Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Verbum Hodiernum: MOVEO

Today's word is the second-conjugation verb MOVEO (movere, movi, motum). This is a highly productive word root in Latin, and there are obviously many English cognates, too! You can think of lots of obvious words ("move," "motion," etc.) but there are also some less obvious items, too. The English word "moment," for example, is a contracted form of movimentum. Even less obvious: English "mutiny" comes from Middle French meute, via the late Latin noun, movita.

One very interesting feature to note about this today's verb is what it reveals about verbal voice. In English, we are used to the idea that the same verb form could be either transitive or intransitive, depending on context. You can say in English, "the stars move" (i.e., the stars move about the sky, no object) but you can also say "they move the furniture" (where the furniture is the direct object of the verb).

Latin is more precise in the use of the verb movere than English is. When the verb takes an object, you find the active voice, just as you would expect: movet castra, for example, "he moves the camp." When the verb is intransitive, however, you will see the passive form used instead in Latin: aqua movetur, "the water moves, is moving." So, if you do feel a need to translate from Latin into English, be careful with those passive forms; sometimes the passive form might be equivalent to an English intransitive verb, rather than to an English passive. You can only decide based on context what the best English equivalent for the Latin verb might be.

Here are some Latin sayings and phrases that use today's word:

Salivam hoc movet.

Asperitas odium movet.

Bos sibi ipsi pulverem movet.

Non movenda moves.

Bene qui stat, non moveatur.

Malum bene situm ne moveto.

Lapidem omnem movebo.

Casus hominum movent corda.

Praecepta docent, exempla movent.

Verba docent, exempla movent.

Verba monent, exempla movent.

Verba movent, exempla trahunt.

Lacrimis adamanta movebis.

Asinus aurem movens.

Quietum non move lutum.

Cum Minerva et manum move.

Ut moveas alios, tu moveare prius.

Capiunt vitium, ni moveantur aquae.

Sol stat, sed terra movetur.

Caelum stat, terra autem movetur.

Motus sine causa nullus est.

Animi motum vultus detegit.

Motus in fine velocior.

Assiduo labuntur tempora motu.

Mota semel multitudo modum non servat.

Res satis est nota: plus dolent vulnera mota.

Plus foetent stercora mota.

No comments: