No news from me. Days at home pass by harmoniously, picturesquely and without need for comment. I have all the sunsets and stars I could want and my gentle translation targets, daily achieved, leave me with warm, undeserved feelings of satisfaction. All good and dull, then. So instead, I have here a brief – I won’t call it a rant, because I don’t think it is – comment on how I am much more out of step with general opinion than I realised.
I belong to a ‘useless facts’ community on livejournal. I’ve not been on the internets much recently, but I read a post there today informing members what AM and PM stood for. Now I know I’m an elitist classicist, but how on earth do you not know that? Didn’t you think to find out, when you first learnt to use it? We’re hardly talking irrelevant dead language stuff here. I don’t get fussy about much in this area, perhaps being the only one of my family who wouldn’t comment on ‘PIN numbers’ or ‘ATM machines’: general usage and habit says this tautology is okay, I figure. But AM and PM is not okay. AM and PM is basic.
On the other hand, admitting ignorance is always better than trying to fake it. I was more dismayed to find in the Times today (in the TV section, but still, Times!) the use of ‘cognoscenti’ for ‘those in the know’. As in, “to the cognoscenti among us…”. Really, people not knowing Latin is dandy but people sticking the cactus -i onto any Latin word is going too far. This isn’t how it works, dudes. If you can’t do it right in Latin, then for the love of everything holy and grammatical, do not tresspass. You don’t need to know Latin to be taken seriously, honest. Own your English vocabulary. Make the most of your rich, bountiful native tongue and go buy a thesaurus.
For anyone who doesn’t know and is interested (really? anyone?), the adjective cognoscens is third declension, because adjectives coined from participles (IE ‘being –‘) always are. The verb is ‘cognosco’, ‘I know’, whence English cognate, incognito, recognise. The singular participle is ‘cognoscens’, ‘knowing’ and the plural would be cognoscentes. (EG, singular testis to plural testes, with authorial apologies for that being the only example she can currently think of.)
Anyway. Now that that’s out of my system, I should go find something more useful to do. I’m not sure if sleep counts, but it’s probably a good idea.