?

Log in

No account? Create an account
Latin

Quidquid Latine Dictum EST

"Quidquid Latine Dictum EST"
"What IS Said In Latin"

You have probably seen this Latin quotation before:

Quidquid latine dictum sit, altum videtur.
(Whatever is said in Latin seems profound.)

Well, it's wrong, or at least it is not optimal. it should be this:

Quidquid latine dictum est, altum videtur.

There is no reason at all here to use the subjunctive sit instead of the indicative est. See Bradley's Arnold Latin Prose Composition, section 364, or Gildersleeve's Latin Grammar, sections 254.4 and 625. (Of course, someone could cite a passage that uses a subjunctive verb with quidquid, but such a construction is not the norm.)

In the Aeneid, the Trojan priest Laocoön said:

Quidquid id est, timeo Danaos et dona ferentis.
(Whatever it is, I fear the Danaans, even when bringing gifts.)

He did not say:

Quidquid id sit, timeo Danaos et dona ferentis.

As it stands, Quidquid latine dictum sit, altum videtur means something like "Whatever could possibly be said in Latin seems profound," but that is not what people are trying to say, nor is that the translation normally given.
Tags:

Comments

Sailor Saturn/Hotaru Tomoe

November 2013

S M T W T F S
     12
3456789
10111213141516
17181920212223
24252627282930

Tags

Powered by LiveJournal.com