‘There are pitifully few days in which we are able to imitate the watery Archimedes with cries of “Eureka!” There are more than enough, however, when we find ourselves screaming its opposite: “Akerue” – the one and only way of expressing the emotion of realising that one’s supposedly original ideas are not in the least bit unique’ (Leo Barnard)
Barnard wrote this in 1999. Two years later another commentator made the same point, claiming no knowledge of Barnard’s observation. His claim was probably true. After all, there is no good reason why someone else should not have followed Barnard’s thought processes – without imitating them. Nothing is new, except in context.
Incidentally, I would suggest that ‘Akerue’ is not – like its opposite – a dramatic exclamation. It is not a cry of anguish, but an emotion of the ‘dawning’ sort: the kind that seeps into you, steadily engulfing you. Like a damp and dark cloud.