Saturday, June 28, 2008

Bad tattoo Latin!

Okay, this one actually makes me feel bad. I hate the thought that some well-meaning Marines have (semi-)permanently scarred themselves with something nonsensical:

It's supposed to say, "Father and Son: Brothers Forever." Of course it really says "Father and Growth: Brother! Endlessness!"

(Punctuation added, of course, for emphasis.)

NOTE: I know that natus (2nd declension) can mean son (or at least man-child), but why not use filius? I think it's funnier this way (4th declension).

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Ouch! I am a tattooed Latin teacher and that is painful to see, although I'm borrowing it for a powerpoint presentation a la Harry Mount. There must be good business in proofreading / translating Latin tattoos for would-be recipients! If we stop giving free advice, we may just be able to pay off our grad school student loans!

Congratulations on your blogtastic accomplishments! You deserve the recognition for all your hard work.

Jon said...

Good grief! I just wrote an article with two more examples of incorrect tattoos on my blog, too!

(Incidentally, since you're a better Latinist than I am, I'd be interested to know whether my own suggested correction, "unus pes prae altero", looks good to you.)