Latin is back! When I was a kid, there was always talk of taking Latin at elite schools. For many professions it would be needed, they said, like becoming a doctor. Being a catholic schoolboy, we’d hear the priests talking Latin and the lawyers on TV would utter their own Latin phrases once in a while.
Not having it offered at my school and fascinated by it all, I got a Latin textbook and learned a bunch of it myself over the years. It comes in handy sometimes…especially these days with the US political dramas and all.
Quid pro quo for example literally translates as “a what for a where” but loosely in English we consider it “a give for a take.” So, when reporters say “there was definitely a quid…” the meaning of quid is “a what” so it’s a pretty loose usage but people still get the picture. If you were guessing on its actual meaning, hope today’s lesson has been helpful so far.
Author Hunter S. Thompson (the S. is for Stockton) would sometimes end a story with Res Ipsa Loquitor. The rough translation is “the matter speaks for itself.” But more formally it implies the principle that the occurrence of an accident implies negligence. We’re seeing quite a bit of that nowadays in our unfolding political dramas. So, listen for it as I think we’ll hear it on TV soon as well.
Yes, Latin can still be a handy tool. It’s nice to see that it’s cropping up again lately. So, I better continue my lesson and leave you with some fun ones:
- Audentes fortuna iuvat = Fortune favors the bold
- Carpe vinum = Seize the wine
- Acta non verba = Actions not words
Let’s finish with one that fits our current political climate for all of the conspiracy confused out there:
- Condemnant quo non intellegunt = They condemn that which they do not understand
Who needs facts anyways…we’ve got Latin!
Share with us your own favorite Latin phrase.
– Mark Salow, Senior Consultant