So yesterday I was submitting an RSVP for a birthday gathering which I will be attending tomorrow. Following the pattern set by the other guests, I included an acceptance message written in a foreign language. As Ancient Greek loses that oh-so-impressive quality when transliterated I chose to post my response in Latin:
accedam bibamque ut Carrollium honorem. gaudeamus igitur! biberemus!
Translation: I will come and drink so that I may honor Carroll. Therefore let us rejoice! Let us drink!
Translation of the translation: Woo hoo! Party! Party!
Nine words (including the -que conjunction). Nine. How long did it take me to construct that clever little piece of smart assery?
Oh, about forty-five minutes.
Noooo! But… but… I have a degree! A degree in Latin! No, really! Why are you laughing like that?
Right about now the Classics Degree Police are pulling up in front of my office to repossess my degree. They’re going to strip me of that little piece of paper and my name shall be stricken from the roles of Classicists. That’s right. They’re going to give me the Damnatio Memoriae. The big DM. All because I had to spend forty-five minutes trying to remember and look up how to form the first person singular future active indicative of a third conjugation verb. And let’s not even talk about those subjunctives. Declining a proper name? *shudder* At least that “gaudeamus igitur” I was able to crib from a Tom Lehrer song.
Yeah, I’m feeling pretty damn pathetic. Thank God I decided against the Greek. That sort of shame could haunt me for weeks.