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.


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