The assorted finds of Artefact Publishing

December 14, 2004

sine nobilitate, sine veritate

Over on No Right Turn, Idiot/Savant uses the phrase sine nobilitate in talking about snobbery. However, it appears that this is a false etymology; the Oxford English Dictionary says it is originally a dialect or colloquial word of obscure origin, and a few web pages provide discussion on the point: the Oxford Dictionary people themselves, Michael Quinion (also associated with the OED) and the erroneous Wikipedia entry. Webster’s dictionary gives an Icelandic origin.

Posted by jamie at 11:00+13:00 | Comments (0) | Permalink

December 08, 2004

A worthwhile Slashdot comment

Commenting on an article about the appalling lack of quality in corporate emails in the United States, yorkpaddy wrote: See what happens when you stop saying mass in Latin.

I’m glad it’s not just me who thinks like this. Indeed, just yesterday I was in a playground, and in the course of helping a friend with translation was engaged in conversation by a woman who thought that the only benefit of learning Latin is improved English. I should have said that, given many people’s language skills, that was sufficient reason for them to learn it. But instead I rambled a bit about great Latin literature until it was clear that her son was far more interested in the topic than she was. Of course, he wants to learn Japanese to be able to play Pokémon games as soon as they are released (which happens in Japan first). (And you have to love that acute accent on the e; this is surely a fancy rather than anything proper to the transliteration. The domain name with the acute is unregistered, too.)

Posted by jamie at 18:05+13:00 | Comments (4) | Permalink