Spanish query

I would be most grateful if anyone could help me out with a Spanish idiom, an expression appearing in a discussion of torture from the late 18th Century. The author says that he regards torture as being a 'proof not of the truth' but.. '(permítaseme esta expresión) una prueba de bomba judicial'. What is he meaning to say?

A very strange Etruscan inscription

Chiusi is a small town in Italy (province of Siena, Tuscany). And once it was one of the most powerful centers of the Etruscan League of 12 cities. The Latins called this city Clusium.

The land in these places keeps many monuments of the Etruscan civilization. One of them is the Tomba della Tassinara or Tassinaia (literally "Tomb of Tassinara").

Getting into this tomb is quite difficult. This is private property.

However, if you still manage to get here, then pay attention to the Etruscan inscription on the left at the entrance on the shield. Here it is, but already rewritten in Latin letters from left to right and divided into words:


English translation:



Rainbow spots appear on wet pavement after rain. This thin layer of gasoline, being unable to dissolve in water, "plays" in the sunlight with our sensations. And we are seeing all the colors of the rainbow, whimsically spreading on the surface of the water. The physicist will say, "This is the interference of light." But I'm not a physicist.

For me, as a linguist, this is a model of the world language. Not languages, but one language, the one language of mankind. Just as gasoline “plays with light” on the surface of the water, so does the single language which plays with our feelings on the surface of the Earth. We clearly feel different languages and our consciousness refuses to believe that, in fact, it is the same language that is being refracted. The language of the voice, the language of the tongue in the mouth.

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Learning basic Latin while reading Horace

Salvete! A bit of shameless self-promotion by academic precariat, hope it's fine with you guys. We invite you to our Slow Horace Mondays. Supposedly, at some point in the late 40ies or, more likely, early 30ies of the first century BCE a party of travellers, consisting of some of the most prominent poets of the time – Horace himself and Virgil among others – and their patron, Maecenas, embarked on a way to the ancient transport hub of Brundisium on an important political mission. The travel that, for some of its participants, started at Rome, with others joining the party later en route, lasted anywhere from 12 to 17 days, and its events were compressed by Horace in 104 lines of his famous 5th satire of the first book (Serm. 1,5), often referred to as Iter Brundisinum. So starting from September 19 we are going to join Horace in his travels and dis volentibus make it to finis chartaeque viaeque (‘end of the tale and the way’) in 14 online meetings of close reading and commenting of the original. No previous knowledge of Latin required - we will be covering the basics of Latin from scratch as we go. The goal of this mini-course apart from having fun is an introduction to Latin while reading a fascinating original text full of vivid details of everyday life in Ancient Rome. It is, however, advised to read the Satire in English before considering whether to join us to make sure that it does not contain anything that you might not feel comfortable listening to during a zoom meeting (NB there will be a private recording for people who can’t make it Mondays, so if it bothers you please join under assumed name and switch off your camera). What we offer in a typical meeting:
- Detailed vocabulary and grammatical commentary to the text (written materials) in advance of each 90 minute session
- A brief talk on a subject related to the lines we will be reading, be it an introduction to the culinary realia (roasting blackbirds or rather thrushes in line 72) or what the magnae res (the important political business that lines 28-29 are alluding to) might possibly be
- Some fun grammar and vocabulary practice, made as accessible as possible
- In-depth person-place-profession commentary; discussion of the text’s literary models; etc.
- Roman visuals (plenty of mosaics, wall-paintings etc.)
- Actual reading – very close and slow (about 7 lines per class)
- Answers to your questions :)

Who are we? Antonina Kalinina is an independent researcher based in Oxford, teacher of Latin, author of a monograph on Porphyrio's commentary to Horace. Sasha Grigorieva is an independent researcher (Classics and Food History) and teacher of Latin based in Helsinki. Her article on Roman mosaics has been recently published by Bloomsbury .
When? Zoom sessions Mondays 8-9.30 pm Oxford time from September 19 to December 19, 2022.
How to join and how much? Please email me at, pm me, or contact me via telegram @gasterea). If you really can’t afford to pay but want to join we have reserved a couple of free places (first come, first serve). Any people from Ukraine wishing to join join free (no limit).

