back to article Reg Latin scholars scrap over LOHAN's stirring motto

It's fair to say that the quest for a stirring motto for our proposed Low Orbit Helium Assisted Navigator (LOHAN) mission patch is proving to be the most fun we've had in a long while. A proposed LOHAN mission patch So great was the response to our call for suggestions that we're buried under a magnus congestus of Latin, a …

  1. Ketlan
    Happy

    I can't believe I enjoyed reading that. There must be something wrong with me.

    1. Anonymous Custard Silver badge

      You and me both.

      And I'm not sure if I should be happy or sad that my own entry (in Latin - a subject I never studied at all being just a poor plebian) didn't get a mention or argument either.

      1. Lester Haines (Written by Reg staff) Gold badge

        I'd be happy, really.

      2. dajames Silver badge
        Headmaster

        Not so ...

        ... Latin - a subject I never studied at all being just a poor plebian

        The vast majority of the population of the Roman Empire was made up of foreigners, slaves, or freedmen. To be one of the plebes -- the lowest rank of actual citizens -- you would almost certainly have been Roman, so your native language would very likely have been Latin.

        ... or perhaps you were just being ironical?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Not so ...

          Does this mean that minister was literally correct in what he called the police - plebes being the lowest rank of our actual lords and masters, and the rest of us not counting for anything?

          Perhaps he was removed from the job for giving it away.

        2. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

          Re: Not so ...

          But it would have been vulgar latin - not the stuff written down on monuments.

          It might have sounded like crude Geordie does compared to the elegant phrasing of Yorksha

      3. VinceH

        "And I'm not sure if I should be happy or sad that my own entry (in Latin - a subject I never studied at all being just a poor plebian) didn't get a mention or argument either."

        In the case of my offerings it should probably be Google Translate that is unsure if it should be happy or sad. :)

    2. Monkey Bob
      Angel

      It's even better if you imagine the corrections being given by John Cleese dressed as a centurion

    3. g e

      The people called the Romans they go the house?

      Can't believe I read it all, too.. .and understood half of it still...

      *sigh*

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      The masochist in me agrees !

      and the mind swirls.......

  2. Rich 11 Silver badge
    Coat

    And who knows what the ablative of WD-40 is?

    I find a blowtorch ablates WD-40 quite nicely.

    1. Robert Helpmann??
      Childcatcher

      WD-40

      The "WD" in WD-40 stands for "water displacement," so to rephrase: With duct tape* and Water Displacement 40. Using Google Translate (with apologies), it yields this:

      Ductum lineam, et cum Praesentibus Aquam XL

      Going back the other direction gives us this mess: Drawing the line, and with the presence of water, 40. Clearly this needs work that I'm not up for... er... for which I am not up.

      * Duck Tape is a brand name.

      1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

        Re: WD-40

        The Roman empire didn't have duct tape.

        The Roman empire collapsed

        Coincidence?

        1. Lester Haines (Written by Reg staff) Gold badge

          Re: Re: WD-40

          I think not. Well spotted.

  3. Pypes

    Does this mean I've passed my latin GCSE? Because I never did any coursework.

  4. Peter Simpson 1
    Holmes

    Now write it out a hundred times

    If you're not finished when I come back, I'll cut your coeli off....

  5. Sir Runcible Spoon Silver badge
    Pint

    Outstanding

    " "Ad astra tabernamque": to the stars and the pub."

    How very El Reg - what's the Latin for 'a shoe-in'?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Outstanding

      I always preferred:

      "Ad astra via tabernam" - to the stars by way of the pub

      1. KitD

        Re: Outstanding

        With apologies to the RAF, "Per taberna ad astra" works better IMHO.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Outstanding

          Through the pub to the stars?

          1. Joefish
            Pint

            Re: Outstanding

            "A Taberna Ad Astra" then.

          2. John Gamble

            Re: Outstanding

            Through the pub to the stars?

            Sometimes those back doors don't open to the alley.

  6. JimmyPage
    Headmaster

    Is it too late to point out

    from my O-level days, that (IIRC) most educated Romans spoke Greek. In fact doesn't Robert Graves put a brief bit in "I Claudius" as to why it was written in Latin, rather than Greek ?

    In which case, I introduce astroployen from 35 years ago, as the Greek word my friends and I invented for "spaceship". After all, we use "Astro*naut*" ...

  7. Neil Barnes Silver badge
    Pint

    Caliganote

    Oh, bravo, Lester.

    Or possibly even Ave!

    So ave one on me.

