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View Diary: On the Joys and Importance of Reading and Learning (25 comments)

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  •  A couple of jokes based on Latin class (5+ / 0-)

    I was in a bar once with a friend who was (and still is) a hard-core academic from the Classics Dept. (Greek and Latin), but he also was fluent in Turkish, Thai, French, German, and several other languages. I think he learned new languages just for fun. I had told some lightbulb jokes – for example, how many potheads does it take to change a lightbulb? Answer: I’ll do it tomorrow. Or – how many computer programmers to change a lightbulb? A: In an object-oriented environment we will send a message to the lightbulb and it will change itself. And so on. I have a couple dozen lightbulb jokes if you’re interested.

    So my friend asked, “Why does no one ever write jokes about Classics Majors?” I said, “Give me minute to think about it.” I came up with two jokes (but only because I had studied Latin in high school and college. Here they are, with explanations appended:

    1. How many classicists does it take to change a lightbulb? A: Eh, two, (pause) Bruteh? (Explanation: It sounds like “Et tu, Brute?”, which Julius Caesar said to Brutus when he was assassinated). OK. Not a great joke, but here’s a better one…

    2. How many classicists does it take to change a lightbulb? Answer: “How long, O Catiline, since two days the light bulb having been burned out, must we in darkness continue to sit?” (Explanation: in 3rd or 4th semester Latin, in college, I read and translated Cicero’s Orations Against Catiline, which are phrased in this way, usually with the verb at the very end). My friend laughed a lot at that joke because he had read Cicero.

    Your essay about Cicero reminded me of that story.

    I loved your essay. Tipped and rec’d.

    “If you misspell some words, it’s not plagiarism.” – Some Writer

    by Dbug on Sat Jan 19, 2013 at 07:44:24 PM PST

    •  I'm reading the Penguin edition of (6+ / 0-)

      selected political speeches of Cicero. The four Catilinarian speeches directly preceeded this one in defense of Achias... though they are already translated thankfully. :)

      And in the mainframe environment we have multiple virtual lightbulbs so we'll swap out the burnt out one later in the month when we have some downtime scheduled. In the meantime things will continue to run just fine on the remaining lightbulbs.

      "Do what you can with what you have where you are." - Teddy Roosevelt

      by Andrew C White on Sat Jan 19, 2013 at 08:01:56 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  The Catalinarian conspiracy (0+ / 0-)

        The one where Cicero called a state of emergency over something that, for the most part, seemed to be a big fat nothing.

        And allowed the counsul (Cicero) to assume emergency powers that he abused?

        Some things don't change, do they?

        Seriously, I love the Catalinarian speeches but my favorite Cicero speech is the Verres trial.

        When we go through really rough times here at Kos, I love picking up Cicero if for nothing else than to remind be that republics have already been there and done that and that there's nothing new under the sun.

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