Monday, June 27, 2011

There is a Wikipedia page for everything

For example, Latin profanity.  I wound up there because I was pretty sure there is something in Catullus that would apply to Tam's "smee" construction (if you haven't read it, go now; don't forget to read the comments).  Catullus was, of course, famously (infamously?  perhaps notoriously is a better term) ribald.  For example*:
Annales of Volusis, shitty papers,
discharged a vow on behalf on my girl
Alas, the term used is cacata carta, a diminutive of merda (poop).  But then a little pondering recalls the Indo-European "Dropped S" where an "s" at the beginning of common root words was dropped in many language branches.  Thus, "smerd" became "merda" in Latin, but śmierdzieć in Polish.

And so, our "smee" is still in play, especially as an archaic Latin term already fading away in the days of the Republic.   As the Mythbusters would say, "plausible".

I still lean towards the theory that "smee" is plural, and more properly transcribed "smii" (each "i" is pronounced as "ee", so you would say this as "sm-ee-ee").

What a strange set of rabbit holes this Internet thing is.  You can drop into one, and never know what is on the other end.  Tam clearly knows her Indo-European roots (I'd hate to play the Dictionary Game against her, because I hate to lose).  And so,
Ave Tam Imperatrix,
declenuri te salutant

Hail Empress Tam,
we who are about to decline salute you!
* Oh, and you think that Glock vs. 1911 leads to outbreaks of terminal pedanticness?  I love this comment on the proper translation of the Catullus verse:
No, cacata carta is not an ablative absolute construction, as is clear from the meter - the -a on cacata must be short, therefore it cannot be the ablative singular of the perfect passive participle, but must rather be nominative. The phrase is in apposition to the nominative Annales. Literally - "having been shat sheets".
Win.  So what's the muzzle velocity of a cacata carta loading?

(Yes, I am a nerd.  Why did you even have to ask  Oh, and I still think that smee is somewhere in Catullus ...?)


North said...

I'll watch Caligula in the original Latin and let you know if I hear it.

TJIC said...

> For example, Latin profanity.

There goes any chance of me getting to work at an early hour!


Awesome. Thanks!

Guffaw in AZ said...

'Post hoc ergo propter hoc.'
'Quo Vadis'
'E pluribus unum'
'voir dire'

That about does it for MY Latin.
cacata carta!

Tam said...

'voir dire' is actually Anglo-Norman. It means "jury tampering". :D

(Thanks for the linky-love, BP!)

WV: "mandeeda" To have done a brave and manly thing.

kx59 said...

You folks are way too smart. All I can do is order a beer in 3 or 4 languages...but it gets me by.

Borepatch said...

Hey everyone! Kx59 is buying!


kx59 said...

yep, but the drive isn't worth it. Texas is a big state.

NotClauswitz said...

I accusative the pedantristitum of being datavistic and nominivete him for cacatorium!

gowta: gotta gowta Chowringee nowta!