Academic manners can be as suspect as social manners, but , like social manners, nice in the old sense of the word, to observe. In the preface to his book on the Romance Languages, the author Professor W. D Elcock, says with becoming modesty:"This volume has been committed to print in the belief that its subject, at least in countries of English tradition, has long awaited the attentions of an author." and further on "...The initial prospect of publication, and the encouragement which this implies, I owe to one whom I can no longer thank, but only remember with lasting esteem and affection, the late Professor Entwistle." The book was written in 1959 and perhaps nowadays some of the elegance of expression and old fashioned deference might have coarsened. Meanwhile I can only record that my toes curl with pleasure as I read and appreciate every nuance of that preface, and imagine the two professors discussing the morphology and syntax of Vulgar Latin over a glass of Tio Pepe..
On a bench on The Common I sit and watch a cricket match. One of the batsmen turns a loose ball past fine leg for a boundary. The ball slows and stops at my feet. I pick it up and rather feebly throw it to the fielder on his way to collect it. But my throwing powers have declined through lack of practice and the ball falls short of the hands waiting to catch it. I feel like an old man, which I suppose in a manner of speaking I am.