Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Hiatus: Liber novus fiat!

Hi folks, I thought I should post a note to let people know that for the next couple of weeks or so I am on a vacation of sorts - let's call it a "book vacation," because I am finishing up the first draft of the Aesopus Magnus book that I want to publish by the end of this summer. My goal is to get the first draft of the core contents of the book - 1000 Aesop's fables in Latin prose! - by the end of June in order to have the finished book done before school starts in August. And... so far, so good - I am using a delightful piece of software - FileMaker's Bento personal database - to keep things organized. When you are dealing with a thousand of anything, things can easily get lost by accident... but with Bento it's proved so much easier than I expected to sort and compile the fables I want to use. I'm actually ahead of schedule with this book right now, mirabile dictu!

So, please be patient and I'll be back blogging in a couple of weeks, with lots more to say about the book when I get back. I've found all kinds of fables that I never had found in Latin prose versions before which it will be a lot of fun to share here at the blog! HAPPY SUMMER!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Word Challenge: bona tria

Today's word challenge could go in so many different directions! Here are the words - tres, tria (num.) - verbum (verbi) - mereo (merere) - quidem (adv.) - cum (prep. + abl.) - and here's what I came up with, playing with a little alliteration:
Verba cum factis, virtus cum fide, victoria cum felicitate: merito quidem haec bona tria sequamur!
Did you try today's challenge? Add a comment here sharing your mini-composition. :-)

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If you came up with something good for today's Vocabulary Challenge, share the results in a comment here at the blog! Meanwhile, here are my past answers to the Vocabulary Challenge each day.

Verbum Hodiernum: PUTO

Today's word, the verb puto (putare), is one of those words that might surprise you when you look it up in the dictionary - the most common meaning is "think" (hence our word "computer"), but the basic meaning of the word is agricultural, meaning to "prune" trees and vines. So, based on this agriculatural meaning of setting things in order around the farm, the Romans then extended the use of the word putare metaphorically to mean setting all kinds of things in order, settling accounts - and thus "reckoning" in more general terms.

Most of the English words from this Latin word have to do with this abstract sense of thinking and reasoning, such as "reputation," "putative, "impute," etc. but in the word "amputate" you can see the root sense of pruning trees, cutting off branches, etc.

The word is highly productive in Latin compounds, such as amputo, computo, disputo, imputo, reputo, etc.

Here are some Latin proverbs and sayings with puto and its compounds:

Luxuriat vitis, nisi falce putare velitis.

Si pes tuus te scandalizat, amputa illum.

Vae, puto, deus fio!

Diversi diversa putant.

Qui diligit ranam, ranam putat esse Dianam.

Homo sum, humani nihil a me alienum puto.

Plebs bene vestitum stultum putat esse peritum.

Stultus quoque, si tacuerit, sapiens reputabitur.

Male vivunt, qui se semper victuros putant.

Propera vivere et singulos dies singulas vitas puta.

Nemo est tam senex qui se annum non putet posse vivere.

Mala mors putanda non est, quam bona vita praecessit.

Sapit qui reputat.

Plenus venter facile de ieiuniis disputat.

Arguendo et disputando veritas invenitur.

De asini umbra disputant.

De gustibus non est disputandum.

Fatis imputandum.

Nuntio nihil imputandum.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Word Challenge: post vitae cursus finem

I had a busy day with only a few minutes for today's word challenge, but luckily there are so many possibilities with these words: multus, multa, multum - finis (finis, m.) - ignis (ignis, m.) - post (prep. + acc.) - angelus (angeli). The contrast between ignis and angelus was too tempting! Here's what I came up with:
Post vitae cursūs finem quid tunc manet nos? Requies caelestis apud angelos aut, heu, multum ignis apud inferos?
Of course, there are lots of other ways to go with this great set of words. If I get a chance later, I might come back and ponder this one some more to see what else I come up with, starting from a different direction. :-)

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If you came up with something good for today's Vocabulary Challenge, share the results in a comment here at the blog! Meanwhile, here are my past answers to the Vocabulary Challenge each day.

