Categories
Enjoying the Process

The DRIP

Latin is fun. Well, it can be, if you work at it.

I’ve taught a Latin class (or two) for a decade at ECS. A few years ago we started using the “Lingua Latina” curriculum for our high school students. Caput VIII is about a run-away servant who takes his girlfriend to shop for jewelry in Rome. It’s not really that dramatic, but I like to play it up.

When we read through the story (and we just got to Caput VIII again this week in class, which is part of the reason I’m posting this now, even though there are a lot of other important things happening in terra) I take the opportunity to upgrade the imagery a bit. Medus is looking to buy some bling for his baby-lady. But the first time I read it this way one of the students raised her hand and said, “Mr. Higgins, it’s not really called bling anymore. It’s drip.”

Turns out, I had a lot to learn. It can be just a synonym for bling, along with swag, you know, when you’re bougie. More precisely, when your bling has a lot of diamonds, that’s ice. And when your ice is really hot, well, you can see where this is going, right? You get drip.

So I’ve been celebrating the drip ever since, and have shared with my classes that it would be so cool to get some Latin drip. Last year, for Teacher Appreciation Week, some of my students made me my very own. (You can see the original thread here.)

The gold chain is heavy, but not gold. The (covered cardboard) medallion has “Latin Drip” on one side, and “QUID?” on the other side. Quid? means “What?” and it’s how I like to imagine first-century Gs greeting each other: “Quid, quid?”

It should be noted that my students gave me more than a linea. Caput XV famously (at least in my classes) refers to the tergum. It’s a part of the body that isn’t necessarily translated, but it can be identified. It’s the part where a kid might get a spanking. It’s the lower than the lower back part. Anyway, one day I mentioned how cool it might be to get some J.Lo like sweats with “tergum” written across the tergum. My students hot-glue-gunned some strategic sequins for me.

A few more follow-ups.

First, I may or may not still have the sweats. But I look at the DRIP every day while sitting at the desk in my home study. It hangs in front of me and reminds me that DRIP is not just style, it’s a way of life. (For the curious, here’s an explanation of the bearded mermaid.)

Second, after my previous school coffee cup broke, one of my students updated my title:

And finally, my “gift” for being part of my daughter’s wedding last summer was a DRIP tie clip. Actually, it’s a hair barrette, but I used it as a tie clip. I probably got to tell the story a couple dozen times during the reception, and I regularly rotate it in as one of my Twitter header pics.

Categories
Enjoying the Process

A Moldy Spice Girl

No fiction writer could have imagined the following exchange I recently overheard, and I’m thinking about making it my Twitter bio:

“Why do you want to keep a moldy Spice Girl?”

“Because that’s what I do.”

Categories
Enjoying the Process

The Day YouTube Turned Off the Water

I received the following email Sunday afternoon.

Dear seankhiggins,

Video Disabled

A copyright owner has claimed it owns some or all of the audio content in your video Water. The audio content identified in your video is Water by Kristy Starling. We regret to inform you that your video has been blocked from playback due to a music rights issue.

What can I say? The quality of our production must have started to pilfer the profits. After garnering a few thousand views and international acclaim, I’m not really surprised the lawyers would want to shut down the site.

My original explanation and link to the video are here. Near the end of that post is a Quicktime version. Download and drink the Water while you still can.

Categories
Enjoying the Process

You think English is easy?

  1. The bandage was wound around the wound.
  2. The farm was used to produce produce.
  3. The dump was so full that it had to refuse more refuse.
  4. We must polish the Polish furniture.
  5. He could lead if he would get the lead out.
  6. The soldier decided to desert his dessert in the desert.
  7. Since there is no time like the present, he thought it was time to present the present.
  8. A bass was painted on the head of the bass drum.
  9. When shot at, the dove dove into the bushes.
  10. I did not object to the object.
  11. The insurance was invalid for the invalid.
  12. There was a row among the oarsmen about how to row.
  13. They were too close to the door to close it.
  14. The buck does funny things when the does are present.
  15. A seamstress and a sewer fell down into a sewer line.
  16. To help with planting, the farmer taught his sow to sow.
  17. The wind was too strong to wind the sail.
  18. Upon seeing the tear in the painting I shed a tear.
  19. I had to subject the subject to a series of tests.
  20. How can I intimate this to my most intimate friend?

Let’s face it–English is a crazy language. There is no egg in eggplant, nor ham in hamburger; neither apple nor pine in pineapple. English muffins weren’t invented in England or French fries in France. Sweetmeats are candies while sweetbreads, which aren’t sweet, are meat. We take English for granted. But if we explore its paradoxes, we find that quicksand can work slowly, boxing rings are square and a guinea pig is neither from Guinea nor is it a pig.

And why is it that writers write but fingers don’t fing, grocers don’t groce and hammers don’t ham? If the plural of tooth is teeth, why isn’t the plural of booth, beeth? One goose, two geese. So one moose, two meese? One index, two indices? Doesn’t it seem crazy that you can make amends but not one amend? If you have a bunch of odds and ends and get rid of all but one of them, what do you call it?

If teachers taught, why didn’t preachers praught? If a vegetarian eats vegetables, what does a humanitarian eat? Sometimes I think all the English speakers should be committed to an asylum for the verbally insane. In what language do people recite at a play and play at a recital? Ship by truck and send cargo by ship? Have noses that run and feet that smell?

How can a slim chance and a fat chance be the same, while a wise man and a wise guy are opposites? You have to marvel at the unique lunacy of a language in which your house can burn up as it burns down, in which you fill in a form by filling it out and in which, an alarm goes off by going on.

English was invented by people, not computers, and it reflects the creativity of the human race, which, of course, is not a race at all That is why, when the stars are out, they are visible, but when the lights are out, they are invisible.