Latin is defined as the language of ancient Rome and its empire, widely used historically as a language of scholarship and administration.
Latin was originally spoken in Latium, the region of Italy where the city of Rome was founded, and became the dominant language throughout the Roman Empire, and then developed into the Romance languages, including French, Italian, and Spanish.
You most likely acknowledge that you know some Latin phrases, but I bet you know more than you realize. We all know carpe diem means to seize the day. Have you heard of carpe noctem? It, you guessed it, means to seize the night. I dig Latin; these phrases any way tell us to make the most of our time. Good advice, because seizing the day – or night – means to ENJOY our time and make good use of it. (Binge watching The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel certainly counts as carpe-ing no matter when you partake.)
Supposedly Ben Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, and even Teddy Roosevelt were all proficient in Latin. Let me show you that you too can hang with these scholars.
You recognize the following?
Ad infinitum to infinity
Ante bellum before the war
aqua vitae water of life
bona fide good faith
e pluribus unum out of many, one (Boy, do we need to reminded of that one!)
et cetera and the others
mea culpa my fault
modus operandi method of operating (M.O.)
quid pro quo this for that, something for something
rigor mortis stiffness of death
semper fidelis always faithful
The list is long and I imagine now you see that know more Latin than you realized. How about in vino veritas? In wine truth. I don’t want to be a persona non grata, an unwelcome person. I do occasionally offer an hour of coaching pro bono, without charge. I love writing but my magnum opus still awaits, my greatest work or true masterpiece. Words and phrases we use all the time are Latin – status quo, via, vice versa.
My favorites are not all that common perhaps, but I hope my fellow word aficionados (from the Latin root affection, (favorable) disposition toward) will consume and share:
docendo disco, scribendo cogito I learn by teaching, think by writing
incepto ne desistam May I not shrink from my purpose
bono malum superate Overcome evil with good
Let us bene facitis (do good) every day. Make that your sticky note wisdom for today. And let it be written on our hearts, in Latin, in English, in every language: Amor vincit omnia. Love conquers all.
Now go carpe your diem (and your noctem)!