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« AD 62: POMPEII | Main | Christian Suffering, Christian Hope »



What an easily-researchable faux pas! Nevertheless, I always enjoy reading what comes from these provocations...

On a similar note, I almost wrote to the DTH after seeing Wednesday's cartoon to point out that "sapiens" of "homo sapiens" fame is not plural and canNOT weather the removal of the terminal "s". Someone suggested, though, that writing in about that might be seen as obnoxious. (I posted the URL for the cartoon.)

I considered, too, that the English language is built on such bastardizations of both Anglo-Saxon and Latin words. A friend reminded me that the singular word "pease" (for example) underwent a similar process to become "pea" in the singular and "peas" in the plural, nowadays. And we all know the mystery and stigma surrounding "datum", "data", and "datas".

Before you know it, we'll be nicknaming octopi "Scyllas" and talking about how they are a danger to every "homo sapien".


I asked translator Stanley Lombardo what he thought about the question. Here is his reply:

"It seems plausible that something like a giant squid may be behind Scylla, a sailor’s nightmare, maybe conflated with those eels that live in holes in the rock and stretch their necks out to eat, not humans, but whatever they eat. I think of Scylla whenever I see these eels in an aquarium, not that Scylla is underwater of course."

Iulia: Not obnoxious. Helpful. After all, our new Chief Justice of the Supreme Court got there by being a super grammar hawk, among other things. (!)

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