back to article Reg Latin scholars scrap over LOHAN's stirring motto

It's fair to say that the quest for a stirring motto for our proposed Low Orbit Helium Assisted Navigator (LOHAN) mission patch is proving to be the most fun we've had in a long while. A proposed LOHAN mission patch So great was the response to our call for suggestions that we're buried under a magnus congestus of Latin, a …

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Happy

I can't believe I enjoyed reading that. There must be something wrong with me.

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You and me both.

And I'm not sure if I should be happy or sad that my own entry (in Latin - a subject I never studied at all being just a poor plebian) didn't get a mention or argument either.

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Angel

It's even better if you imagine the corrections being given by John Cleese dressed as a centurion

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(Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

I'd be happy, really.

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Headmaster

Not so ...

... Latin - a subject I never studied at all being just a poor plebian

The vast majority of the population of the Roman Empire was made up of foreigners, slaves, or freedmen. To be one of the plebes -- the lowest rank of actual citizens -- you would almost certainly have been Roman, so your native language would very likely have been Latin.

... or perhaps you were just being ironical?

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The people called the Romans they go the house?

Can't believe I read it all, too.. .and understood half of it still...

*sigh*

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Re: Not so ...

Does this mean that minister was literally correct in what he called the police - plebes being the lowest rank of our actual lords and masters, and the rest of us not counting for anything?

Perhaps he was removed from the job for giving it away.

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Re: Not so ...

But it would have been vulgar latin - not the stuff written down on monuments.

It might have sounded like crude Geordie does compared to the elegant phrasing of Yorksha

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Anonymous Coward

The masochist in me agrees !

and the mind swirls.......

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"And I'm not sure if I should be happy or sad that my own entry (in Latin - a subject I never studied at all being just a poor plebian) didn't get a mention or argument either."

In the case of my offerings it should probably be Google Translate that is unsure if it should be happy or sad. :)

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Coat

And who knows what the ablative of WD-40 is?

I find a blowtorch ablates WD-40 quite nicely.

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Childcatcher

WD-40

The "WD" in WD-40 stands for "water displacement," so to rephrase: With duct tape* and Water Displacement 40. Using Google Translate (with apologies), it yields this:

Ductum lineam, et cum Praesentibus Aquam XL

Going back the other direction gives us this mess: Drawing the line, and with the presence of water, 40. Clearly this needs work that I'm not up for... er... for which I am not up.

* Duck Tape is a brand name.

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Re: WD-40

The Roman empire didn't have duct tape.

The Roman empire collapsed

Coincidence?

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Re: Re: WD-40

I think not. Well spotted.

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Does this mean I've passed my latin GCSE? Because I never did any coursework.

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Holmes

Now write it out a hundred times

If you're not finished when I come back, I'll cut your coeli off....

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Pint

Outstanding

" "Ad astra tabernamque": to the stars and the pub."

How very El Reg - what's the Latin for 'a shoe-in'?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Outstanding

I always preferred:

"Ad astra via tabernam" - to the stars by way of the pub

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Re: Outstanding

With apologies to the RAF, "Per taberna ad astra" works better IMHO.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Outstanding

Through the pub to the stars?

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Pint

Re: Outstanding

"A Taberna Ad Astra" then.

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Re: Outstanding

Through the pub to the stars?

Sometimes those back doors don't open to the alley.

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Headmaster

Is it too late to point out

from my O-level days, that (IIRC) most educated Romans spoke Greek. In fact doesn't Robert Graves put a brief bit in "I Claudius" as to why it was written in Latin, rather than Greek ?

In which case, I introduce astroployen from 35 years ago, as the Greek word my friends and I invented for "spaceship". After all, we use "Astro*naut*" ...

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Pint

Caliganote

Oh, bravo, Lester.

Or possibly even Ave!

So ave one on me.

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Re: Caliganote

I will, thanks. Take one yourself for the being the first to spot that.

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Vic
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Re: Caliganote

I was hoping for "caligulanote", as it's only a little one, and it opens the door to a zillion nutjob jokes...

Vic.

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Pint

Re: Caliganote

Just wanted to say that dodgy puns like this (and the attention to detail in the delightful article that spawned it) is one of the main reasons I love el Reg so much.

Two. Two main reasons. And whoever writes the subheads on the front page has those occasional flashes of brilliance that makes whatever rubbish is in the story well worth reading.

So the three main reasons I love the Reg...

Barkeep! A round to the Reg team on my way out!

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Headmaster

Latin is a language...

Ah, that brings back memories (although it certainly does not bring back any knowledge of the subject).

