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Where do you see Latin today?

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sine die Definition sine die (sī′nē dī′ē)


We occasionally hear this pronounced in the U.S. Senate, and House of Representatives. I have heard it, though it is rare, because in the context it is used there "without a day" means the House or Senate is adjourning without a set day (or date) for meeting in another session.


The pronounciation you will often hear, even by the US Senator who most often makes reference to ancient Rome and specifically the Roman Senate, Senator Robert Byrd) is incorrect.

( You can listen HERE to hear the modern version )

Unless corrected I believe the correct pronunciation sounds (phonetically) like this: See-nay dee-yay



Edited by Faustus

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See-nay dee-yay


Half right. The e in sine doesn't have a macron, while the e in die does. Hence, it's pronounced as "See-ne deeyay," in Classical Latin. :ph34r:

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See-nay dee-yay


Half right. The e in sine doesn't have a macron, while the e in die does. Hence, it's pronounced as "See-ne deeyay," in Classical Latin. :ph34r:


I see upon looking it up that you are correct. It is sine and not sīnē and the marks in the link apply only to English and aren't intended to be used for Latin pronunciations. Thank you very much for the correction Ziriel! I like that big smile ;)

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Quite a few English football clubs have latin on the club badges......


The Blackburn Rovers motto is "Arte et labore," which means "by skill and labour".The inscription on Everton's badge, reads "Nil satis nisi optimum" and roughly translates as "Nothing but the best is good enough". Manchester City's motto is "Superbia in proelia," which means "Pride in battle," The Spurs motto is "Audere est facere," or "To dare is to do". Sheffield Wednesday boast of "Consilio et anamis" - which means "intelligence and courage" - while Bristol City's motto is "Vim promovet insitam" -"Promotes your inner power". Gillingham claim to be the "domus clamantium", or "home of the shouting men".


In Scotland Kilmarnock have the motto "Confidemus", or "We trust". Elgin City have "Sic itur astra", meaning "Thus we reach the stars". But the prize for non-pretentiousness goes to Queens Park, who play at Hampden but are currently in the Scottish third division. They meekly suggest "Ludere causa ludendi," which means "to play for the sake of playing".

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I was thinking. Were do we see Latin every day? But where else do you see Latin subliminally?


Pop culture breathes life into Latin


Associated Press

Tuesday, December 4, 2007




The Latin language, on life support for decades, got a brief reprieve when the world of Harry Potter introduced such words as "expelliaramus" - a spell to disarm an enemy - and Latin-sounding names like Remus and Albus.


But this kind of pop-culture exposure does little to paper over the bad news: The ancient tongue once common to most of the civilized world, not to mention the language of the Roman Catholic Mass until about 50 years ago, is fading fast.


In 1960, as Harry Mount relates in his book "Carpe Diem: Put a Little Latin in Your Life" (Hyperion, 259 pages, $19.95), 60,000 British schoolchildren did Latin O levels - the basic exam for British 16-year-olds. Today, only 10,000 do a much more basic replacement. Even fewer go on to take Latin in upper levels of schools.


The picture is a little brighter in the United States, Mount says, where the number of children taking the National Latin Exam has soared in recent years. But the language still has migrated largely to universities and a small group of die-hard classics majors.


The question, of course, is, who cares? With few exceptions, Latin hasn't been a spoken language for centuries. A basic grounding is helpful for science, law and spelling - and tracking the Hogwarts gang - but it's hard to dispute the idea that schools' scarce resources should be spent on teaching languages more relevant to today: Arabic, say, or Chinese.


Still, Mount makes a strong case for the study of Latin as a window into cultural, literary and archaeological history.


He mixes humor and multiple pop-culture references with heavier reflections on Latin and its legacy in his book.


Who knew, for example, that soccer megastar David Beckham and actress Angelina Jolie share in common a penchant for Latin tattoos? Jolie gets a mention for a Latin phrase on her pregnant belly, "Quod me nutrit me destruit" ("What nurtures me destroys me").



