Again with the Bad Latin

Not necessarily wrong. Consider that in English there’s usually more than one way to say the same thing. I expect this is also true in other languages.

Fabricati diem, pvnc


Indeed. How much snark is expended in this world on native speakers of English who speak the language “wrong”? (Prescriptivists, feel free to swoon now.)

Latin was a living, even colloquial, language for centuries. The standards of “good Latin” are so academic that they probably have no bearing on how the language was actually used at any point in its life.

But yes, it’s fun to point out that one person’s translation doesn’t follow another person’s Latin learning. Latin is not hard to get wrong, just like most languages. Personally, I like Engrish better. More amusing, and easier to identify with (since I’m Japanese-American).

That’s the classiest “zombie thread alert!” I’ve ever seen!

That is the first time ever that I was connected positively with classy.

The Dresden Files books actually have a good explanation for why Harry Dresden’s spells are all in bad Latin. A spell needs to be in a language that you know, so that you can associate it with what it’s supposed to do. But it also needs to be in a language that you don’t know very well, because if you put your spells in a language you’re fluent in, you’ll end up casting them accidentally. It’s actually something of an embarrassment that Harry uses Latin, because all wizards are supposed to be fluent in it, as the lingua franca of the international wizard community (the more established wizards generally use Old Assyrian or Babylonian). And his apprentice uses Japanese, which she apparently picked up from anime conventions.

(answering old post). I have to imagine the Japanese thing was on purpose. They obviously have a Japanese fluent person on staff and it’s easier than finding a Sindar fluent person. Not any different than Mel Brooks’ Indians speaking Yiddish in Blazing Saddles. My Name is Earl used to pull a trick like that, where any time a character spoke Spanish, they actually addressed the audience congratulating them on understanding Spanish or some other joke.

Well I assume it’s an intentional joke, not out of laziness. Though in some cases it might be a little bit of both, like when Trey Parker and Matt Stone hired Japanese guys they knew to play “Indians.”

Bad Latin? I thought he was taken out by phoca protelum XI…

At least they weren’t quoting Lorem Ipsum

I don’t think “Flickus Bicus” even qualifies as bad Latin… :stuck_out_tongue:

Nearly forgot about that one. One of my favorite jokes in the movie. “We are…Indians.”

Ubi o ubi est mea sububi?

I use only one Latin spell:

Coffea gloria mundi est!

And a few minutes later I have nice hot coffee. The fact that I load the percolator and plug it in is a side issue.

Sanctum Peter Cottium
Deus in re unium
hippitus hoppitus Reus Domine

In suus via torreum
Lepus in re sanctum
hippitus hoppitus Reus Domine


Recently saw this on a 1914 plaque in memory of Maj. Gen. Jacob Cox, a hero of the American Civil War and later Governor of Ohio: Integervitae scelerisqve pvrvs. Google just comes up with nonsense phrases (including one with the word “chocolate”). A little help…?

Integer vitae = the number (positive or negative, no fractions) of life. Obviously means the number 42.

Scelerisque = celery-ish

pvrvs = pervs


integer vitae scelerisque purus - “upright of life and free from vice”

Just a plaque somewhere? A pic of his grave appears to just say the first part:

It’s the opening line of a poem by Horace - Odes 1.XXII

Integer vitae, scelerisque purus…

A man of upright life, and unstained by wrongdoing…
In 1914 most educated people would have been familiar with the odes of Horace.

Ha! I remember sceleritus as “rascally” from my 7th grade Latin class (the workbook was printed in Britain). “Pure from mischief” might be another way to translate that Horace.

The word is

scelus -eris, n.

Lewis & Short gives the primary meaning as evil deed; a wicked, heinous, or impious action; a crime, sin, enormity, wickedness (the strongest general term for a morally bad act or quality; very freq. both in sing. and plur.; cf. nefas).

Thanks. Sceleritus must be a derived adjective. I distinctly recall puer sceleritus as “rascally boy.” The series of slender books was called Ecce Homo (“Behold! A man!”).