On the name of this Collegium

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On the name of this Collegium

Postby A. Gratius Avitus on Thu Jul 06, 2006 6:18 pm

Avitus collegis optimis suís S·P·D

I'm just writing briefly, as an accomplished Latin philologist, to advise you that the name of this collegium as it now stands in the Forum Index, namely "Collegium Vitae Quotidianae", contains a substandard spelling explicitly condemned as "frigida" and "inepta" by Quintilianus (Inst. 1,7,6 Frigidiora ... alia, ut ... "quotidie" non "cotidie", ut sit "quotdiebus": verum haec jam etiam inter ipsas ineptias evanuerunt), and in order to deserve the admiration of the best Latin speakers for the intellectual quality of its business should be immediately corrected to "Collegium Vitae Cotidianae". Thank you ever so much for your attention.

Curate ut valeatis optime!
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Postby A. Gratius Avitus on Mon Jul 10, 2006 1:57 pm

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Since I am a most recent member of these forums and have not yet had the time to see to my registration as a sodalis (nor will I have until the end of August, when I come back from my holidays starting on Thursday), and as a consequence cannot participate in the Comitia where the debate, which *I* brought up, seems to have been moved, and thus removed from my own participation in it (and someone said there was no politicking in the SVR), I will add my comments here in the respective forums where I started the discussion.

Scerio wrote:Also, I personally dislike Quintilian for his inability to recognize Lucretius as the greatest Latin poet of all time, favoring the cliche "Vergil". Quot* v. cot* was one of those archaicizing features that I love that never returned after the QV v. C shift (cf. cum/quom, cur/quor etc...). In all honesty, it would be better Latin to change it.

Another difference was cottid* v. cotid*, the former preferred by Plautus, Nepos, Sallust, and Pliny the Elder, while the latter clearly preferred by Cicero and the majority of Roman authors. So, my vote goes to cotidiane.


Certainly Lucretius is one of my favourite poets and philosophers, but I think that disliking Quintilian, one of the greatest philologists of all time, on that account is a bit rash. I'm happy though to see that you have enough familiarity with the Latin language to understand that the best standard of spelling for that word is with c and single t.

Aldus wrote:But I don't agree with him about everything; and in the matter of cot- versus quot-, I am vindicated by history. It is the version "quotidian", not "cotidian", that has survived the centuries to grace our present day.

Latin evolves. Any attempt to completely standardize it is like pinning a butterfly to a wall; the thing is preserved, yes--but it becomes static, losing the very qualities that made it alive and a thing of beauty. This is my chief quarrel with the grammarians, ancient as well as present-day; they want everything to be consistent, to the exclusion of any influences of time, place, or personality. I have posted extensively on this in the Collegium Linguarum Antiquarum: Latin will not truly live until it is allowed to play in the street and get grass-stains on its jeans now and again.


Again, my cherished Aldus, you are trying to teach me what I very well know. I am perfectly aware, and ever so happy, that Latin evolves. I think I clearly stated that I am a firm supporter of living Latin, and how on earth could we speak Latin today without the whole lore of vocabulary from medieval philosophy or from 17th century science or if we didn't allow for "aeroplanum", "radiophonia", "metropolitana", "relativitas", and many other even more recent neologic developments? I am also all for letting Latin go out to play in the streets. What a wonderful idea! But that doesn't mean that there are no standards. Getting our jeans dirty one day doesn't mean that we won't wash them ever again in order to be able to use them anew in the future. If that were the case, then we could say that Italian is Latin, and that Interlingua is Latin too, so let's just talk that. No. Latin is Latin, and it has its own undeniable standards. And, under those standards, the better spelling is "cotidianum" and the worse is "quotidianum", however much the latter has passed on to English.

Aldus wrote:We are already scratching our heads to find a different and more "transparent" name for the CollVQ, one that will tell the novice and the newcomer what it's about. Must we make things more difficult for most of them by presenting the name it has in an archaic spelling, even though preferred?


If we don't want newcomers to scratch their heads, let's put the names of the colleges in English and end of the story. If we put them in Latin, let it be good Latin.

Cleopatra wrote:I also prefer Marius' spelling of "quotidian" instead of "cotidian". The first looks more familiar to me, more Latin to my taste, while the latter resembles more Spanish.


This argument is all the sadder because it's tremendously widespread; but it's unacceptable, I'm sorry to say. Leaving aside whether philological judgement should or not be a matter of "taste", is it then the case that, if something resembles Spanish, then that must surely be bad Latin!? And, if it "looks" familiar to someone because it looks like English, then that's much better?! Let's then delete from the Latin language all those plurals: montes, nubes, flores, ... they surely are bad Latin because they are perfect Spanish and don't look like English at all ;-).

Curate ut valeatis optime!
Last edited by A. Gratius Avitus on Mon Jul 10, 2006 8:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Q Valerius on Mon Jul 10, 2006 7:55 pm

Certainly Lucretius is one of my favourite poets and philosophers, but I think that disliking Quintilian, one of the greatest philologists of all time, on that account is a bit childish.

Try jocular. ;)

And serious - did nobody read what I had to say about quot* v. cot*? I laid the evidence out on the table. Cot* is clearly to be preferred.

(Oddly enough, Chambers-Murray prefers cott* instead...)
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Postby A. Gratius Avitus on Tue Jul 11, 2006 10:24 am

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Dearest Scerio, perhaps my only supporter here and certainly the one who seems to be able to display the clearest thinking, I notice that the alternative "Collegium Vitae Hodiernae" has been proposed elsewhere (well, someone proposed Collegium Vita Hodierna, which is more than dubious). I would just like to point out that that would mean that the college deals with "today's life" or, in other words, "modern life" if you like. That would seem to have no connexion with Roman daily life, but only with our own. "Everyday life" remains "Vita Cotidiana". Thanks always.

Cura ut valeas optime!
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Postby Q Valerius on Tue Jul 11, 2006 11:07 am

As a matter of fact, you are correct. I wasn't thinking when I proposed using Hodierna (which would have become Collegium Vitae Hodiernae) instead. Blast that English language for convulating my thinking.
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Misunderstanding...?

Postby Aldus Marius on Tue Jul 11, 2006 9:32 pm

Care Avite,

I did not propose naming the College "Vita Hodierna". I asked Scerio amicus whether that would be the right declension.

Please consider the context of a remark before ascribing actions to people.

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Re: Misunderstanding...?

Postby A. Gratius Avitus on Wed Jul 12, 2006 1:33 am

Avitus Aldo S

Aldus Marius wrote:I did not propose naming the College "Vita Hodierna".
Please consider the context of a remark before ascribing actions to people.


Please tell me where on my message (which has not been edited) am I ascribing anything to anyone.

Aldus Marius wrote:I asked Scerio amicus whether that would be the right declension.


I see.

Cura ut valeas!
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