Audi

Audi is a German luxury car brand and is a member of the Volkswagen Group. Both Audi and Porsche convertibles are my dream cars. The company name, Audi, comes from the Latin translation of the founder’s last name. August Horch, the founder, was German, so his last name therefore was German and meant “listen”. In Latin, the verb “to listen” is audio, audire, audivi, auditus, a, um. Hence, Horch becomes Audi in Latin.

“Dulce et Decorum est” by Wilfred Owen

“Dulce et Decorum est” is a well-known anti-war poem by Wilfred Owen, In this poem, Owen describes the shock of a gas attack and the effects they had on soldiers who were lucky enough to survive them. From a glance at the poem, you can see that the poem is broken into 4 verses and structured around three disturbing images. The poem itself is written in two parts (14 lines each); the first part is written in present tense, as if he’s one of the soldiers, and the second part is written as if he’s watching what’s happening from a distance. Owen’s effort to convey the horrors of war was successful because the imagery he used throughout the poem was solid.

Here is the poem:

In the first stanza, a group of soldiers are in no man’s land, trying to go back into the trenches. During the first few lines, the reader can easily picture the horrible conditions of the trenches; the soldiers were compared to beggars because of their physical and mental conditions. The second image, in the second stanza, is more disturbing; Owen writes about a soldier who fails to put his gas mask on, in a timely manner, during a gas attack. And last but not least, the third image Owen depicts is in the fourth stanza. In it, Owen illustrates how that dying soldier, and other dead soldiers, was/were treated by writing, “Behind the wagon that we flung him in,” (18). This shows that they were all tossed into a wagon and buried together, without a proper burial.

In the last two lines of the poem (28 and 29), Owen writes, “the old Lie: Dulce et decorum est Pro patria mori”. The last two lines are important because the title of the poem comes from it, and he rejects Horace’s beliefs. Horace was an Ancient Roman poet who wrote, in the Odes, “Dulce et decorum est pro patria mori” (III.2.13). “Dulce et decorum est pro patria mori” can be translated as “It is sweet and proper to die for the fatherland”. Wilfred calls Horace’s glorification an old lie and tries to prove how choking, and dying, from a gas attack is neither sweet nor proper. He ends the poem with that, for a deeper effect, which worked.

Is It Sinister To Be Sinistra?

Throughout history, people did not consider being left-handed a good thing. In fact, some lefties were forced to start writing with their right hand. For example, one of my parent’s family friends is ambidextrous because the school he went to forced him to write with his right hand even though he was left-handed. Even today, some cultures view being left-handed as an unfortunate thing. In Europe, people used to call homosexuals left-handed. This transformed the word’s definition into something offensive. In Latin, the word sinistra, sinistrae (feminine) means left handed. Sinistra has the same root as sinister, which means inauspicious. In Ancient Rome, left-handed people were considered to be unreliable. However, surprisingly, left-handed soldiers in the Roman Legion were considered to be special because they could fight with different methods.

This is definitely still true today. When I serve in tennis, my ball normally ends up going around 40mph and deep into the service box. I also hit fast, flat returns with my forehand because my left-hand is strong and dominant. This helps me win most matches because it’s easier for me to aim at their backhand while they’re lost over which hand my forehand is.

The Wall Street Journal & Acta Diurna

News Image.png

The first newspaper in Ancient Rome was called the Acta Diruna. The Acta Diruna was a daily newspaper that was carved in stone and posted in public places, like the Forum. The Ancient Roman Forum was a marketplace for business owners, as well as customers. This made it the perfect place to have message boards. The original content on the Acta Diruna, also known as Acta, was news about the outcomes of trials and things happening in the legal world. However, it slowly started expanding by adding news about marriages, deaths, and births in influential families.

We have the same exact thing today. The Wall Street Journal, a well-known newspaper, started off as a newspaper that covered news on finance, economics, and business. However, it also occasionally covered topics on World War II and other current events. In the aftermath of the attacks on September 11, 2001, the Journal wrote several pieces on what was going on and later ended up winning several Pulitzer Prizes for it. Today, they cover a variety of topics, instead of being limited to the world of finance.

Does this make The Wall Street Journal the modern-day Acta Diruna?

