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Monthly Archives: August 2012

Difficult Moms

Whenever I talk about the subject of my book, at parties or with other groups, a few women around me begin to nod and then chime in with stories of their own mothers. I hate to malign moms, being one myself, but it seems that a number of us had challenging relationships with mothers who […]

Tootle Your Horn with Vigor

Many people will recognize “tootle your horn” as a weirdly wonderful translation, from Japanese to English, of an admonition to drivers. When one translates from one language to another, normal usage sometimes falls by the wayside, and screwy translations result. (Find more funny examples here.) In my last post, I wrote about the pitfalls of translating English into Latin tattoos, permanently inscribing […]

Ad Astra Per Errores Multos

Caleb’s Crossing by Gwendolyn Brooks, a recent selection of my book group, concerns young Puritans in early America, growing up and getting educated. The Latin they were studying contained a number of errors, showing exceeding carelessness, I thought, on the part of the author. Latin is maddeningly fussy about case endings and verb forms, but, really, why […]