    1. Lester Haines (Written by Reg staff) Gold badge

      Re: Caliganote

      I will, thanks. Take one yourself for the being the first to spot that.

      1. Vic

        Re: Caliganote

        I was hoping for "caligulanote", as it's only a little one, and it opens the door to a zillion nutjob jokes...

        Vic.

      2. Mayhem
        Pint

        Re: Caliganote

        Just wanted to say that dodgy puns like this (and the attention to detail in the delightful article that spawned it) is one of the main reasons I love el Reg so much.

        Two. Two main reasons. And whoever writes the subheads on the front page has those occasional flashes of brilliance that makes whatever rubbish is in the story well worth reading.

        So the three main reasons I love the Reg...

        Barkeep! A round to the Reg team on my way out!

  8. SW
    Headmaster

    Latin is a language...

    Ah, that brings back memories (although it certainly does not bring back any knowledge of the subject).

    I remember taking Latin for one year at High School, we had a teacher who's accuracy with the blackboard eraser was lethally accurate, but I digress. My point being that it brought back this...

    Latin is a language, as dead as dead can be

    It killed the ancient Romans

    And now it's killing me.

    Curabitur in maxima eruditorum commentariis.

    1. PerlyKing Silver badge
      Facepalm

      Re: Latin is a language...

      I did Latin at school for, um, two years? Hated every moment. I can remember more from Asterix books than anything we did at school, which led to me having to explain to the class exactly what "timeo danaos et dona ferentes" means, and feeling a lot like Brian facing the centurion.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Latin is a language...

      Were we at the same school?

      I still have a small dent in the side of my head from a lethally heavy wood backed blackboard eraser that was used to forcefully awaken me from my reverie one particularly dull Friday afternoon lesson...

    3. phuzz Silver badge
      Headmaster

      Re: Latin is a language...

      I also was taught Latin for one year, before being kicked off the course (family tradition).

      My Latin master* had taught the father of one of my friends and was consequently approximately as old as his subject in our eyes. His way of 'encouraging' pupils to remember was to grab you by the ear and twist.

      That scene in Life of Brian is pretty accurate in a lot of ways.

      * I use the word master instead of teacher because it fit him much better, he was from the proper old school.

  9. Z80
    Coat

    Since I didn't study Latin at school, I once paid for an online Latin course but it was rubbish.

    Caveat emptor is all I can say.

  10. 2+2=5 Silver badge

    Any non-Latin in with a shout?

    I don't recall the rules saying the motto had to be Latin, so will any non-Latin entries be offered for our vote?

    My suggestion would be: "I have an official looking patch" :-)

    1. Anonymous Custard Silver badge
      Joke

      Re: Any non-Latin in with a shout?

      But only on Tuesdays, unless you're a penguin

    2. g e

      Re: Any non-Latin in with a shout?

      Donde esta la cervesa

    3. Lester Haines (Written by Reg staff) Gold badge

      Re: Any non-Latin in with a shout?

      We have non-Latin submissions. Await the final vote and wonder, oh multilingual commentard.

  11. Tom B

    An Old Favorite

    One of my favorite Latin phrases is a twist on the old "Carpe Diem" (Sieze the day): "Crape Diem" (the day siezes you)

    1. g e

      Re: An Old Favorite

      In Soviet Russia....

      and such

    2. Ugotta B. Kiddingme

      Re: An Old Favorite

      or "Carpe Carp" (Sieze the fish)

      1. Swarthy

        Re: An Old Favorite

        Carpe Puellae

        Or

        Carpe Pecunium

  12. Pet Peeve

    Splorf

    "Navis volitans mea plena anguillarum est" made me laugh SO hard. Totally has my vote.

    1. JimmyPage
      Thumb Up

      Re: Splorf

      a quick scan (ignoring declension and case) seems to suggest a craft belonging to the speaker is full of something ...

      I'm going to take a punt that anguillarum is eels ? From anguilla ?

    2. Kubla Cant Silver badge

      Re: Splorf

      I agree that "Navis volitans mea plena anguillarum est" is a winner.

      I think repleta is the word for "filled up with", as plena seems to mean full in the sense of complete, or even plump. And I'm not sure about the genitive case; "full of" has the feel of an English idiom, but I can't think of a more appropriate case. Possible alternatives:

      Navis volitans mea subter anguillis repleta est (Filled under eels? Nah.)

      Navis volitans mea per | propter anguillas repleta est (Filled by, or on account of eels.)

      Navem volitantem meam anguillae replent (Seems to imply that the eels did the filling.)