Verbum Hodiernum: TRES

Today's word is one of those items which makes you realize how powerful the Indo-European connections are! Latin tres is our three - and you can look at this page of Indo-European reflexes to see how this word turns out in all kinds of Indo-European languages, from French trois to Czech tři and Parthian hry!

In Latin the form tres is good for masculine and feminine, and tria for neuter nouns. So you can have libri tres and epistulae tres but corpora tria.

There is a genitive plural form, trium, which is the same for all genders, and tribus, for the dative and ablative plurals in all genders.

The ordinal form is tertius, "third." There is also a distributive form for when things happen "by threes" as we would say in English: terni (compare bini for twos and singuli for things that happen one by one).

There is also an adverb ter, like English "thrice."

Here are some proverbs and sayings about the number tres:

Post tres dies piscis vilescit et hospes.

In ore duorum aut trium testium stabit omne verbum.

Tres feminae et tres anseres sunt nundinae.

Dives eram dudum; fecerunt me tria nudum: alea, vina, Venus; tribus his sum factus egenus.

Maneant in vobis fides, spes, caritas, tria haec: maior autem horum est caritas.

Multa rogare, rogata tenere, retenta docere: haec tria discipulum faciunt superare magistrum.

Rebus in humanis tria sunt dignissima laude: uxor casta, bonus socius, sincerus amicus.

E tribus optimis rebus tres pessimae oriuntur: e veritate odium, e familiaritate contemptum, e felicitate invidia.

In tria tempora vita dividitur: quod est, quod fuit et quod futurum est.

Ista tria semper mente habeas: quid fuisti? quid es? quid eris?

Esse, Fuisse, Fore, tria florida sunt sine flore; nam simul omne perit, quod fuit, est, et erit.

Ter quaterque felix qui non est debitor ulli.

Aut est aut non est, tertium non datur.

Duobus litigantibus, tertius gaudet.

Male acquisito non gaudebit tertius heres.

Primo quidem decipi incommodum est; iterum stultum, tertio turpe.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Word Challenge: pax vera

When I saw the words for today's challenge - transmitto (transmittere) - verus, vera, verum - arma (armorum) - -ve (conj.) - a (prep. + abl.) - the word arma immediately conjured up its opposite, pax. Then, the -ve prompted me to use the parallel sive...sive... construction, based on the two sides of an armed conflict.

So... here's what I came up with:
Sive a nos in hostes arma transmittantur, sive ab eis in nos, ubi in toto hoc mundo pax vera invenietur?
Did you try today's challenge? If you came up with something you like, leave a comment here at the blog. :-)

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If you came up with something good for today's Vocabulary Challenge, share the results in a comment here at the blog! Meanwhile, here are my past answers to the Vocabulary Challenge each day.

Verbum Hodiernum: MULTUS

Wow, today's word is super-productive, in both Latin and English: it's multus.

The dictionary declares the etymological of the word to be unknown, alas.

It has, by suppletion, an irregular comparative form: plus.

Although multus is most commonly used adjectivally - multi homines, for example, or multae causae, etc. - it can also be used with a partitive genitive construction: multi hominum, for example, or multae arborum.

The neuter form, multum, can be used adverbially: multum et diu cogitas, for example.

The ablative multo can express a degree of comparison, "much, by much, by far," as in this expressions: multo mavolo, "I much prefer."

Some proverbial expressions play on the contrast between the substantive multa (many things) and the adverbial multum (much, deeply, etc.). Here's an example: Aiunt enim multum legendum esse, non multa.

Here are some proverbs and sayings using multus:

Multa mentiuntur poetae.

Dicta et facta distant multum.

Inter os et offam multa cadunt.

Ab uno amore multa bona.

Loquere pauca, audi multa.

Sermo datur multis, animi sapientia paucis.

Per risum multum potes cognoscere stultum.

