An average member of intelligentsia may recall the following lines straining him/herself up – The monster is awful, mischievous, huge, having one hundred mouths and barks, 514th verse from Telemachide by Trediakovsky that was chosen by Alexander Radischev as epigraph for his novel Journey from Saint Petersburg to Moscow. Having interrogated his/her memory, one may extract from it – except the said Telemachide (a monumental poetic work of 16,000 lines about adventures of Telemachus, son of Odysseus translated from French prose) – funny word omuzhonka (meaning Amazon) and exotic countries of Naverkhiya and Udalia (derived from Norway and Italy by way of long searches for their etymological roots). Here is what remains beyond the limits of this person’s knowledge: Trediakovsky was a man with European education, court poet and genuine philologist, translator and language reformer. The contemporaries mocked at him and wrote sarcastic burlesques, while the future generations appreciated the poet, yet not in full measure. Pushkin valued him, while Radischev called Trediakovsky dactylic and choreus knight. Moreover, the schoolchildren would have adored him, if they had known that well-educated Vasily Trediakovsky was a supporter of the rule saying that a word should be spelled exactly as it sounds.
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«В мире науки»
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