Of Beckham's nine tattoos, Mount reports, three are in Latin, including the phrase "Ut Amem et Foveam," or, "That I might love and cherish," on his left forearm.


Along the way, we get a history of the appearance of togas on college campuses thanks to the 1978 movie "Animal House" and the toga popularized by Bluto Blutarsky, the character played by John Belushi.


Mount also manages to squeeze in references to "The Dukes of Hazzard," "Star Trek" and novelist Thomas Harris' Hannibal Lecter.


There's also a brief stop by Monty Python, remembered for the scene in "Life of Brian" where a Roman centurion, played by John Cleese, corrects the poor Latin of graffiti-writing Brian. We also learn of the popularity of Ista, a German hip-hop band that raps in Latin.


Keeping it relevant to real life, Mount recalls the phrase "annus horribilis," or horrible year, coined by Queen Elizabeth to describe her 1992, "a bloody terrible year, when Windsor Castle burned down, and the marriages of Prince Charles, Prince Andrew and Princess Anne fell apart."


Dominoes, it emerges, come from the word "dominus," or master, and the dark cloaks these medieval lords wore with holes cut into them for eyes. Hence, the dark blocks with white dots. Neat.


As jokey as Mount likes to be, he doesn't skirt the rigor required to learn Latin. And he does his best to drive home his argument that Latin does matter, even now.


"Knowing a bit of Latin is an invitation to the biggest room in the building, with a view down the corridor to all the succeeding ages," he writes.




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Here's a second article on the great classicist David Beckham's tattoos. Although this tattoo is in English, its original source is from Latin:



April 18, 2007

David Beckham's new tattoo -- a classicist writes


Becks has apparently decided that a move to Los Angeles demands a new tattoo or two. Not a feeling that the prospect of LA induced in me, but therein I suppose lies the difference between us.


Amongst the many designs now decorating the celebrity right forearm is what was originally a Latin slogan, here rendered in English: "Let them hate (me) as long as they fear (me)." The idea is, or so I have read, to express something of Becks anxieties about the transatlantic move, and his determination not to be battered by any adverse publicity.


I don't mind if they don't actually like me, so the message runs, but don't let them mess with me. Or, to quote a "source": "David . . . .believes his tattoos can ward off negativity and help him battle adversity."


The original reads in Latin: Oderint dum metuant (a nice example for you Latinists of the use of "dum as proviso, plus the subjunctive"). According to the Daily Mail, Becks first of all wanted the real Latin, but it was the word dum ("provided that/as long as") that caused the problem. Could it be taken as a reflection of the mental agility of Mr Beckham? Better perhaps to play safe by avoiding it entirely?


In fact as any classicist must know, the word "dum" is only part of the reason why having oderint dum metuant or its English equivalent might be an own goal.


So far as we can tell, the slogan goes back to the second-century BC Roman tragedian Accius. Almost all of Accius' work is lost, but it is pretty certain that this phrase came from his play Atreus, and from the mouth of the title role itself. In ancient mythology and culture, this King Atreus was the limit case of tyranny and monstrosity-in fact, so much the limit case that he was the man who, so the story went, chopped up the children of his brother Thyestes, and then served them up to him in a stew (minus the hands and feet).


From then on, it became a catchword for the kind of ethics that a proper constitutional Roman deplored in a tyrant. Cicero and Seneca both regarded the sentiment as beyond the pale (hardly surprising, Seneca acerbically observed, that Accius' play was written during the dictatorship of the bloodthirsty dictator Sulla).


According to Suetonius, it was a favourite saying of the bonkers and wicked emperor Caligula - enough said? It was so well known that the wily emperor Tiberius seems to have parodied the phrase, pointedly. Confronted with some nasty popular squibs, he apparently responded "Let them hate me, provided that they respect what I am doing." No rule of terror here, was the (somewhat disingenuous) message.


So our celebrity hero is sporting a slogan that, for the Romans, its originators, was the instant identifier of the excesses of tyranny? Enough said?


Posted by Mary Beard on April 18, 2007

Edited by guy

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