'Banned' Expressions For 2022?

Are you guilty of saying “wait, what?” when you hear something surprising?

What about jumping on the trend of “asking for friend” when everyone, including yourself, knows it’s for you?

If a US university had its way, those words would be banned in 2022.

Lake Superior State University in Michigan has compiled an annual banished words list since 1976 to “uphold, protect, and support excellence in language”.

While last year most of the words were Covid-related, this time around it was colloquial language that was most criticised. Not great news for us Aussies!

The nominations of what words to ban came from within the US, but also Norway, Belgium, England, Scotland, Canada and Australia. Most were shunned for overuse.

“Most people speak through informal discourse. Most people shouldn’t misspeak through informal discourse. That’s the distinction nominators far and wide made, and our judges agreed with them,” the university’s executive director of marketing and communications Peter Szatmary said.

LSSU president Dr Rodney Hanley said every year submitters suggested what words and terms to banish by paying close attention to what humanity utters and writes.

“Taking a deep dive at the end of the day and then circling back make perfect sense. Wait, what?” he joked.

Here is the list of banished words.

1. Wait, what?

This ubiquitous imperative question is a failed “response to a statement to express astonishment, misunderstanding, or disbelief,” one nominator said.

“I don’t want to wait,” said another.

2. No worries

This phrase was nominated for misuse and overuse, for being an incorrect substitute for “you’re welcome”.

“If I’m not worried, I don’t want anyone telling me not to worry,” a contributor said.

LSSU notes that despite its “meaninglessness”, the term is recommended to emailers by Google Assistant.

3. At the end of the day

Twenty-plus years after original banishment of this phrase in 1999, the day still isn’t over for this misused, overused, and useless expression, LSSU said.

“Many times things don’t end at the end of the day — or even the ramifications of whatever is happening,” one person said.

Others considered “day” an imprecise measure. Today? Present times?

4. That being said

Nominators claimed this phrase was a verbal filler, redundant justification, and pompous posturing.

“Go ahead and say what you want already!” one entrant said.

5. Asking for a friend

This funny saying was banned for misuse and overuse through deceit — because the friend is a ruse.

This cutesy phrase, often deployed in social media posts in a coy attempt to deter self-identification, isn’t fooling anyone, LSSU said.

6. Circle back

Let’s circle back about why to banish this jargon. It’s a conversation, not the Winter Olympics, LSSU said.

A grammarian said it was “the most overused phrase in business, government, or other organisation since synergy”.

The university banished the word synergy in 2002 as evasive blanket terminology and smartypants puffery.

7. Deep dive

“The only time to dive into something is when entering a body of water, not going more in-depth into a particular subject or book,” a nominator said.

Another asked if the word deep was necessary. “I mean, does anyone dive into the shallow end?” they said.

8. New normal

It wasn’t as if Covid-related words didn’t get any mention this year.

“Those clamouring for the days of old, circa 2019, use this to signal unintentionally that they haven’t come to terms with what ‘normal’ means,” one person said.

“After a couple of years, is any of this really new?” said another.

9. You’re on mute

Ah we’ve all been through this one. You’d think it would have banished on its own, but the need still pops up from time to time.

LSSU banished it for overuse and uselessness, then, due to ineptitude.

“We’re two years into remote working and visiting. It’s time for everyone to figure out where the mute button is,” a nominator said.

10. Supply chain

Word-watchers noticed the frequent, unfortunate appearance of this phrase toward the end of this year as the coronavirus persisted, LSSU said.

“Supply chain issues have become the scapegoat of everything that doesn’t happen or arrive on time and of every shortage,” said a nominator.

Being Australian, of course I use the expression 'No Worries'... to not do so is, frankly, un-Australian. Use of alternatives like 'You're welcome', or 'Think nothing of it' get you earmarked as being 'Posh', or more eloquently 'Up yourself'...

Any others, while we're at it?!?!?