in Bad Latin

Bad Latin: Library Edition

I only just now spotted this item about a library in New Jersey:

Officials had thought the phrase “Nos Secundus Coniecto Omnia” meant “we confirm all things twice.” But it actually means “we second-guess all.”

It doesn’t mean that. It doesn’t strictly mean anything by itself since the phrase was written in English and the Latin seems to result from a quick search through the back of a pocket dictionary.

Since coniecto is 1st person singular, the subject is “I” and must agree with the nominative singular secundus, which is best taken adverbially (rather than, say, “I’m the second one to conjecture”).

The verb can take an accusative/infinitive construction, which is the only way to make sense of nos and omnia.

So if it meant anything, it would be (something like) this:

I successfully conjecture that we are everything.

(The translation of secundus is generous, and could be made more nonsensical or more damning.)

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