 

References :

http://www.historyofinformation.com/expanded.php?id=1636

https://www.britannica.com/topic/The-Wall-Street-Journal

 

 

Las Vegas Shooting

On October 1, 2017, one of the worst mass shootings occurred in the United States of America. The shooter, Stephen Paddock, killed himself after injuring, and killing, over 550 people during the finale of a concert in Las Vegas. In the aftermath, many people had things to say about the gunman. Mayor Carolyn Goodman described the gunman as “a crazed lunatic full of hate” (CNN.com). News stations reported that Paddock acted alone and was not a terrorist. In the following days, social medias exploded, saying that he was a terrorist. Below is a screenshot from Snoopdogg’s Instagram page as one example.fullsizeoutput_31e

However, this leads to me asking myself what a terrorist truly is. A terrorist is someone who uses violence and targets civilians, according to a few dictionaries. So, doesn’t that make Stephen Paddock a terrorist? In my opinion, it does. How does this reference back to Latin? The word terrorist comes from the French word terroriste. The word terroriste was used for people in the French Revolution who used violence to strive towards gaining independence from the monarch and setting up a democracy. And where does terroriste come from? It comes from the Latin word terrorem. The definition for terrorem means cause of fear or object of fear, which comes from the Latin verb terrere. Terrere means to frighten. And boom, that’s a connection from our Modern world to the Ancient.

References:

Oxford Dictionary

Las Vegas Shooting Timeline

CNN

Online Etymology Dictionary

Duolingo

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Duolingo is a company that helps you learn languages for free. It offers help for common languages like Spanish and French and not-so-common languages like Welsh. Duolingo is an app I have on my phone and frequently use to help learn some basic Spanish because I have never taken a Spanish class in my life (so far). Its software is user friendly and helps anyone learn a new language, no matter what their age is. This is extremely important, especially in America, because most people are only fluent in English. In order to connect with other people around the world, we must first have prior knowledge about their culture and language itself. Duolingo makes that possible. What does that have to do with Latin? Duolingo has Latin roots. According to its website, Duolingo is supposed to mean ‘two languages’. The word can easily be split into two parts, ‘duo’ and ‘lingo’. ‘Duo’ means two in Latin and ‘lingo’ means  a foreign language, with its roots tracing back to Latin, coming from the Latin word for tongue (lingua). Cool, right?

If you’re interested in other articles like this, check out my post on Insomnia Cookies here.

 

Amoral, Immoral, & Morals

What Are Morals?

According to Google’s ‘pop-up’ dictionary, morals are a person’s principles that govern the way they behave and act. Most people have a basic set of morals. This might be because of the values their family or religion instilled into them while they were growing up. Many basic morals include no stealing, no lying, and equality.

However, some people can be considered to be immoral by society; this could include criminals, offenders, thieves, or others. People who are immoral are considered to have bad morals. This does not mean that they are lacking morals, but it does mean that their morals are twisted (in a bad way). Another thing some criminals, burglars, offenders, or other people, can be is amoral. Being amoral doesn’t mean you have bad morals, but it doesn’t mean you have good ones either; it means that you lack them. This is worse than being immoral because at least immoral people have morals.

I don’t think I have encountered anyone who is amoral which, in my opinion, is a good thing. But, while saying that, the number one example that pops into my head, when the word amoral is mentioned, are the Ancient Greek and Roman gods. For example, Jupiter/Zeus, king of the gods, always had affairs with women and didn’t feel any guilt at all. Hercules (Hercales) came out of one of his affairs and a lot of other children. However, this didn’t stop Jupiter from going out and having more affairs.

From my experience (on being in this world for the past fourteen years), I feel that the person cheating would at least feel guilty for cheating on their partner, especially if children came out of the affair. However, in the case of the Greek/Roman myths, none of the gods ever felt guilty. The following sentences are a few examples that prove my point. Juno (Hera) didn’t feel guilty for throwing (technically tossing) Vulcan (Hephaestus) out of Olympus when he was a baby. Venus (Aphrodite) didn’t feel bad about cheating on her husband with Mars (Ares). Polydectes didn’t feel bad about sending the son of the woman he wanted to marry (Perseus) away to complete an impossible task (decapitating Medusa). All of these examples can also be traced back to the earliest myths about Saturn (Cronus), too. Saturn ate his kids, the Titans, before Jupiter saved them.

It’s a good thing that myths are only myths because having a sense of morals is needed in order to be a good citizen and a contributing member of society.