Is Pseudo-Latin Actually A Thing?

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Believe it or not, pseudo-Latin is a thing. In fact, you’ve probably already seen it. Lorem Ipsum is known as pseudo-Latin. Lorem Ipsum is a dummy text which is used to fill in documents and websites, so the viewers and editors can pay more attention to the format and layout. Today, a lot of websites and desktop publishing softwares use Lorem Ipsum to fill in blank spaces.  However, contrary to popular belief, Lorem Ipsum is not scrambled words and randomized text¹. The text in Lorem Ipsum originates from one of Cicero’s works. So, does that make Lorem Ipsum real Latin or pseudo-Latin?

¹ Even though Lorem Ipsum resembles Latin, the text has no meaning. The letters k, w, and z don’t exist in Latin, so similar words are inserted in their place.

 

Ghosting, Shadowing, & Latin

I’ve been playing tennis for a long time and just recently picked up squash. During tennis workouts, my coach used to say to shadow strokes before practicing them with tennis balls. This helps build your technique and gets your feet moving. During squash practice, my squash coach said the same about squash. She said, for a part of our warm-up, we’d be ghosting strokes because that helps build technique. At that moment, something clicked in my head; those two actions are essentially the same, right? In Latin, the word umbra, umbrae means both shadow and ghost. Is that a crazy coincidence or what?!

 

 

Bioderma

Bioderma Laboratories is pharmaceutical company that specializes in skin care, as well as other things related to that. It was founded in 1977 and is worth around 280 million dollars today. Bioderma is also a French company! In Latin, the word bioticus means “used in common life” and “practical” (Mahoney)¹. Bio is also Greek for human life. That’s what biology is: the study of human life. Derma, the second part of Bioderma, means skin in Greek. So, when you put the two words together, Bioderma means ‘skin (care) used in daily life’. Think that’s the only connection? Try again.

Bioderma has a line of products, also known as Hydrabio, which was created to treat people with dehydrated sensitive skin. The word Hydra is Latin for water-serpent. Hydrabio gently removes dirt and makeup while simultaneously hydrating skin. It has an Aquagenium patent, which applies to every Hydrabio product. Aquagenium helps the skin moisturize by producing aquaporins. Aquaporins channel water into the skin and balances the amount of water particles. Oh and by the way, aqua is Latin for water. Mindblown yet? That’s it for today, so have a good rest of your Monday night, folks!

¹Kevin Mahoney is the person credited on Lat-Dict

There’s Only Ever One Side of the Story, Or Is There?

A facet is a single side to a person’s character, achievements, skills, interests, hobbies and/or other things.  The cube above represents the many sides of a person or event. History (and history books) are guilty of stripping down moments of significant events to fit their side of the story, or what that publisher and/or author is trying to teach you. Because of this, most students end up only knowing one side of  some of the most influential people in history.

What is the first thing that pops into your mind when you hear the word “Einstein”? I immediately think of the equation E = mcand then stop thinking about it. That’s honestly all I remember on Einstein, and I literally wrote an essay about him a few weeks ago. What about people who studied him ages ago, or haven’t even started studying him? In the end, most people only remember that he came up with the equation for mass-energy equivalence. I didn’t know that he had different affairs with multiple women until recently. And it’s not just Einstein whom we only learn one side of. There’s other impactful people in history who have the same fate. Did you know that Amelia Earhart worked as a nurse’s aide? The only thing I knew about her was that she was one of the first female aviators. And what about wars? If you live in the Southern part of America, it’s very likely that you’d learn different things about the Civil War than what the people living in the Northern part would learn.

This led me to ask myself, “Why does this happen?” I, soon, ended up remembering something I learned in Latin class last year: the stereotypical jock. The stereotypical jock has a lot of brawn but no brains and vice versa for the stereotypical nerd. They’re either smart and weak, or strong and stupid. You can see this portrayed in all forms of media, from books to movies. But, where does that stereotype come from?

The all brawn and no brains, or all brains and no brawn, stereotype can be traced back to the myths of Hercules (Greek: Heracles). According to those myths, Hercules was a demigod, who had super strength, but he did not enjoy learning. Because of this, Hercules ended up killing his music teacher with his bare hands. Hercules was an all brawn and no brains type of dude.

Since the Ancient World, some historians have only recorded one side of the story, the winning side’s story, which is not okay. However, studying different sides of the same story also does not make any sense. If you’re applying for college, or any other beneficial opportunity, the worst type of candidate you can be is a well-rounded candidate. Most colleges don’t care if you can’t sing to save your life if you’ve achieved something big and are looking to go into that field. College, especially, is all about defining you with just one thing: your selected major.

So, what’s better; people seeing all of your sides ,or people only seeing your best one? I’ll let you decide.

However, do keep in mind that the President of the United States of America has many sides. So do many other influential politicians. In fact, three Congress members resigned after stories about them being sexual predators surfaced. And it’s not just politics; stories of sexual assault have also reached the music industry. Melanie Martinez has been accused of raping her best friend. Now, do you still think that we should only focus on these people’s professional lives, or do you think that we should focus equally on their personal lives? After all, one’s personal life greatly impacts their professional one.

(Side note: the word facet comes from the French word for appearance, facette, which most probably comes from the Latin word facies, meaning face and appearance).

 

(edited this post on December 11th, 2017 to fit recent events)

Oxford Dictionary

Etymonline

Trans-Lux

Trans-Lux is a major company that is known for making, selling, and leasing huge LED display boards. These electronic boards can be used both indoors and outside and can also be utilized in many different ways; most are used to show stocks. The other day, I was walking across my high school’s football field and I noticed the Trans-Lux logo on the score board. This made me have a light bulb moment because trans means across + lux means light, in Latin, AND THAT MAKES A LOT OF SENSE BECAUSE YOU CAN SEE THE SCORE, FROM THE SCORE BOARD, BEYOND THE BLEACHERS DURING LATE NIGHT FOOTBALL GAMES!

If you want to read another post I have on the word trans, Trans by Jansport, click here.

Sleeping on a Somnus

Somnus is a British luxury brand for beds. Somnus was created in 1840 and has been crafting handmade beds since. The word for sleep, in Latin, is somnus, somni. And what do you do on beds? You sleep on them. Boom, there’s your Latin connection. But what if instead of sleeping, you pull an all nighter? It’s highly likely that you’ll get hungry at some point throughout the night. And if you do, there’s a cookie shop called Insomnia Cookies that stays open until three am. Check out my post about it here!

Volvo

Volvo is a Swedish car company that has something in common with the car brand Audi: both of their names come from Latin. Like I said in my previous blog post, Audi comes from the founder’s last name, Horch, which means “listen”. Volvo’s founders, Assar Gabrielsson and Gustaf Larson, wanted a name that was easy to say and spell. They settled on the word Latin word volvere, which means “to roll” in Latin. They settled on “I roll” (volvo) because the Swedish car was initially created to build cars that could survive the conditions of both the harsh weather and roads.

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.

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.