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At 107 years, lexicographer Emmanuel Kriaras says it's time to go

On his 107th birthday, Emmanuel Kriaras says now that the love that inspired him is gone, he no longer wants to live any longer

Emmanuel Kriaras Emmanuel Kriaras The lexicographer who compiled what has been described as the  "most authoritative" dictionary of modern Greek has said that he never wanted to live for so long and the time has come for him to go, in an interview marking his 107th birthday.

"I never wanted to live so long ... It just happened. I don't want to live any longer. My joy [his wife] has gone. The love that inspired me – the love for life and creation – is no longer there," Emmanuel Kriaras told the semiofficial ANA news agency.

"So, thank you for the greetings and gifts, but they are now redundant. And in our era, there is no room for redundancies," he said.

Kriaras, an emeritus professor of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, is best-known for his seminal work, the 16-volume Lexicon of Medieval Greek Demotic Literature, 1100-1669, the first volume of which was published in 1968.

His Greek Dictionary of the Modern Demotic Language: Written and Oral came out in 1995 and has been described as "the most authoritative modern Greek monolingual dictionary".

In the interview, Kriaras bemoaned that many of the journalists who want to interview him nowadays seem more impressed by his age, and "not because they know and appreciate my work and my personality".

Kriaras was born in Piraeus on 15 November 1906, according to the Julian calendar then in use. But following the introduction of the Gregorian calendar in 1923, his date of birth became 28 November 1906.

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