Si Hoc Legere Scis Nimium Eruditionis Habes

October 3, 2008

Like many people of my generation (and older), I suffered the tedium of Latin at school. Why were we bothering with this dead tongue when our own language owed more to the barbarians than the romans? Useful if you wanted to study botany or medicine or the law, I think was the claim. Really? Surely you just learn the naming of the parts as with any study. I don’t imagine that doctors invent the names of organs or diseases that aren’t already named. And yes, I know why the Nullabor Plain is so-called without having to sit through years of amo amas amat. I didn’t need to study Italian so that I could read musical directions.

Besides, the concepts seemed so dead. I remember texts about throwing spears from the ramparts and boys and girls playing with slaves, or  something. Perhaps for that reason, modern phrases and concepts sound so funny when rendered into Latin. Thus the delights of the unattributed list of handy Latin phrases.

Here are a few of my favourites.

Quantum materiae materietur marmota monax si marmota monax materiam possit materiari?
How much wood would a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood?

Noli me vocare, ego te vocabo.
Don’t call me, I’ll call you.

Mihi ignosce. Cum homine de cane debeo congredi.
Excuse me. I’ve got to see a man about a dog.

By the way, the title of this blog is – If you can read this you’re over-educated.

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3 Responses to “Si Hoc Legere Scis Nimium Eruditionis Habes”

  1. Edmund Griffin Says:

    Yes! “if you can read this you are over educated!”
    My favorite!
    Notice the discourse between actors, in Latin, in the movie
    “Wild, Wild West” ! This is a great web site!

  2. Jay Says:

    Eh neh keh teh eh keh tuo ptooey!?

    translation: “if you think the gov’t will take care of you then look
    at how it took care of the American Indian!”
    -Chief Sitting Bull

  3. cyberslacker Says:

    Nice one Jay.
    Glad to know that people are still reading this. Must write more!


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