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Latin

Lingua Ratina!

"Lingua Ratina!"
"Ratin!"

Cute:



Veterni isn't a Latin verb, though.

Explanation:

veni, vidi, vici

Dear Academics (et al.) Who Like to Make Jokes at Classicists' Expense:

I understand the urge to parody things in Latin, especially Caesar's little quip - hell, Cicero started us off in the Pro Ligario, so we can even cite ancient precedent. When done well, it can be quite funny, and I always enjoy a laugh at Caesar's (or Cicero's) expense.

What I do not appreciate is when, in your attempt to come up with a funny substitute for "vici", you end up with an actual Latin word you did not mean. Case in point.

The English is funny; the Latin is not.

Veterni is either the vocative/nominative, masculine plural or the genitive, masculine/neuter singular form of the adjective veternus, -a, -um, "old" or "ancient"; alternatively, it is the genitive form of the masculine noun veternus, -i, "old age" or "lethargy" (as brought by old age or sickness). The adjective may be used substantivally (on a completely unrelated note: why does Google not recognize that word?), but veterni, in whatever form, is not a verb. Ever. One cannot simply go around sticking an -i at the end of a recognizable stem (English or Latin) and hope that it looks like a first person singular perfect. More to the point, the joke is no longer funny if you "make up" an actual word in the language you are trying to parody.

Well, one could think of veterni as the perfect of a denominative verb veterno, veternare, "engage in lethargy-related things," that is, "take a nap." The irregular perfect form could be something like what is seen in iuvo, iuvare, iuvi!

It's Ratin, but it's still rationalization-able!

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Sailor Saturn/Hotaru Tomoe

November 2013

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