Category Archives: Language & Etymology

“Thoroughly Useless Nation”: Mommsen on the Irish

From Theodor Mommsen (trans. William P. Dickson) History of Rome, Vol. 4 (London 1867), Book 5, Chapter 7, pp. 286-87 (link here) Mind you, an edition of this work won a goddam Nobel Prize for Literature in 1902 In the mighty … Continue reading

Posted in Classics, Ireland, Language & Etymology, Race, Rome, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Order of the Adjectives

Adjectives in English absolutely have to be in this order: opinion-size-age-shape-colour-origin-material-purpose Noun. So you can have a lovely little old rectangular green French silver whittling knife. But if you mess with that word order in the slightest you’ll sound like a maniac.” So Mark … Continue reading

Posted in England, Language & Etymology | 1 Comment

Little mysteries in an old edition of Cicero

See this update How this book came into my possession, I really can’t say, but it’s probably the oldest one I own, a copy of select orations of Cicero (together with Asconius’ commentary) as well as De Senectute and De … Continue reading

Posted in Classics, Education, England, Italy, Language & Etymology, Rome, Sewanee, Time, Trees & Flowers, Uncategorized | 1 Comment

No middle way out of the waste land?

I just love the March 6, 1950 cover of Time magazine, which depicts T.S. Eliot poised between a cross over his left shoulde, and a martini (or is it a grail?) on his right. The caption below reads, “No middle … Continue reading

Posted in England, Language & Etymology, Poetry, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Brief Note from Scotland

Today and tomorrow, I’m at the Celtic Classics Conference, being held at Saint Andrews. It’s a lovely town by the sea ( pics below), with famous golf courses and some grand old university buildings, none of which the conference is … Continue reading

Posted in Cartoons, Classics, Language & Etymology, Poetry, Scotland, Sports & Games, Trees & Flowers | Leave a comment

Head-copping

An evening or two ago, I stopped into Mooney’s, the great little local market just on the border between Sewanee and Monteagle, to pick up some garlic powder. I had paid for it, when it occurred to me that I … Continue reading

Posted in Language & Etymology, Sewanee, Tennessee, Uncategorized | 6 Comments

Regnet Pax Omnem Per Terram

This morning’s Sewanee Elementary School assembly was a real treat–this year’s petition for peace for the Peace Pole was in Latin: “Regnet Pax Omnem Per Terram.” To prepare, Kathryn Gotko Bruce had the 4th grade students do some study on … Continue reading

Posted in Classics, Education, Emblems, Language & Etymology, Music, Sewanee, Uncategorized | 1 Comment