Qui multis maledicit, ei a multis maledicetur.

Bos mugiens multum dat lactis ab ubere parum.

Amici nec multi, nec nullus.

Amici vero divitum multi.

Ubi multae sunt opes, multi et qui comedunt eas.

Dolor animi multo gravior est quam corporis dolor.

Alea multis exitio fuit.

Multae preces non inflant saccum.

Multae hominibus ad malitiam viae sunt.

Est multis certare datum, sed vincere paucis.

E parvo semine multa messis.

De multis parvis grandis acervus erit.

Multis ictibus quercus domatur.

Multorum manibus grande levatur onus.

Si non prosunt singula, multa iuvant.

Aspera ad virtutem via multos territat.

Camelus scabiosa multorum asinorum tollit onera.

Coepisse multorum est, perficere autem paucorum.

Facilius est multa facere quam diu.

Multi multa sciunt, se autem nemo.

Cui multum datum est, multum quaeretur ab eo.

Cui multum est piperis, etiam oleribus immiscet.

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Here is the list of 366 Latin Words, and you can browse the daily Word Essays here. :-)

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Verbum Hodiernum: TRANSMITTO

Today's word is a compound of the verb mittere, "to send" - it is trāns-mittere, to "send across, send through, carry over" (trānsmittō, trānsmittere, trānsmīsī, transmissus). Obviously, we owe English "transmit" and "transmission" to this word. Note that you can also find the contracted spelled tramitto.

Sometimes the object is something you are sending: exercitum transmittere in Britanniam is to send an army into Britain, for example. Yet it is also just as common for the object of the verb to be a place that you pass through or an object that you pass over: maria transmittere is to cross over the seas, and fluvium nando transmittere is to swim across a river.

In the same way that we can "pass" time in English, you can tempus quiete transmittere in Latin, "pass (through) the time quietly."

Here are some examples of today's word in Latin sayings and proverbs; for more information, see the page at the Scala Sapientiae, which contains notes on some of the proverbs cited below:

Nudum latro transmittit; etiam in obsessa via pauperi pax est.

In idem flumen bis descendimus et non descendimus: manet enim idem fluminis nomen; aqua transmissa est.

Parisios bipedum si quis transmittat asellum, si fuit hic asinus, non ibi fiet equus.

Quo nequit ire Satan, transmittit saepe ministrum.

Aranearum telae muscas retinent, vespas transmittunt.


Word Challenge: bonum publicum

Here are the words for today's word challenge: aliquis, aliquid (alicuius) - publicus, publica, publicum - saepe (adv.) - bonus, bona, bonum - super (prep. + abl/acc.). When I saw bonus and publicus I knew I wanted to say something about bonum publicum. Here is what I came up with:
Bonum publicum super bona privata saepe praeponi oportet, bonum publicum enim nobis cunctis aliquid boni praebebit.
Of course, it's a bit ironic that bonum publicum is sometimes abbreviated as BP, given that at this moment that BP (as in British Petroleum and the Deepwater Horizon oil spill) is the opposite of a bonum publicum in every way...

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If you came up with something good for today's Vocabulary Challenge, share the results in a comment here at the blog! Meanwhile, here are my past answers to the Vocabulary Challenge each day.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Verbum Hodiernum: ALIQUIS

Today's word is aliquis, which is one of those sneaky compound pronouns: ali+quis. The declension follow that of quis: aliquis, alicuius, etc. The addition of the ali- makes the pronoun indefinite, meaning "somebody, anybody." The neuter aliquid means "something, anything."

The pronoun can be used adjectivally, as in this phrase: magnum aliquid, "something great," aliquis deus, "some god." You can also find it used in partitive genitive expressions, such as aliquid novi, "something (of) new."

You might know this mnemonic to help you remember the unusual form of this pronoun in conditional sentences: "After si, nisi, num and ne, ali- takes a holiday" - which is to say, instead of finding the form aliquis, you would find quis instead, etc.

