Now for today's exciting post.....
Ignorance is an evil weed, which dictators may cultivate among their dupes... 1st Baron Beveridge
We never tire of exposing how alienated from the authentic world of scholarship and the Latin language the malformed cult masters are. Together with dubiety of one-handed conferral of priestly orders, it's our favorite meme. Consequently, it's always a pleasure when others highlight the gruesome twosome's moronic errors.
To date, we've received five e-mails gleefully pointing out a Latin-spelling goof in the short letter "One-Hand Dan" addressed to seven of the priests who signed the September 1990 ad cautelam missive warning him of the fearful doubt stalking his priestly orders. Click here and go to page 5 of 5. There you'll see the Latin term-of-art status questionis (sic!), lit. "state of the question or investigation," meaning the chief learned opinions concerning an area of inquiry. As our correspondents observed, the correct spelling -- the spelling of trained and true Catholic priests in the modern era (and of secular scholars from many different disciplines) -- is quaestionis, with ae (or the ligature æ), never e (as found in some medieval texts).
We can't imagine a first-year student's making such a blunder, let alone someone who intimates to Traddielandia that he was "canonically fit" for holy orders. It's rank amateurism at its worst: trying to impress with a Latin tag and then misspelling it! LOL
To complement the wry, critical comments we received about Dannie's orthographic boo-boo, we thought we'd share with everybody a much more serious lapse of academic good sense in the same set of documents. In his reply to the superior of the SSPV (page 1 of 5, 2nd paragraph, in the above link), Deacon Dan ruefully taunted, "...you and your clergy now trump up charges that I am doubtfully ordained and may not really be a priest. Suave conatum, sed havanum non datum. Nice try, but no cigar."
Despite a pronounced reek of what the French call latin de cuisine, we're not going to comment on the Latinity of the slavishly literal translation of Dannie's variation on the popular American expression "close, but no cigar" -- or is that Tony Baloney's smarmy voice we hear there? As a specimen of callow, adolescent snark, it's O.K., we suppose, especially with the jingling homoeoteleuton. (We must, however, vigorously protest suave.*) Nonetheless -- and this is crucial -- the effort does not rise to the level of mature academic wit, nor does it embody scholarly best practice.
A well-schooled, real scholar with a university-educated taste refined at an accredited graduate school would have first chosen a genuine and idiomatic Latin phrase -- preferably a notable one -- that captured the sense of "nice try -- or 'close' --, but no cigar." He then could have offered the vivid, U.S.-pop-culture saying as the rendering for the Latin original. As a result, Wee Dan's rebuke would have sparkled with class, perhaps (dare we say?) even with professional élan.
As it stands, the riposte is merely crass and gauche, for literally translating 20th-century American, colloquial English into Latin results in a jarring anachronism, to say the least. There's no cross-cultural interplay and hence no wit. What we have before our offended eyes is a Midwestern-American vulgarian swaddled in a ragged beach towel, who insists that we believe he's wearing a toga. Not even close!
Let's show you what we mean. First, for our many readers from abroad, "nice try (or 'close'), but no cigar" is a colorful way of saying almost, but not quite. It characterizes an attempt that comes near to succeeding but fails to attain the sought-after object. Right off the bat, without even recalling the texts of classical authors, we thought of the familiar Latin phrase proxime accessit, "he came very near [to winning the prize]."
The expression is found all over the Web and in popular reference books like Stone's Latin for the Illiterati , Ehrlich's The Harper Dictionary of Foreign Terms, and the New Shorter Oxford English Dictionary. In modern English, proxime accessit is a noun-phrase from the 19th century meaning a runner-up, i.e., someone who comes in second place for an award, a prize, or a scholarship, etc. It's perfectly classical Latin, for the idiom proxime accedere is found in ancient authors.
If Dubious Dan (and his blundering wing-man) had been formally educated under credentialed professors, the Dirtbag could simply have changed the grammatical person of the verb to the second person singular (he was addressing his career-long nemesis, the louche and disapproving superior of the SSPV): "Proxime accessisti -- Nice try, but no cigar," with the American expression amplifying the Latin to drive home the truth that a failure remains a failure. A deliciously snide opportunity to tweak an intimidating adversary lost to an untutored nitwit!
Now, already from the deepest, dirtiest corners of Trad cyberspace we can hear snarling, bark-like, spittle-laced protests that Pistrina's sinfully beating up on the deliriously mediocre Ren and Stimpy of Tradistan, who can never recover from their severely deficient formation.
Cross our hearts! That's not what this is about.
We've already exposed the manifold and irremediable educational and cultural failings of Dannie and Checkie as well as those of that gas-bag Big Don. The issue is settled forever; even the cultlings (grudgingly) admit it. No, this is about something else. This isn't a futile exercise in dead-horse whipping:
It's a reminder to the innocent, traditional Catholic laity who aren't enslaved by the SW-Ohio and Swampland cult-cabal.
You see, the cash-starved cult kings have resumed trying to lure the faithful away from competing traditional chapels under the pretext that the priests and bishops of those chapels haven't the requisite training. That's why it's important for future innocent victims of their guile to know that Dannie, Tony Baloney, and Big Don don't possess the requisite knowledge and preparation either.
So, then ... when the twisted, mammonite clergy dupe the next simple-minded, barely literate, low-life-trash-pot lay stooge into undermining a rival chapel by spreading the blundering "seminary professor's" misinformation about "invalidity" and "unfitness," the faithful can take it all addito salis grano ("with a pinch of salt").
The underlying cognitive meaning of suavis, suave is agreeable or pleasant to the senses or to the mind and emotions. Suavis is chiefly said of sensations -- touch, taste, sound, sight, smell and, by extension, the character of persons. An able writer educated at a real university knows you can't just look up the word nice in an English-Latin dictionary and pick the first gloss you see (or recognize): you first have to know the sense in your own language before choosing the right Latin word to represent in translation the English meaning (assuming, that is, you also know what the Latin options denote).
That's all too much for the educationally challenged cult masters, who apparently have no notion of polysemy. No one should pay attention to what these ill-trained buffoons say about anything. They fell flat on their smirking faces 25 years ago, and they keep on stumbling over their ignorance today. The only difference is they've moved from blundering in Latin to bungling theology.