Wednesday, November 04, 2020


Howler (click to enlarge): (click to enlarge):
"Odiosis hominem" is not Latin for "boring person". It's not grammatical Latin at all. Odiosis is dative or ablative plural of the adjective odiosus, and hominem is accusative singular of the noun homo. Adjectives should agree with the nouns they modify in gender, number, and case. Here the number and case don't match.

Also, if Odiosis hominem is intended to be a jocose scientific name, the word order and capitalization are wrong, as if Odiosis were the genus and hominem the species. Besides, scientific names are normally in the nominative singular, not in oblique cases or plurals.

My advice? Forego Latin if you don't know Latin. Above all, never use Google Translate to find the Latin equivalent of an English phrase.

A few years ago Sixty Minutes correspondent Morley Safer labelled St. Paul, Minnesota, one of the "most boring" cities in the United States. At the time, I lived in St. Paul. In response to Safer, Mrs. Laudator temporarily changed our telephone answering machine message to "Hello. You have reached the most boring family in the most boring city in the United States. Leave your message at the tone." She was joking (I think).

Hat tip: Eric Thomson.

Related posts: A catalogue of howlers:

<< Home
Newer›  ‹Older

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?