You can find the same prefix ali- on other pronouns and adverbs, too, such as aliquando ("sometime"), alicubi ("somewhere"), etc. The word aliquid can be used adverbially as well, meaning "somewhat, to some degree."

Here are some sayings with aliquis and aliquid - and aliquando, too.

Aude aliquid dignum.

Aude aliquid, si vis aliquid esse.

Praestat aliquid quam nihil.

Audacter calumniare, semper aliquid haeret.

Abluit manus manum: da aliquid et accipe.

Fac aliquid ipse, deinde Numen invoca.

Ex Africa semper aliquid novi.

Aetas semper apportat aliquid novi.

Nihil perfectum est dum aliquid restat agendum.

Facito aliquid operis, ut te semper diabolus inveniat occupatum.

Et si alterum pedem in tumulo haberem, non pigeret aliquid addiscere.

Senesco semper aliquid addiscens.

Adhuc aliquis deus respicit nos.

Exoriare aliquis nostris ex ossibus ultor.

Mane aliqui rident, qui facto vespere lugent.

Nullus est liber tam malus, ut non aliqua parte prosit.

Malum nullum est sine aliquo bono.

Nemo igitur vir magnus sine aliquo afflatu divino unquam fuit.

Nihil tam absurde dici potest quod non dicatur ab aliquo philosophorum.

Aliquando et insanire iucundum est.

Aliquando dormitat et Homerus.

Aliquando peccat vir etiam sapientior.

Nulla medicina aliquando optima medicina.

Amicitia semper prodest, amor aliquando etiam nocet.

Aliquando pro facundia silentium est.

Aliquando magis movent non dicta quam dicta.

Iuppiter aliquando pluit, aliquando serenus est.

Incertum est quando, certum est aliquando mori.

Ita amare oportere, ut si aliquando esset osurus.

Dormit aliquando ius; moritur numquam.

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Here is the list of 366 Latin Words, and you can browse the daily Word Essays here. :-)

Word Challenge: ne tota quidem raio perit

When I saw the words for today's challenge - summus, summa, summum - ratio (rationis, f.) - inde (adv.) - quidam, quaedam, quoddam (cuiusdam) - remaneo (remanere) - I immediately thought about a really moving multimedia feature at the New York Times I watched yesterday about Alzheimers; you can listen to the stories at the Patient Voices series here. I'm not sure why, but of the many different pieces I have read about Alzheimer's in the NYTimes over the past few years, this one really had a big impact on me.

So, here is what I wrote for today's challenge:
Ne tota quidem ratio perit; etiamsi summa discedit, inde quaedam eius pars remanet.
Let's all hope that quaedam pars sufficiet...

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If you came up with something good for today's Vocabulary Challenge, share the results in a comment here at the blog! Meanwhile, here are my past answers to the Vocabulary Challenge each day.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Verbum Hodiernum: SUMMUS

Today's word is the adjective summus. Like the word primus, this is actually a superlative form. There is an adjective, superus, and it actually has three different superlative forms: superrimus (a form which you will never see used), supremus (which tends to be a more poetic word) and summus. So, while superus means "being above, being high," summus means "uppermost, highest, topmost."

The word summus is a very commonly used word in Latin, and it gives us a few words in English, too, like "summit," which is the top of a mountain. The English word "sum" also gives us a clue about Roman mathematics: when the Romans wrote up numbers to sum, they put the total at the top, not at the bottom as we do.

Not surprisingly, the spatial meaning of "highest" also extends into the metaphorical sphere, meaning "greatest, best," etc. So, for example, in the phrase we still use in English today: summa cum laude. It can also mean "last" or "final," as in this famous saying from Vergil's Aeneid: Venit summa dies et ineluctabile tempus.

Here are some sayings and proverbs that use the word summus: as you can see, summus can refer to something lofty to pursue, but it can also be a source of risk and peril, too.

Ad summa nitamur.

Altius ibunt qui ad summa nituntur.

Feriunt summos fulmina montes.

