Tuesday, August 19, 2008

The very short mimes of the snow gods

From Works and Days, a Latin tongue-twister and scribal exercise:

mimi numinum nivium minimi munium nimium vini muniminum imminui vivi minimum volunt

Which is something like, "The very short mimes of the snow gods do not wish at all that the very great burden of distributing the wine of the walls will be lightened in their lifetime." The good blogger Orwhalyus adds that it is "virtually unreadable in Black Letter script." I can imagine.

In a similar vein, I've always liked this line from Ennius: O Tite tute Tati tibi tanta tyranne tulisti! (O you tyrant Titus Tatius, what dreadful things you have brought upon yourself!)

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

Ah ha! Superb! Another datum to add to my collection of interesting word things.

Now that you've brought up this matter, could you explain the five-malo sentence? I think I heard somewhere that there is a Latin sentence:

Malo malo malo malo malo.

(I presume some are long and some are short?)

thanks so much for this... Any other word oddities will be greatly appreciated!

--Dr. Thursday

PS I also buy palindromes, if there are any spares lying around. Hee hee.

Meredith said...

"I prefer to be in a bad apple than with a bad man in badness?"

I think that is stretching things.

Here is the Vicipaedia article:
http://la.wikipedia.org/wiki/Malo_malo_malo_malo

Michael said...

The 'mimes' translation sounds more like the subject line of a spam email!

Kanuut said...

for the five malos the 2 translations given seem to work but my favorite is the 4 malo sentence
because Malo malo malo malo means I would rather be in a ship at sea than a naughty boy in an apple tree.
So its a rhyme in both languages

Kanuut said...

for the five malos the 2 translations given seem to work but my favorite is the 4 malo sentence
because Malo malo malo malo means I would rather be in a ship at sea than a naughty boy in an apple tree.
So its a rhyme in both languages