I remember taking Latin for one year at High School, we had a teacher who's accuracy with the blackboard eraser was lethally accurate, but I digress. My point being that it brought back this...

Latin is a language, as dead as dead can be

It killed the ancient Romans

And now it's killing me.

Curabitur in maxima eruditorum commentariis.

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Re: Latin is a language...

I did Latin at school for, um, two years? Hated every moment. I can remember more from Asterix books than anything we did at school, which led to me having to explain to the class exactly what "timeo danaos et dona ferentes" means, and feeling a lot like Brian facing the centurion.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Latin is a language...

Were we at the same school?

I still have a small dent in the side of my head from a lethally heavy wood backed blackboard eraser that was used to forcefully awaken me from my reverie one particularly dull Friday afternoon lesson...

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Headmaster

Re: Latin is a language...

I also was taught Latin for one year, before being kicked off the course (family tradition).

My Latin master* had taught the father of one of my friends and was consequently approximately as old as his subject in our eyes. His way of 'encouraging' pupils to remember was to grab you by the ear and twist.

That scene in Life of Brian is pretty accurate in a lot of ways.

* I use the word master instead of teacher because it fit him much better, he was from the proper old school.

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Z80
Coat

Since I didn't study Latin at school, I once paid for an online Latin course but it was rubbish.

Caveat emptor is all I can say.

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Any non-Latin in with a shout?

I don't recall the rules saying the motto had to be Latin, so will any non-Latin entries be offered for our vote?

My suggestion would be: "I have an official looking patch" :-)

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Joke

Re: Any non-Latin in with a shout?

But only on Tuesdays, unless you're a penguin

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Re: Any non-Latin in with a shout?

Donde esta la cervesa

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(Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

Re: Any non-Latin in with a shout?

We have non-Latin submissions. Await the final vote and wonder, oh multilingual commentard.

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An Old Favorite

One of my favorite Latin phrases is a twist on the old "Carpe Diem" (Sieze the day): "Crape Diem" (the day siezes you)

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Re: An Old Favorite

In Soviet Russia....

and such

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Re: An Old Favorite

or "Carpe Carp" (Sieze the fish)

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Re: An Old Favorite

Carpe Puellae

Or

Carpe Pecunium

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Splorf

"Navis volitans mea plena anguillarum est" made me laugh SO hard. Totally has my vote.

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Thumb Up

Re: Splorf

a quick scan (ignoring declension and case) seems to suggest a craft belonging to the speaker is full of something ...

I'm going to take a punt that anguillarum is eels ? From anguilla ?

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Re: Splorf

I agree that "Navis volitans mea plena anguillarum est" is a winner.

I think repleta is the word for "filled up with", as plena seems to mean full in the sense of complete, or even plump. And I'm not sure about the genitive case; "full of" has the feel of an English idiom, but I can't think of a more appropriate case. Possible alternatives:

Navis volitans mea subter anguillis repleta est (Filled under eels? Nah.)

Navis volitans mea per | propter anguillas repleta est (Filled by, or on account of eels.)

Navem volitantem meam anguillae replent (Seems to imply that the eels did the filling.)

Where is John Cleese when you need him?

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Vic
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Re: Splorf

And I'm not sure about the genitive case; "full of" has the feel of an English idiom, but I can't think of a more appropriate case.

That's what the ablative case is for...

Vic.

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Re: Splorf

It probably originated here: http://www.omniglot.com/language/phrases/hovercraft.htm

which gives two Latin possibilities:

Mea navis volitans anguillis plena est

Navis volitans mihi anguillis plena est

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Re: Splorf

Kubla Cant, the division is not “full of” + “something”, but “full” + “of something”; that is, adjective + genitive. Plenus/plenum/plena is perfectly acceptable in this way: Cicero used plenum sceleris (“full of wickedness”), and Horace used plenum laetitiae (“full of happiness”).

Oddly enough, my Latin grammar book notes two exceptions from Early through “Golden Age” Latin: for adjectives denoting either fullness or deficiency only, adjective + ablative was equally acceptable. Thus, plena anguillis could also have been used.

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Re: Splorf

Uncle Slacky, my translation came only from offline sources, viz my brain and my dictionary. There aren’t many Latin words for hovering, so similarities in different translations of this phrase are inevitable.

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Re: Splorf

"That's what the ablative case is for"

I thought the ablative case was for reentry

I'll get my.. Oh, you got it for me, thanks.

Yes, I can SEE the door, thankyou

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Re: Splorf

Upvoted for serious erudition. What other techie forum includes posts that cite Horace and Cicero?

As you can probably tell, my Latin grammar was handed in half a century ago, and it wasn't overused even then.

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And not a single mention of a towel or dressing-gown...

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