Diss Tracks in Ancient Rome

YouTube is known for its variety of content: music videos, tutorials, Do-It-Yourself videos (DIYs), and diss tracks. Diss tracks are “music videos” which either poke fun at the person creating it or someone else. All diss tracks have cringeworthy lyrics and a repetitive beat. Unfortunately, the most popular diss tracks on YouTube are the ones made by Logan Paul and Jake Paul. In fact, both of them were extremely popular last year for dissing each other (I recommend not clicking the link). Today, if you want to ruin someone’s reputation, the best thing to do would be to create a diss track. It’s a modern, memorable, and catchy way.

In Ancient Rome, the Romans didn’t have YouTube, so what did they do to publicly defame people ? Well, just like how the Paul brothers are famous for their diss tracks, Catullus was famous for his hate-filled poems in Ancient Rome. In fact, in one of his other poems, Catullus threatens Asinius Marrucinus and says that he will write “300 hendecasyllabic verses…[if Marrucinus does not] send back the napkin” (Poem 12). This threat is merely the Ancient Roman way of saying ‘I’m going to publicly embarrass you by creating something’.

So, while the Romans lived in the Ancient World, and we live in a more modern one, human instincts have not changed. If you want to defame someone, it’s quite probably that you would create something, whether it’s a rumor, poem, or diss track. Human instinct has not changed much, and we still do the same things, but in a more complicated way (making a poem is easier than making a music video).

Luminara Candles

Recently, I’ve taken up a challenge for this winter season: invest no money into a product (or an idea, company, etc) and profit from it. The reason why I have taken this project up is because my main interests include social entrepreneurship as well as helping others. I’m working with my school’s Director of Security on this project, and we are donating all of our profits to an organization that gives gifts to impoverished families. Fortunately, my mentor has a friend who works with QVC. QVC sells home products, as well as luxury products for homes. Luckily for us, QVC overestimated the amount of Luminara candles that would be sold in their stores. Because of this, they need to liquidate their inventory of Luminara candles; this means that anyone who has access to the candles can buy them for a cheaper price than the initial retail price. Luminara candles are electronic candles that can be controlled with a remote and give off an authentic vibe; they look as if they’re flickering. And, to top that all off, these candles were designed by Disney to use in their Haunted Mansion because real candles bring the risk of burning the attraction down. Luminara sells their candles in both different colors and different sizes. The prices for these candles can range from twenty to fifty dollars. So yeah, that’s one of the projects that I have taken up, and if it goes well, we’ll have been able to donate at least 2,100 (US) dollars to that charity. How does all of this relate to Latin and the rest of my blog? Basically, the word lux, lucis in Latin means light. Because of that, I can make an educated guess and guess that Luminara comes from the word illuminate, which means to “make lucid; throw light on” (Dictionary.com). The word illuminate comes from luminatus, which comes from the verb luminare. And where does luminare come from? Luminare comes from the Latin noun for light, which is lux, lucis (as discussed earlier). And boom, there’s a connection from Latin straight to my life right now.

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

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.

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.

Felix the Cat

Felix the Cat is considered to be the first (popular) animated cartoon. He was created by Otto Messmer, during the Silent Film Era, and was more popular than some of the silent movie actors! Felix was also the first cartoon balloon in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. One of Felix’s main characteristics is having a big smile on his face. In Latin, the word felix is an adjective which means happy and/or blessed.

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.