Gravius summo culmine missa ruunt.

Invidia, tamquam ignis, summa petit.

Livor summa petit; perflant altissima venti.

Magna repente ruunt; summa cadunt subito.

Ius summum saepe summa est malitia.

Ni gradus servetur, nulli tutus est summus locus.

Tum summa est in silvis fames, dum lupus lupum vorat.

Imum nolo; summum nequeo; quiesco.

Omnia summa nocent, sed moderata iuvant.

Summum cape et medium tenebis.

Doceri velle summa est eruditio.

In omni morbo tranquillitas animi summa est medicina.

Saepe summa ingenia in occulto latent.

Nemo repente fit summus, nemo repente fit pessimus.

Quicquid futurum est summum, ab imo nascitur.

Saepe etiam sub palliolo sordido latet summa sapientia.

Deus est summum bonum.

Nec summus cunctis Iuppiter ipse placet.

Laudatur nummus, quasi rex super omnia summus.

Non datum est summis imperiis stare diu.

Male imperando summum imperium amittitur.

Nemo timendo ad summum pervenit locum.

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Here is the list of 366 Latin Words, and you can browse the daily Word Essays here. :-)

Word Challenge: robur ergo et ratio

Here is the list of words for today's word challenge - ratio (rationis, f.) - -ne (enclitic question particle) - pater (patris, m.) - daemon (daemonis, m.) - arripio (arripere). I was not quite sure where to go with this one, since there are a lot of possible combinations here, and no clear value terms. Pater can often be a positive term, but it would also be possible to associate that word with daemon; likewise ratio can be something positive, but it can also be just an account or reckoning, value neutral.

So, I decided to start with the -ne and create a rhetorical question with nonne, expecting an affirmative answer. I think followed that rhetorical question up with a logical conclusion - with both pater and ratio on the "good" side of the balance after all:
Nonne appetitus, sicut daemon malignus, nos huc et illuc arripit? Robur ergo et ratio, sapientiae pater et mater, semper nobis colendi sunt.
I ended up being pleased with this one: I like the pairing of robur and ratio as being the pater and mater of sapientia. The noun robur is technically neuter, but in these kinds of metaphorical statements, neuter nouns get to be treated as if they were masculine - so robur, I think, can be the father of wisdom, just as the neuter tempus can be a father in this famous saying: Tempus veritatis pater.

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If you came up with something good for today's Vocabulary Challenge, share the results in a comment here at the blog! Meanwhile, here are my past answers to the Vocabulary Challenge each day.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Verbum Hodiernum: RATIO

Wow, today's word is a very exciting one: ratio. Obviously, this noun has yielded some very important borrowings in English such as ratio, ration, rational, etc., and also reason, which comes via Old French raison.

In Latin, this noun is derived from the verb reor, which has ratus as its participle. The verb reor means "I reckon, I think," and so ratio is the verbal noun that expresses that same idea: reckoning, thinking, etc. The word seems to derive from the proto-Indo-European root *ar- meaning "to fit, align." For this interpretation, see the *ar page at the UT Indo-European website (a great online resource). It is possible that the Latin word res shares the same root as well - so reor would mean "I think," ratio is the "thought" or the "thinking," while res would be the object of that thought, the "thing" itself.

Like the word modus, which can be a unit of quantity (size, length, circumference, etc.) or, more generally, a way or manner of doing things, ratio can mean a numerical relationship or it can refer, more generally, to any sort of relationship or condition. Compare the way that in English "I reckon" can refer to a numerical calculation or to some other kind of thought process.

Here are some examples of today's word in Latin sayings and proverbs; for more information, see the page at the Scala Sapientiae, which contains notes on some of the proverbs cited below, as well as additional proverbs:

Ratione, non vi.

Dux vitae ratio.

Ratione vivendum est.

Nec satis rationis in armis.

Nihil sine ratione faciendum est.

Ratio fatum vincere nulla valet.

Ratione duce per totam vitam eundum est.

