Posted by Eric » 2 Comments »
here is merriam-webster’s word-of-the-day from august 17, which you will all find interesting, especially the etymological bit:
tartar \TAR-ter\ noun
1 capitalized : a native or inhabitant of a vast historical region in Asia and Eastern Europe roughly extending from the Sea of Japan to the Dnieper
*2 often capitalized : a person of irritable or violent temper
3 : one that proves to be unexpectedly formidable
On the basketball court, Nate was a Tartar whose undisciplined behavior often got him in trouble with the referee.
Did you know?
Originally, their name was “Tatar,” not “Tartar.” Since at least the 1200s, the Tatar people have lived in Asia and Eastern Europe, and they were among the fiercest fighters of the Golden Horde of the Mongols. In the 13th century, they rode with Genghis Khan and became the terror of their day. Their name, “Tatar,” is believed to come from Persian or a Turkic language, but in Europe it was associated with “Tartarus,” the Latin name for the part of Hell reserved for the punishment of the wicked. Because of that association, English speakers began calling the Tatar people “Tartars.” Over time, “tartar” came to be used for anyone considered as ferocious or violent as the Tartar warriors who had once ransacked the ancient world.
*Indicates the sense illustrated in the example sentence.
Posted by Dennis » Add Comment »
And I couldn’t be more excited.
I’m so excited that I’ll actually post today. And here it is …
I was reading Cicero’s First Catilinarian just now and I came across a line that I thought rocked:
“ubinam gentium sumus? in qua urbe uiuimus? quam rem publicam habemus?”
It reminded me of a line in Churchill’s speech following Pearl Harbor:
“What kind of a people do they think we are?”
The story goes that people rose to their feet and applauded for five minute. Now that’s what I call oratory.
Posted by Eric » 4 Comments »
here is an interesting factoid from steven pinker’s ‘the language instinct’ (1994):
‘Chomsky is currently among the ten most-cited writers in all of the humanities (beating out Hegel and Cicero and trailing only Marx, Lenin, Shakespeare, the Bible, Aristotle, Plato, and Freud) and the only living member of the top ten.’
interesting that two commies are among the ten most-cited people EVER by humanities professors.
somone tell me if their experience has been otherwise–but in scholarship on classics, i haven’t come across too many references to chomsky. i’ve found i’m much more likely to happen upon foucault and derrida as the trendiest of all gurus to which one might nod (or, in many cases, offer obeisance).