Sunday, October 31, 2010

Verbum Hodiernum: SINE

Today's word is the Latin preposition SINE, meaning "without." This preposition takes the ablative and it is one of those Latin prepositions which is not used independently as an adverb; sine is only used as a preposition.

You can see this preposition in the English word "sinecure," meaning "without duties or obligations," from the Latin phrase sine cura. You may have heard that the word "sincere" is from the Latin sine cera, but this is a folk etymology without any foundation in linguistic history. Instead, the Latin word sincerus is probably related to the sim- root that you can see in the word simplex.

The preposition sine has an archaic form se (sed), which you can still see in various Latin compound words: segrego (when something is separated from its flock; hence the English word "segregated") or secerno (which, in its participle form, gives us the English word "secret"). The form sed- appears before a vowel as in seditio (when someone goes away or departs, hence the English word "sedition").

Here are some sayings and proverbs which use today's word:

Sine qua non.

Nihil fit sine causa.

Motus sine causa nullus est.

Non sine numine.

Non sine diis.

Nihil sine Deo.

Non sine labore.

Nil sine magno labore.

Non sine pulvere palma.

Nulla rosa sine spinis.

Alauda non est sine crista.

Nulla dies sine linea.

Ars sine scientia nihil.

Nihil sine pecunia.

Quis sine peccato est?

Nemo sine defectu.

Nemo sine vitio est.

Nemo sine vitiis nascitur.

Canis sine dentibus latrat.

Sine hoste vincor.

Mel nulli sine felle datur.

Non est triticum sine paleis.

Amicitia est Amor sine alis.

Amor regit sine lege.

Sine iustitia nulla libertas.

Nulla poena sine lege.

Quid leges sine moribus?

Leges sine moribus vanae.

Litterae sine moribus vanae.

Non sine lumine. (inscription on a sun dial!)

Sine sole sileo. (another sun dial inscription)

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