Monday, January 16, 2012

A Note on the Tag Line

Just had an anonymous email, apparently from someone at least moderately competent in Latin, inquiring as to the intended meaning of the current KN@PPSTER tag line, "Ceterum autem censeo, status esse delendam." Since I can't reply by email, I'll reply here.

I am not competent in Latin. I did quite a bit of futzing around trying to figure out the best way to drop something meaning "the state," as opposed to "Carthage," into the old saying attributed to Cato the Elder ...

"Carthago delenda est" (English: "Carthage must be destroyed") or the fuller "Ceterum censeo Carthaginem esse delendam" or "Ceterum autem censeo, Carthaginem esse delendam" (English: "Furthermore, I think Carthage must be destroyed") are Latin political phrases which were popular in the Roman Republic during the latter years of the Punic Wars against Carthage.

So called patrician Torlonia Patrizio Torlonia.Image via Wikipedia... and came up with "status," although there were other possibilities.

Per the Wikipedia article linked above, Cato would end every speech, no matter the topic, with that admonition to put an end to Carthage. I'm using the tag line to remind my readers (and myself) that no matter what else I may be writing about, one should imagine invisibly tacked onto the end: "Furthermore, I think the state must be destroyed."

But, it's just an uneducated language hack, and I'm the first to admit to the possibility that I'm actually just ordering the Cobb salad or asking directions to the bathroom or something.
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