Saturday, February 04, 2006
Today's the feast of St Blase, and the traditional day to bless throats with a pair of candles through his intercession. In the afternoon, we went to bless the throats of the school kids, room by room. I decided to do an experiment. In each class I visited, I explained a bit about the blessing and the feast, then asked them, "I'll let you choose. Do you want your blessings in English or in Latin?" In every room, they roared back, "In LATIN!!!!"
Languagehat wonders about the meaning of a pseudo-Latin phrase used by Nabokov: "Egreto perambis doribus!"
In his collection of ancient jokes for the month of January, Michael Hendry (aka Curculio) translates Greek σχολαστικός (scholastikós) in a few spots as poindexter. This is a case where English was Greek to me. I had to look up the meaning of the word poindexter.
Bill Vallicella (aka Maverick Philosopher) quotes the Latin phrase "Post coitum omne animal triste est," translates it as "After sexual intercourse every animal is sad," and remarks "The universal quantifier causes me some trouble." A variant of the phrase gives exceptions to the general rule: "Triste est omne animal post coitum, praeter mulierem gallumque," every animal except woman and rooster. Or should that be "Gallum," Frenchman?