Z gets a Dusty Answer

Thankyou, but I don’t know if the class will run now. I had been counting on a minimum of four. I had not expected that anuone, having given their word, would make alternative committments.
I am sure you would not expect your members of NADFAS to do that,since they would perhaps find this unethical.

I finally wrote about the Latin lessons and this is the reply I received. I’ve written again, explaining that an interest shown (I was really surprisingly polite, considering she’d absolutely buttonholed me) in a casual conversation isn’t actually giving my word. I listed my regular commitments (not all of them, only those that actually involve work) and explained that the extra ones that have come up have to take precedence over things I do simply for my own amusement. I am, I confess, meanly pleased that she can’t spell ‘commitment’. Not that I am prejudiced in any way against misspellings; as long as they aren’t in business letters, I rather like them. The typo I forgive, we all do them in emails (though if I were insulting someone, I’d make sure I hadn’t made any).

This does show, however, that my instinct was right. I didn’t like her, and that was one reason I didn’t want to join her class.

14 comments on “Z gets a Dusty Answer

  1. Z

    Dave, every time I tried to translate the second sentence I came up with something different. It seems that I need to look up my old Latin grammar rather than relying on a very dim memory.

    Yes, I found her negative, humourless and too persistent – I usually like people or at any rate give them the benefit of the doubt. If I’d thought she would listen, I’d have phoned her and explained in person, but there would have been no point.

  2. PI

    Good for you Z. Some times one can be too nice – not one of my weaknesses:)
    Am I the only blogger who keeps a dictionary to hand? And still makes errors?

  3. Z

    I’ve got Latin, French and English dictionaries in the bookcase next to mw, as well as a Bible – well. two Bibles, a modern one and King James’. I don’t often misspell when hand-writing, but some of my fingers spell better than others on the keyboard.

  4. Dave

    Sorry, the second sentence (like the first) was intended to be used either as a threat to your Latin mistress, if she persists, or as a warning to you, if she gets aggressive.

    It reads: ‘People will soon be referring to you in the past pluperfect tense.’

  5. Z

    ‘My Latin mistress’ sounds a little racy, Dave, and I am duly abashed at the poorness of my translation – I’d got all the notes but not necessarily in the right order.

    If only I had more time to give to it, I’d ask you to set me a course of Latin lessons.

  6. Dandelion

    Oh dave you bring me back happy memories. Salvete puellae! And we would reply: salve magistra! And then she would say, sedete (with a hand gesture for the thickies). Happy days.

    Speaking of which, z, may I recommend the Cambridge Latin course? They do it on amazon for a tenner. It’s wicked. Also, Brevitas, by Mary E Hardwick is excellent if you can get it, but I think it’s out of print.

  7. Z

    I’ve got Brevitas – I stole it from school* as it was so excellent – but I don’t know where it is. I haven’t seen it for a few decades. It is green with a picture of a Roman helmet on the front. A young graffitist – not me – had drawn a picture of a face with a long nose and written Tor Mentor underneath.

    I still remember the Ablative Absolute because of that book.

    *I knew the school was going to close down a year later, so I have no conscience about it. I felt that I was rescuing the book.


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