Thursday, February 16, 2012


Botched Latin

Geoff Herbert, "Air Force unit removes 'God' from logo; lawmakers warn of 'dangerous precedent'," in the Syracuse Post-Standard (February 9, 2012), reports on a tempest in a teapot.

Both the old logo and the new one are supposed to be in Latin, but if these photographs are to be trusted, both are ungrammatical:

During the Vietnam War, my draft lottery number was 36, and so the probability was high that I would be drafted. I dropped my college deferment, and the Selective Service System ordered me to report for a physical examination. The military doctor in charge of the examination asked me what I was studying in college, and I answered Latin. To my surprise, he recited in Latin some verses by Catullus, accurately. Maybe there are still members of the armed forces who know Latin, but if so, they evidently weren't consulted about the Air Force unit's logo.

Hat tip: Jim K.

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