16 December 2019

Howlers (5) ... comments.

I scratched my head a little over nuntium as a neuter sustantive; but it can find some support ... a little ...

And Quaesiverat is often abbreviated to Quaesierat (I supect this is how it was pronounced).

As for the indubitable Howler hortu, I do have a theory. I think it is an example of hyper-correction.

Educated Italians are conscious of the risk of amalgamating the fourth Latin declension with the second, because this is precisely what their own language has done. So they find themselves constantly typing "Sancto Spirito" and then having to correct it to "Sancto Spiritu".

So here, somebody hypercorrected the correct 'horto' to the incorrect 'hortu'.

In languages where the letter H is vulnerable, poor ignorant hypercorrecting people like Catullus's Arrius put an H in where it is not supposed to be. Similarly, they are nervous about betraying their illiteracy by saying "Tom and me are going to the chipper"; so nervous that, even where "Tom and me" is required by English grammar (e.g. "he was very rude to Tom and me") they hypercorrect and erroneously say "He was very rude to Tom and I" ... ...  poor ignorant things! They will even admit that they somehow can't get out of their minds the idea that "Tom and I " just "sounds right"! Such is the power of incompetent nannies and thoroughly bad teachers!! And the terrible, ghastly, desire to sound genteel! Better to sound Rustic than Genteel, sez I.

I suspect that it was hypercorrection which led the old, correct version of a place-name five miles south of here to mutate, in the early modern period, from the historically and philologically correct 'Abendon' to the incorrect 'Abingdon' under the influence of all the other place-names where rustic tongues had carelessly modified -ing to -en'.

Going back to that poor daft preface: theologically, a thorough-going up-to-date Bergoglian would, of course, have to change the final bit to "ad mundi fines, Israele scilicet excepto, perveniret". Sometimes, familiar phraseology survives changes which have happened in realpolitik. I noticed, somewhere in Jane Austen ... or was it in Maria Edgeworth ... a character referring to "the three kingdoms" when, of course, technically England and Scotland disappeared in 1707, and Ireland had gone by 1801, them all being replaced in law by the constitutional entity which is now shaved down to "the Yewkay". Likewise, with all the old formulas still potent just behind our tongues, we forget the heterodox Bergoglian orthodoxy according to which the Jews are not allowed to have saving Faith in Christ our Redeemer. And so we continue to use, unmodified, *silly old outmoded biblical phrases like "preaching the Gospel to all nations".

Perhaps we shall have corrected our instincts by the time we get to the Pontificate of S Frances XII, goddess bless her.

*Trigger warning here about the imminence of unAmerican Irony.

3 comments:

Andreas Meszaros said...

... ac prima adoraverat a mortuis resurgentem ...

Nescio si verum sit Mariam primam adoravisse a mortuis resugentem: scribit enim Sanctus Hieronymus in ep. LIX Ad Marcellam:

Quia (Maria Magdalene) Dominum hortulanum putabat et quasi cum homine loquebatur et quaerebat viventem cum mortuis, recte audivit "Noli me tangere" (Joan. 20. 17). Et est sensus: "Non mereris meis haerere vestigiis nec adorare quasi Dominum nec ejus tenere pedes, quem non existimas surrexisse. Tibi enim necdum ascendi ad Patrem meum. Caeterae vero mulieres, (1) quae pedes tangunt, Dominum confitentur et merentur ejus haerere vestigiis, quem ad Patrem ascendisse confidunt."

(1) In Matthaeo 28:9 scriptum sit, quod ad vestigia Salvatoris mulieres corruerint.

Scribe said...

I shall be long gone before St Frances XII becomes Pope, but your mention of her prompts me to echo what some people I know claim to be a fact, namely, that when Pope St John Paul II declared that it was impossible for women to become priests, he was speaking from the Apostolic Throne. But what if he wasn't? When we are all dust, might some enthusiastic Vatican III declare that he was wrong, and let the ladies in? Just asking. The decision to do so in the Anglican Church led to all kinds of horrors, which so far we RCs have been spared.

stephen cooper said...

Off topic, sort of, but considering your indulgence in prognostications on this post, and the relevance of this post to the always important questions of accurate Latin, and knowing, as one knows, that the next great feast to be added to the Roman Calendar might possibly be "The Re-Dedication of St Peter's Basilica in Rome", maybe - and I am not asking for any specific help ---- maybe you and your friends might consider composing some possible collects for that almost inevitable future feast.

Might I suggest a few words from the Book of Daniel or the more hopeful verses from the prison Epistles of Saint Paul as the place to start?