The Odd what? What is an Athenæum and how do you pronounce it? About the Odd Athenæum.
What’s in a name?
To breakdown the origin of our name we turn to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary:
• strange or unusual : different from what is normal or expected
Athenaeum – ath·e·nae·um
• a building or room in which books, periodicals, and newspapers are kept for use,
• a literary or scientific association
More specifically however, the athenaeum was an ancient Roman school devoted to the study of the arts & sciences. It took its name from the city and Greek goddess of Athena, the goddess of (among other things) the arts, wisdom, and inspiration.
Brought together the Odd Athenæum is a digital house of learning. We focus on the curious, things slightly off-center, but always with the intention of sharing interesting information.
The conjoined letter forms of A and E are a typographic ligature. Ligatures were originally a time saving measure when manuscripts were written out by hand. Æ is also a monophthong where the two vowels make only one sound. It usually sounds like the long A sound found in the word “apple” but in the word athenæum it sounds more like just saying the name of the letter “A.”
If the Odd Athenæum were to be placed under the sorting hat, which Hogwarts house would it belong to? Too easy: Ravenclaw.
The Odd Athenæum operates out of Philadelphia, PA. Philadelphia is also home to the Liberty Bell, Independence Hall, cheesesteaks, La Colombe coffee, Ben Franklin, Grace Kelly, Rocky Balboa, it’s where David Bowie recorded Young Americans, and is the place the Fresh Prince fled for the safety of Bel Air.
Finally, in the tradition of medieval manuscript colophons and the inclusion of book curses:
We read copious text, to present the odd and the curious
Reading should be a joy, not tiresome or laborious
But should you become bored, frustrated, or displeased
Keep it to yourself, else your hair fall out and your home fill with bees