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Inspirational Reads

Friday Morning Latin Lesson, Vol. XC

November 5, 2010

Salvete, Omnes!

Here we are again, a Friday morning upon us. And a cold, damp and dark one at that, for those of us in the northern hemisphere. At least around my little part of the hemisphere, that is.

A lot of Latin phrases have survived from antiquity into the modern era, mostly because their meaning is not lost on us in modern times. In vino veritas is one of those phrases. It's also one of those phrases that we need to infer part of the phrase for it to make sense in English. It means "In wine, (there is) truth." The "there is" is implied for we speakers of the barbaric English tongue.

It means that, when one is deep into his or her cups, the speaker is more likely to tell you what they actually feel rather than what they think you want them to say. It's a pretty good summary of the affects of alcohol loosening the tongue, and seemed to be just as common in Roman times as it is today.

However, truth isn't the only thing that can be found in a bottle of wine...or beer.

In cervesia, pulchritudo.

Pronounced: "In care-ways-ee-ah, pool-kree-too-doh."

Boozy translation in the hovertext.

Really, this was just an excuse to use my favorite advertisement for Olde English malt liquor. You can substitute vino in for cervesia and get the wine version of this phrase.

Got time for a fun little story that's only somewhat related to the text?

Sure you do.

Vino isn't only the ablative and dative form of the word for wine in Latin, it's the name of this Indian dude I hung out with in grad school. Vino was from Dekalb, IL, born and raised here in 'Merica. Despite this, he still lived up to every Asian stereotype there is about bad drivers. We knew this, and yet got in the car with him because he was willing to drive us around, especially when the rest of us--me, Dr. Assy, Captain B., the Vulgar Bulgarian--were drunk.

One night, we were drunk and we absolutely needed some Taco Bell. This was after we had all been in South Bend for about two months, so we didn't really know where things were, aside from the campus and the closest City Wide Liquors. However, Vino had a rough idea where the nearest Taco Bell was (turns out, it was the second nearest, but, hey, he was willing to drive).

We loaded up in Vino's car and drove toward Taco Bell. Unfortunately, we drove past the intersection, so Vino decided he was going to turn around in someone's driveway. Problem was, Vino kind of turned in front of an oncoming car. The bigger problem was that Vino didn't pull into the driveway right away, and instead held his car perpendicular to the rush of on-coming traffic.

Dr. Assy and I began screaming as certain death bore down upon us, flashing headlights and honking horn included. Finally, Vino pulls into the driveway of some dentist or doctor's office, narrowly missing being T-boned by some angry South Bend driver. As Dr. Assy and I laughed off our near-death experience in the way that the sudden rush of adrenaline co-mingled with the sweet sense of relief of not dying brings, Vino voiced his displeasure with our screaming.

"Chill," he said, "I didn't want to drive on the grass."

Vino did not make it to his second semester in grad school. He left ND and returned to Dekalb to do God only knows what. I hope he found something that involved minimal driving to and from work; he was a great guy, just a shitty driver.


MJenks said...

There should be a macron over the last a in cervesia, but I'm too fucking lazy to put it in there. Just pretend, okay? Thanks.

Roxanne and Lorraine said...

And I was just coming to tell you that you OBVIOUSLY missed a macron.

Anyways, I fear I'm the shitty driver in my group of friends. But that's toally not fair to me because I haven't crashed or anything! I mean, at least not with any of my friends in the car. Because really, I've only crashed once and that was totally into a wall.

Anyways, sometimes you just need Taco Bell.


Hart Johnson said...

In beer, beauty, indeed... at least enough of it makes any other human being adequately beautiful... if that's what you mean... though i am also a major microbrew fan...

SkylersDad said...

My beer goggles make all the ladies look good!

Stay thirsty my friend.

Scope said...

How much malt liquor is in one of them things?

Eric said...

Gotta grab some Olde English on the way home tonight. So what if it's only Tuesday, don't judge me!!!

Eric said...

Gotta grab some Olde English on the way home tonight. So what if it's only Tuesday, don't judge me!!!