May 19th, 2011

mr. schadenfreude

Why Latin should make a comeback in the schools

Bold is my emphasis:
Eric Tukewitz, a New York lawblogger, was one of many, many people who wrote about a badly managed legal defense from an inexperienced lawyer representing an accused murderer. The defense was handled very badly, and resulted in a mistrial, and then observers remarked in depth on the website of Joseph Rakofsky, the inexperienced lawyer in question, and on the erroneous impression of vast experience that the website created.

Rakofsky has responded by suing everyone involved, from the Washington Post, who covered the story (in which they quote the judge in the case, remarking unfavorably on Rakofsky's legal prowess), to the American Bar Association, to the large number of lawbloggers who wrote about him.

Tukewitz is just one of the lawbloggers in question, but he's come up with a legal rebuttal to Rakofsky's suit, which he considers baseless: "vade et caca in pilleum et ipse traheatur super aures tuo," which, loosely translated, means "Go shit in a hat and pull it down over your ears" (lit., "go shit in a [knit] hat & let that same hat itself be pulled over your ears.").
I never took Latin, but according to some of the Boing Boing commenters, tuos would have been preferable to tuo.

The phrase reminds me of the Yiddish geh kacken offen yom, meaning "Go shit in the ocean." I could have sworn that there was also a Yiddish expression meaning "Go shit in your hat," but I can't find it via Google. Urban Dictionary says the phrase in English dates from WW II, so it's not inconceivable that it was inspired by Yiddish...