Habenda est ratio hominum, rei et temporis.

Ratione, non ira.

Quid est in homine ratione divinius?

Mors ultima ratio.

Exemplo plus quam ratione vivimus.

Nil melius vere quam cum ratione tacere.

Ratio contra vim parum valet.

Non prodest ratio, ubi vis imperat.

Domina omnium et regina ratio.

Nunc est dicendum, nunc cum ratione silendum.

Ratio est radius divini luminis.

Deus est ratio quae cuncta gubernat.

Ratione praestamus beluis.

Word Challenge: ars longa, vita brevis

When I saw today's word challenge - is, ea, id (eius) - longus, longa, longum - ars (artis, f.) - puer (pueri) - invito (invitare) - of course Horace's famous dictum Ars longa, vita brevis sprang to mind, so that is what I based on my sentence on. Instead of amplifying on Horace's words, which seem perfect already, I decided to add a commentary to the end of the proverb, explaining its meaning by way of a metaphor:
Ars longa, vita brevis: ambitio enim nos invitat, pueros et puellas, ad Musarum convivium; senes profecto anusque ab eo recedimus, etiam esuriens.
It's a bit pessimistic, but so is Horace's original saying... not to mention that I could spend all the rest of my years working on Latin, and never come close to what Horace achieved with his art. Still, I keep on writing: I'm going to put my time at the banquet of the Muses, however short, to good use! :-)

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If you came up with something good for today's Vocabulary Challenge, share the results in a comment here at the blog! Meanwhile, here are my past answers to the Vocabulary Challenge each day.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Strategy: Rhyme

Rhyme is a special instance of sound repetition. It is a stylistic device that I find really appealing, and it is widely used in medieval Latin. In classical Latin, however, it is something that is positively avoided, almost as if the Romans found it in bad taste. I'm not sure why that is - given all the different kinds of word play and sound play that you can find in the Roman use of Latin, the near-absence of rhyme is something that has always surprised me. The Middle Ages more than make up for this, however, with all kinds of rhyming proverbs and poems!

There are actually different types of rhyme, ranging from perfect rhyme, to various forms of near rhyme. Perfect rhyme means that the final stressed syllable contains the same vowel, with identical vowels and consonants following that final stressed vowel.

You have near rhyme if some but not all of these conditions prevail because of differences in stress, differences in the exact vowel, differences in the exact consonants, differences in stress, etc.

Here is an example of a perfect rhyme with the final sound string "ernum" ("e" is the final stressed vowel): Vivat in aeternum, qui dat mihi dulce Falernum!

Here is an example of a perfect rhyme with the final sound string "atur" ("a" is the final stressed vowel): Verbum laudatur, si factum tale sequatur.

As you can see, Latin lends itself to many types of what are called "grammatical rhyme" where the word formation itself leads to specific patterns of sounds at the ends of words. Because of these grammatical rhymes in Latin, even if you have just a small vocabulary you can make lots of rhyming pairs. Any word that has a polysyllabic ending offers you a chance to make a rhyme. For example, all these first conjugation verbs rhyme in the first-person plural form: amamus, vocamus, putamus, navigamus, etc. etc.

For an example of imperfect rhyme, consider this saying: Non omnis pugnat, minitans qui fortia clamat. The stress is not on the final syllable of pugnat and clamat, but they do both end with the sound -at. This is the weakest kind of rhyme, but it still provides a kind of verbal echo. If these were the first-person plural forms, they would be perfect rhymes (pugnamus-clamamus) but since the third-person singular form of the verb does not have a polysyllabic ending, you have only near rhyme here.

In one of my vocabulary challenge responses, I used the near rhyme of repletum and quietem; you can see the results here if you are curious. In this example of near rhyme, the final stressed syllable is the same ("et"), but the subsequent syllable is not identical ("um" v. "em").

