Monday, May 31, 2010

Vocabulary Challenge: equus et asinus

Here are the words for today's challenge:

equus (equi) - res (rei) - discipulus (discipuli) - iste, ista, istud (istius) - animal (animalis, n.)

When I saw the words here equus and discipulus, I thought about the many proverbs where the horse is used to represent the good student, the one who can learn quickly and easily, while the donkey is a recalcitrant student, unable or unwilling to learn. So, I made up something based on that idea, and added on a traditional proverb at the end:
Equus, animal nobile, in rebus omnibus discipulus aptus est, sed iste asinus nihil discit, etiamsi verberatus. Sicut dictum est: Parisios bipedum si quis transmittat asellum, si fuit hic asinus, non ibi fiet equus.
You can tell that the traditional proverb is medieval in origin, since Paris was a great seat of learning in the Middle Ages - the University of Paris was established in the 11th century! So, the proverb is poking fun at those fathers who sent their ignoramus sons, the tw0-legged donkeys of the proverb, off to Paris, foolishly hoping that they would come back home transformed into horses. Just change the name of the university town, and the same proverb could be used today, too!

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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. :-)

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