18 February 2017

Sic Semper Stultus

My favorite Latin phrase is: 

Quod Erat Demonstrandum 

Often abbreviated as QED and roughly translating to "What was to be demonstrated," it serves as a somewhat more obtuse way of saying, "I rest my case." after someone inadvertently proves your point or otherwise makes your case for you. It's probably best known to fans of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy and its use of a small, yellow, leech-like fish capable of translating any and all languages to whoever sticks one in their ear as proof for the non-existence of God. Speaking of which...

My second favorite Latin phrase is: 

Ex Falso Quodlibet 

EFQ is sometimes written as Ex Contradictione Sequitur Quodlibet, and while we could have a fair debate as to whether or not "Falso/Falsehood" and "Contradictione/contradiction" are synonymous, we'll say for the sake of simplicity that it means, "From bullshit, anything is possible." It typically gets used in religious discussions; If virgin births are unquestionably legitimate, why would buried metal books written by gods and/or aliens be unbelievable? Speaking of things that should be unbelievable...

My third favorite Latin phrase is only a word:

Sic

Technically, it's short for Sic Erat Scriptum, but the important part is the first word, which merely means "thus," its full translation being "thus it was written." It's used to identify errors in the source material for a quote, a notable example being Will Rogers' famous quote, "I joked about every prominent man of my time, but I never met a man I dident [sic] like." I first heard of it from an English professor who pointed out how reports of a certain public figure's inability to distinguish the words "desecration" and "defecation" in an email response to a certain newspaper's accusations of alcoholism, well... QED. This three letter word, sometimes mistaken for an acronym (spelled in context/spelling is correct), is what prompted me to write this entry, though I'd been meaning to write a longer, more in-depth piece exploring the Principle of Explosion (another name for EFQ). While out getting groceries, I was behind a car with a frame around its rear license plate: 

"The Best Mom's Are Promoted to Grammy"

... guess where the "sic" goes. 

Excelsior, true believers.
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