Tuesday, March 13, 2007


Grammar Is Sexy

Lucilius, Greek Anthology 11.139 (tr. W.R. Paton):
Zenonis keeps Menander the bearded grammar teacher, and says she has entrusted her son to him; but he never stops at night making her practice cases, conjunctions, figures, and conjugations.

Γραμματικὸν Ζηνωνὶς ἔχει πώγωνα Μένανδρον,
  τὸν δ᾽ υἱὸν τούτῳ φησὶ συνεστακέναι.
τὰς νύκτας δ᾽ αὐτῇ μελετῶν οὐ παύεται οὗτος
  πτώσεις, συνδέσμους, σχήματα, συζυγίας.
Cases (πτώσεις) = literally falls. In English, conjugate means not only "to inflect a verb" but also "to have sexual relations."

Call to mind also that glamour (meaning "compelling charm, romance, and excitement; especially such qualities when delusively alluring") is etymologically just a variant of grammar.

Who says grammar is dull?

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