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Gordon M. Messing (1917–2002)

Author of A glossary of Greek Romany as spoken in Agia Varvara, Athens

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Harvard University (AB1938AM1940PhD1942)
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"Those who knew the tweeded, conservative Gordon of Goldwin Smith Hall found it hard to imagine the other Gordon who spoke or read around a dozen modern languages, and not only conversed with gypsies on the outskirts of Athens, but catalogued their vocabulary. He was, indeed, very much a linguist in an older, polyglot, tradition, profoundly learned in literature of all epochs, a menace to visiting lecturers who misquoted a line of Byron, Pound or Elytis or commented incautiously upon the Russian novel. Language enthralled him not only as a phenomenon in and of itself, but as the vehicle of human expression, be it lofty poetry or lowly conversation."
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