Socrates: Hermogenes, son of Hipponicus, there is an ancient proverb that “fine things are very difficult” to know about, and it certainly isn’t easy to get to know about names. To be sure, if I’d attended Prodicus’ fifty-drachma lecture course, which he himself advertises as an exhaustive treatment of the topic, there’d be nothing to prevent you from learning the precise truth about the correctness of names straightaway. But as I’ve heard only the one-drachma course, I don’t know the truth about it. Nonetheless, I am ready to investigate it along with you and Cratylus. As for his denying that your real name is ‘Hermogenes’, I suspect he’s making fun of you. Perhaps he thinks you want to make money but fail every time you try.1 In any case, as I was saying, it’s certainly difficult to know about these matters, so we’ll have to conduct a joint investigation to see who is right, you or Cratylus.

(Cratylus, 384b-c)