      Where is John Cleese when you need him?

      1. Vic

        Re: Splorf

        And I'm not sure about the genitive case; "full of" has the feel of an English idiom, but I can't think of a more appropriate case.

        That's what the ablative case is for...

        Vic.

        1. DiViDeD Silver badge

          Re: Splorf

          "That's what the ablative case is for"

          I thought the ablative case was for reentry

          I'll get my.. Oh, you got it for me, thanks.

          Yes, I can SEE the door, thankyou

      2. Uncle Slacky Silver badge

        Re: Splorf

        It probably originated here: http://www.omniglot.com/language/phrases/hovercraft.htm

        which gives two Latin possibilities:

        Mea navis volitans anguillis plena est

        Navis volitans mihi anguillis plena est

        1. Irony Deficient

          Re: Splorf

          Uncle Slacky, my translation came only from offline sources, viz my brain and my dictionary. There aren’t many Latin words for hovering, so similarities in different translations of this phrase are inevitable.

      3. Irony Deficient

        Re: Splorf

        Kubla Cant, the division is not “full of” + “something”, but “full” + “of something”; that is, adjective + genitive. Plenus/plenum/plena is perfectly acceptable in this way: Cicero used plenum sceleris (“full of wickedness”), and Horace used plenum laetitiae (“full of happiness”).

        Oddly enough, my Latin grammar book notes two exceptions from Early through “Golden Age” Latin: for adjectives denoting either fullness or deficiency only, adjective + ablative was equally acceptable. Thus, plena anguillis could also have been used.

        1. Kubla Cant Silver badge

          Re: Splorf

          Upvoted for serious erudition. What other techie forum includes posts that cite Horace and Cicero?

          As you can probably tell, my Latin grammar was handed in half a century ago, and it wasn't overused even then.

  13. Come to the Dark Side

    And not a single mention of a towel or dressing-gown...

  14. Stevie Silver badge

    Bah!

    People called "Romanes", they go to the house?????

  15. Don Coglioni

    pedanteria maxima .... or "morositas maxima",rather, mustn't mix my Italo-Latin ...

    er....

    Lester?

    Caliga-"NOTES"? shouldn't that be Notationes Caligae?

    1. Lester Haines (Written by Reg staff) Gold badge

      Re: pedanteria maxima .... or "morositas maxima",rather, mustn't mix my Italo-Latin ...

      I'm going for a declensionless Anglo-Latin fusion. Works for me.

      1. Stevie Silver badge

        Re: I'm going for a declensionless Anglo-Latin fusion.

        Far out! Who've you got on bass?

  16. IT Drone
    Coat

    Bladdered

    Given the lack of balloons in Roman times (or helium either but never mind) an alternative metaphor might an inflated bladder. It has the added bonus of alluding to the after effects of a few celebratory drinks.

    Google Translate then suggested "to the stars on an inflated bladder" becomes

    vesica inflata ad astra

    Sorry.

  17. Terrence Bayrock

    other Latin Experts?

    Any thoughts about submitting to the suggestions to the scholars at the Vatican (although they may not [or may !] take much amusement to the subject matter)...

  18. John Brown (no body) Silver badge
    Headmaster

    might of been?

    "That might of been the end of it, but Irony Deficient..."

    Please tell me that that is an "oh, well played sir!" moment and not a major cock-up in an article on sentence construction.

    1. Lester Haines (Written by Reg staff) Gold badge

      Re: might of been?

      Simple typo.

      1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        Re: might of been?

        Ah, so the irony was deficient then :-)

  19. Peter Simpson 1
    Coat

    Omnia Gallia in partes tres divisa est

    And frankly, that's all I remember. Except that my Latin teacher confirmed the stereotype: of advanced age, extremely well educated, deadly boring and barely tolerant of we young whippersnappers who couldn't see the use of learning such a beautiful languiage.

    Two years...wasted. Oh well, not much Latin required in Electrical Engineering, thank God.

    // This has been a memorably good thread.

    // The one with the Cassell's in the pocket, please

  20. WillbeIT

    "Ad astra tabernamque":

    "Ad astra tabernamque": to the stars and the pub.

    Sold

  21. cortland

    Closed? Too bad

    Terry Pratchett would prabably have been been PROUD to let LOHAN use Ankh-Morpork's moon-mission motto (in The Last Hero) :

    Morituri Nolumus Mori

    http://www.scribd.com/doc/213853510/Annotated-Pratchett-f-9-0-5 , page 130-131

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