Dannie's weekly bulletin will indeed carry a regular feature about the Latin language (see PL's post of July 10).
The title of Dannie's failed self-rehabilitation effort has, however, metastasized from "Latin Hiding in Plain Sight" to "Latin for You," which promises to enrich Gerties with "20 Phrases for Daily Life" at what looks like a rate of two phrases per appearance. As with all Wee Dan's ploys to convince his cultlings he's not the ignoramus we've shown him to be, we'll use his series to demonstrate he's every bit the untutored boob we say he is — and worse.
However, before that, indulge us as we point something out: the two paragraphs Dimwit Dan chose for his Aug. 7 bulletin were lifted — cut-and-pasted is more like it —verbatim without appropriate attribution from a mental_floss blog post by Paul Anthony Jones. (Click here and then compare that gentleman's first two pieces with the entries on Dannie's last page found here.)
It's obvious that the $GG strangers to academic standards harbor no respect for intellectual property rights. In addition, their failure to give credit to Mr. Jones provides another witness to malformation in moral theology. Even more telling, their necessary recourse to out-and-out plagiarism from the Web betrays the poverty of their personal resources as well as of their imagination. Less obviously, this disgraceful literary pilferage confirms once more the cult masters' abject unfamiliarity with basic Latin grammar, as we'll presently show.
In explaining his second adage, Mr. Jones writes (and Dannie's bulletin unashamedly apes):
A man described as barba tenus sapientes is literally said to be "wise as far as his beard"—or, in other words, he might look intelligent but he’s actually far from it.Mr. Jones, a writer and musician, does not (apparently) claim to be a Latinist. Therefore, we can easily pardon his not knowing that sapientes is plural, so the word could never refer to A man. That being the case, an accurate translation is not "wise as far as his beard" but rather something like "sages as far as the beard." Now if the cult masters knew Latin, they would have cured the infelicity by fixing Mr. Jones's explanation.
But, then, if Dannie and Co. knew Latin, there would've been no need to purloin another man's work. The cult masters could've supplied 20 adages of their own, perhaps by consulting Catholic authors. Better yet, they might have chosen effata from their own commonplace books (if, that is, they had received a formal, classical education, where the practice is encouraged).
Had PL had been invited to contribute to Dannie's series, the Readers would've suggested Canis in praesepi ("dog in the manger") as a phrase the groveling Gerties should be using. It's eminently apropos because it perfectly characterizes Wee Dan's behavior a few years ago, when he meddled in the affairs of distant French traditionalists in Chambéry. Without a regular priest to serve their small chapel, they engaged a man who had challenged His Dubiety during the $GG School Scandal. That was too much for pay-back Dannie. Although he couldn't staff the chapel with a valid, residential priest, he nonetheless determined to prevent the community from keeping the good man they had found.
Under coercion, the weakling laity, to their eternal shame, asked the priest to return to his native country. The only good news is that Wee Dan's savage triumph over the consciences of others was short lived: A while later, the collaborationist French "priest" who enabled Dannie to pressure those gutless laymen broke with "One Hand." Now, thank goodness, the Wee One's out of France, and the French are out of his malicious reach.* Sadder but wiser, they learned the perils of associating with ill-educated American spoilsports.
Now that's the kind of worldly wisdom that can't be faked by exterior signs!
In fact, the testimonies bring to mind a pearl of Latin sagacity from Cicero, which the cultlings should apply diligently to their daily cult life: Posteriores enim cogitationes, ut aiunt, sapientiores solent esse, "to be sure, second thoughts, as they say, are usually wiser."
* If the cult masters had also asked us to contribute an adage of our own invention, we'd have submitted the following to describe all the posturing kingpins of the U.S. bishop (?)-led cults : Mitra tenus praesulastri, which we freely render, with some assistance from Tennyson, as "mountebanks with no more sign of prelacy than a miter."