jeudi, juillet 21, 2005

Latin for the Masses

Note: This is a cruel post of the nit-picking kind.

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Jose Herrera

Readers of this blog have often complained about the interspersed occurrences of Latin in my scribbles. I must confess that I love Latin and would support its reintroduction any day. I feel I was robbed of the classic education that my father always complained about. I wanted to learn Latin (not so much Greek). I never did. I got exposed to Latin mainly through maxims and it is mainly maxims that I quote. The blogroll in the side bar is either headed by maxims, half-maxims or in the case of "Ad Maiorem Blogger Commoditatem" and "De Visitatorem Provenienta" spoof latin.

Ever since Vatican Council whatever decreed that masses may be said in the vulgate (De Vulgari Eloquentia), latin has survived only in the legal field. Maltese lawyers love to use latin to impress (which explains the reactions on my blog) and to bluff their erudition.Well... bluffing is a very fine art I must say. As author of the "De Minimis Law Notes" in my time I knew a thing or two about the fine art of bluffing honed and perfected during those sweat inducing law orals. When you bluff you use the little information you know and manage to get away with implying that you know much more than that. You throw the little you know at your listener in such a way that he or she believes that you could have said more but we both know it so why waste time... or we both know that I know it but no need to go into that detail.

Well, Dr. Jose Herrera chose to start today's article about his Reverence for the Republic by describing the latin roots of the word Republic. Here are the first few lines of today's article...

"The term republic derives from two Latin words, that is, res pubblica, which means "of the people" and this as opposed to the term monarchy, whereby, figuratively speaking, the state belongs to the sovereign. This system of government probably originated during the Roman Classical period when the citizens dismissed the last of their tyrannically kings and established what was perhaps the first republic and this around 500 BC."

No way Jose. It is either singular... a RES PUBLICUM or plural a RE PUBLICA as in Cicero's great oeuvre d'art the "De Re Publica" (note the subtle implication that I read Cicero's work... of course NOT). Whichever case the Romans were too busy "probably originating" the Republic and ignoring Plato to bother with double b's. (E' una repubblica Maltese... ha piu' effetto allolra doppia b")

Know what I mean?

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7 commentaires:

Fausto Majistral a dit…

I know I'm probably becoming unbearable.

Whichever case the Romans were too busy "probably originating" the Republic and ignoring Plato to bother with double b's.

Plato's work was originally called "Politeia". "Republic" probably came later with Latin translations.

Jacques René Zammit a dit…

aha. you call my bluff.
unbearable indeed.
but thanks for any enlightenment. :)

bocca a dit…

there's only one word that fits: onanist

Jacques René Zammit a dit…

O'nanismo: Ossessione antica napoletana nei guaglioni bassi di statura.

Nanotechnologia: Invenzioni di nanisti colti adatte ad ameliorare la situazione dei nani nella terra.

PPS Nit-picking blog got nit-picking comments so now I reduce to the absurd... (reductio ad absurdum ahhhhhhhh the orgasmic nature of latin)

bocca a dit…

touche' .... maximus in minimis

Kenneth a dit…

Ohra bil-Latin u nkeccik 'il barra mill-klassi, Zammit.

Jacques René Zammit a dit…

jiena ilni barra mill-klassi... kif kien jghid Doctor Vella tal-Biology fi zmien...

"Zammit u Tonna Barthet Barra"
"X'ghamilna Sir?"
"S'issa xejn imma zgur kontu se taghmlu sa l-ahhar tal-lezzjoni"