|Volume and Page:||Vol. 7 (1757), p. 487|
|Author:||César Chesneau Du Marsais (biography)|
|Translator:||Jonathan Broehl [Drew University]|
|Original Version (ARTFL):||Link|
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|Citation (MLA):||Du Marsais, César Chesneau. "Grammarian." The Encyclopedia of Diderot & d'Alembert Collaborative Translation Project. Translated by Jonathan Broehl. Ann Arbor: Michigan Publishing, University of Michigan Library, 2010. Web. [fill in today's date in the form 18 Apr. 2009 and remove square brackets]. <http://hdl.handle.net/2027/spo.did2222.0001.063>. Trans. of "Grammairien," Encyclopédie ou Dictionnaire raisonné des sciences, des arts et des métiers, vol. 7. Paris, 1757.|
|Citation (Chicago):||Du Marsais, César Chesneau. "Grammarian." The Encyclopedia of Diderot & d'Alembert Collaborative Translation Project. Translated by Jonathan Broehl. Ann Arbor: Michigan Publishing, University of Michigan Library, 2010. http://hdl.handle.net/2027/spo.did2222.0001.063 (accessed [fill in today's date in the form April 18, 2009 and remove square brackets]). Originally published as "Grammairien," Encyclopédie ou Dictionnaire raisonné des sciences, des arts et des métiers, 7:487 (Paris, 1757).|
Grammarian. Adjective which is often used as a noun; it applies to a man who has done a specific study of Grammar.
In the past, one distinguished between grammarian and grammatist. One understood by grammarian what we consider to be a man of letters, a man of erudition, a good critic: it is in this sense that Suetonius has used the word in his book on famous grammarians. See the preceding article Men of Letters.
Quintilian says that a grammarian should be a philosopher, an orator, should have an extensive knowledge of history, should be an excellent critic and an accurate interpreter of ancient authors and poets. According to him, a grammarian should not be ignorant about music either. All of this implies a fair judgment and a philosophical mind, enlightened by sound logic and solid metaphysics. Mixtum in his omnibus judicium est. Quintil.. inst. orat. lib. I. c. jv.
Those who did not have this knowledge and who were limited to show by example how to practice the rudiments of letters, were called grammatists.
Today a man of letters is considered to be a good grammarian when he has applied himself to the knowledge pertaining to the art of speaking and writing correctly.
But, if he does not know that speech is only the sign of thought and consequently could not know that the art of speaking implies the art of thinking; so in brief if he does not have this philosophical mind which is the universal instrument and without which no piece of work can reach perfection, he is hardly a grammatist. This would prove Quintilian to be right in “that grammar essentially is well above of what it seems to be primarily”: plus habet in recessu quam in fronte promittit. Quintil. inst. orat. lib. I. c. jv. init.
Many mistake Grammarians for Grammatists. But there is always a superior kind of men, who, like Quintilian, only judges things large or small in terms of the real advantages society can draw from them. Often what seems large in the eyes of the commoner, these men find small if society does not profit from it. And often what the commoners find small, the former deem large if it enlightens and educates citizens because they will be able to think more logically and deeply, and to express themselves with more accuracy, precision, and clarity. Citizen’s willingness to make themselves useful and to be virtuous will come of this. (F) Diderot and d’Alembert’s Encyclopedia.