Also, remember that medieval Latin had a pronunciation that differs from classical Roman pronunciation. Perhaps most importantly, the diphthongs "ae" and "oe" were pronounced "e" as you can see in these rhymes: Nunquam dives erit, multum qui ludere quaerit (quaerit rhymes with erit), and Ex magna cena stomacho fit maxima poena (poena rhymes with cena).

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Do you have some good strategies for doing the Vocabulary Challenge in Latin? Share your ideas here! Here are some strategies that I've used in writing my responses.

Verbum Hodiernum: IS

Today's word of the day is the teeny-tiny demonstrative pronoun, is - ea - id (with the genitive eius). Note that in the plural forms, you can see both ei and ii for the masculine nominative plural and eis and iis for the dative and ablative plurals. Although pronouns are not a source for borrowed words in English, Sigmund Freud managed to make the "id" famous; you can read about Freud's use of the terms ego, super-ego and id in this Wikipedia article.

In some ways, the is-ea-id series of pronouns in Latin is something like he-she-it in English (you can even see the ancient Indo-European connection between id and English "it"). At the same time, be careful: these words are used as pronouns far less frequently in Latn than in English! In English, the use of the pronouns "he-she-it" is often required because of the need to have an explicit subject for the verb in English. In Latin, it is perfectly normal for the subject of the verb to be implied, not explicit. So, you only need to use the nominative forms of is-ea-id when you are clarifying some identification that would not be obvious otherwise. A good general piece of advice is: when in doubt, leave them out (especially if you are mentally translating from English, and simply trying to substitute the Latin nominative pronoun for the nominative "he-she-it" in English).

In addition to being used as demonstrative pronouns, these words are also used as demonstrative adjectives, modifying a noun, as in this phrase: ob eam rem, "concerning this thing."

You can also find them compounded, as in the series idem - eadem - idem, meaning "the same."

Here are some examples of today's word in Latin sayings and proverbs; for more information, see the page at the Scala Sapientiae, which contains notes on some of the proverbs cited below, as well as additional proverbs:

id est = i.e.

Erat manus Domini cum eis.

Non semper ea sunt quae videntur.

Cui multum datum est, multum quaeretur ab eo.

Qui petit a te, da ei.

Qui nihil amat, quid ei homini opus vita est?

Id quod volunt, credunt quoque.

Quod video, id credo mihi.

Mens cuiusque is est quisque.

Bene vixit is, qui potuit, cum voluit, mori.

Si tibi parvus equus, tunc parvus erit labor eius.

Sicut mater, ita et filia eius.

Qui bonus est, ab eo bona discito.

Transeunt omnia, et tu cum eis pariter.

Quis eum diligat quem metuat?

Cui prodest scelus, is fecit.

Qui in altum mittit lapidem, super caput eius cadet.

A fructibus eorum cognoscetis eos.

Qui amat divitias, fructus non capiet ex eis.

Qui in gladio occiderit, oportet eum gladio occidi.

Vocabulary Challenge: plenus et repletus

Here are the words for today's Vocabulary Challenge:

volo (velle) - nam (conj.) - verus, vera, verum - repleo (replere) - plenus, plena, plenum

Obviously, I was going to have to find a way to manage these closely related words repleo and plenus. So, I decided to use the participle repletus, which gave me two adjectives to work with that I could build up as a kind of parallelism. The word nam let me know that I would probably need a two part response - a statement, and then an explanation of that statement, since nam introduces an explanation of what has come before. So, here is what I ended up with:
Otium vero appeto, tranquillitate plenum, absque omni negotio, quod periculis est repletum: nam pacem volo semper, et quietem.
I contrasted otium with negotium, each of them being "full" of something (tranquillitas and pericula), and I also tried to work in a bit of near rhyme with repletum and quietem. It's not my favorite sentence that I've written for the vocabulary challenge - but it has the virtue of being true!

