former rare book dealer here.

The colophon was originally a statement made by the scribe writing the manuscript. Some of them were quite simple: the scribe's name, date, and location. Others were quite elaborate and included commentary on the manuscript, the writing style of the original author, the conditions under which the scribe had to work while making the copy, etc.

The colophon originally appeared right after the title page, since sometimes a senior scribe would edit the original manuscript and it was considered important to know who had done the transcribing.

With the advent of the printing press, the colophon was moved to the end of the book. This allowed the printer to add an entire page devoted to his printer's mark and whatever other information he might wish to provide about himself and his press. Some colophons (colophi?) were quite elaborate advertisements.

Today, you will rarely find a colophon except in private and sometimes university presses. You will usually find it at the end of the book, and it will tell you what kind of paper was used, what type style, sometimes what type of ink and even which press. This is especially true of collectible private editions where acid free paper is prized and when handmade or special papers are employed.
 
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Eek SmileThanks Jo .<and the above>. for that info....Would you know if anyone has compiled a book on Printers Marks? It would be neat to them return to mainstream printing or internet blogs...they add an interesting artistic flare and uniqueness to the work...judging from the few that I have seen ...
 
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Well, yes. There's Early Printers' Marks from the Victoria and Albert Museum printed in 1962; A Carved Tablet Showing Early Printers' Marks on the Widener Library [/] by Mason Hammond; [i] Fifty Printers' Marks by E. Willoughby;
Printers' Marks : Curious & Challenging. A.R. "Tommy" Tommasini]. ENGLISH PRINTERS' MARKS OF THE FIFTEENTH CENTURY. by F.C. Avis;

Regarding Colophons, if you want to see some interesting ones you might want to try here
 
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quote:
wouldn't it be a toponym instead of an eponym?

Oh, how silly of me...of course! And here I just did a whole wordcraftjr theme of toponyms! Roll Eyes
 
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If colophon refers to 'the end', as in 'the end of a book', then is colophon related to colon?
 
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There's no suitable Greek suffix containing -ph- that could relate the two. Let's see what Perseus says... Colophon is kolophôn 'summit, top, finishing touch'; whereas colon is kôlon with a different vowel, 'limb, member, leg' and thus 'part of a verse', which gives our meaning 'punctuation mark (presumably originally within a verse)'. The Greeks didn't appear to use it for an internal organ; that must be a modern medical use.
 
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Aput, excuse me for being unclear. When I asked if colophon and colon were related, I meant the colon for elimination from the body (not the colon-symbol of punctuation (which I do not doubt is separate). I wonder if the matter may go a little farther, but it is beyond me; perhaps it will trigger some thoughts in you.

Three separate Greek words led to the punctuation-colon, the elimination-colon, and colophon, but I wonder if the last two Greek words might have a common ancestor meaning of "final" or "end" or the like. If I understand OED correctly:
  • Colon¹, the punctuation-colon, is from L. cōlon, Gr. κώλον, meaning "limb" or "part of a sentence or a strophe". The first vowel sound, ώ in the Greek, was a long ō. I don't doubt that this was separate.
  • Colon², the elimination-colon, is from L. colon, Gr. κόλον, meaning "food, meat, the colon". Here there is a different vowel, o or ό, with a different sound, the short ŏ. The pronunciation later changed to a long ō under the influence of colon¹.
  • Colophon is from late L. colophōn, Gr. κολοφών, meaning "summit, finishing touch". The Latin spells syllable exactly as in colon²; but the Greek uses κο (unaccented) rather than κό. Are these different letters? Was the pronunciation here the short ŏ, as in the root for colon², or did it differ?
In other words, the Greeks roots of colon² and colophon may had been very similar in sound and spelling; I don't know enough Greek to be sure. In the meanings there is clear similarity, each having a concept of "at the end of the process". Indeed, OED's second cite for colophon says, "1635 He [God] comes to the Creation of man, and makes him the Colophon, or conclusion of all things else."

Complicating this the statement that κόλον meant "food, meat, the colon". To me, "meat" and "colon" are almost opposites: to put it politely, one loves eating the former, but loathes eating the contents of the later. Did the Greek word truly have both those meanings? If so, which came first?
 
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Ah, I didn't bother checking the English etymology: having found colon-1 I assumed the other was a specialization: a limb or length or subdivision of the intestines.

Well, so colon-2 and colophon have the same vowel in Greek. Still, I don't think there's an applicable -ph- suffix. In fact kolophôn doesn't look native Greek at all - that is, inherited Indo-European. It looks more like a substrate borrowing, like so much of Greek. However, there is Latin collis and its English cognate hill, so if there was a -ph- suffix of some kind that'd be useful.

Indeed, the Bartleby dictionary, which is more useful for etymologies than Perseus, does refer it to the 'hill' root. It's an unusual extension if so.
 
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