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If you came up with something good for today's Vocabulary Challenge, share the results in a comment here at the blog! Meanwhile, here are my past answers to the Vocabulary Challenge each day. :-)

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Verbum Hodiernum: VOLO

Today's word is one of those tricky ones that can be ambiguous: volo. This might be volō (as in volāre, "to fly")... but instead it is volō as in velle, to want: volo, velle, voluī. In fact, there's actually another possible way to recognize the word volo: it can be a third declension noun, too, (gen. volōnis), meaning a "volunteer" - someone who is willing, volens, to do something.

There are not too many irregular verbs in Latin, but this is one of them. You can see a complete conjugation here (click on the little "show" arrow to see the conjugation displayed). This is one of those Latin words where the spelling alternates between "o" and "u" - so you can find the forms volt and vult, for example, although the spelling with "u" is more common.

This verb also provides the basis for some compound verbs: nolo = (non volo) and malo (= magis volo). These compound verbs reflect the irregularities of volo, so it is worth becoming familiar with their conjugations. Click on the links if you want to take a look at the conjugation charts for these verbs. Another important contracted form is sis, meaning "please" = si vis, if you will. So, be careful when you run into the word sis: it could be the 2nd person subjunctive of "to be" but it might also just mean "please," si vis.

One of the hardest things about this word in Latin is that there is not a simple one-to-one equivalence with an English word. Sometimes when you say in English "I want" it means volo in Latin... but it can also mean peto or cupio or opto or even desidero, depending on just what kind of "wanting" is involved. In addition, volo often means something more like "I am willing" (rather than "wanting"), meaning something that is a matter of intention and purpose, rather than wishing or wanting. So, the best way to get a sense of how this Latin word works and its wide range of meaning is just to read and read and read lots of Latin, paying special attention each time you find an instance of the verb volo and thinking about what the word seems to mean in that specific context.

In terms of usage, the Latin word can take an infinitive: potare ego hodie tecum volo, for example, as you can read in Plautus. It can also take an accusative plus an infinitive: hoc volo scire te, "I want you to know this" (since we do something similar in English, it's pretty easy to understand this Latin construction. Much more rarely you can find volo used with ut or ne to express purpose, but the infinitive constructions are far more common.

Note that the phrase volo dicere means "I mean," in the sense of "I mean to say." This can also be used to ask a question about what something means: quid vult? "what does (it) mean?"

Here are some examples of today's word in Latin sayings and proverbs; for more information, see the page at the Scala Sapientiae, which contains notes on some of the proverbs cited below, as well as additional proverbs:

Deo Volente

Deus dat cui vult.

Si vis, potes.

Aliud est velle, aliud posse.

Quod vis videri, esto.

Si non ut volumus, tamen ut possumus.

Sic dii voluerunt.

Cum dixeris quod vis, audies quod non vis.

Si vis amari, ama.

Da, si vis accipere.

Nos iubere volumus, non iuberi.

Id quod volunt, credunt quoque.

Vivimus, non ut volumus, sed ut possumus.

Quod tibi vis fieri, hoc fac alteri.

Quod tibi non vis, alteri ne facias.

Si vis scire, doce.

Volo, non valeo.

Fac bene dum vivis, post mortem vivere si vis.

Bene vivere omnes volumus, at non possumus.

Bene vixit is, qui potuit, cum voluit, mori.

Vocabulary Challenge: ubi mors

Here are the words for today's vocabulary challenge:

crux (crucis, f.) - bellum (belli) - meus, mea, meum - qui, quae, quod (cuius) - quoque (conj.)

I will confess that as soon as I saw the words crux and bellum, I could not imagine any other topic besides death to put these words together. Here is what I came up with:
Vel in belli cruce, vel in pacis lecto, mors nobis omnibus insidiatur - mors mea quoque latet, sed in quo loco, nescio.
It's not an original sentiment by any means (there are LOTS of proverbs about how death awaits us all), but I was happy about the double parallelism of in belli cruce and in pacis lecto.

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If you came up with something good for today's Vocabulary Challenge, share the results in a comment here at the blog! Meanwhile, here are my past answers to the Vocabulary Challenge each day. :-)