The View From Wisconsin

Just a random set of rants from a Sports Fan from Wisconsin.

Saturday, July 24, 2004

Fun with Words

The Latin language, despite being essentially dead, is an intriguing language to study. Even though it is the "parent" language of many modern languages (French, Spanish, Italian), it has also added to the dictionaries of other languages, including English.

Latin differs from English in two distinct ways: unlike English, which uses articles and modifiers to dictate "voice" (first person, second person, third person) and plurality (one person, more than one person), Latin changes the form of the word. For example: sum is the verb "I am", es is the verb "you are", and est is the verb "It is". Secondly, instead of using the Subject-Verb-Object method of sentence use, Latin uses (generally) the Subject-Object-Verb method. Latin linguists simply changed the ending form to nouns to indicate which was the subject, and which was the object. Manus manum lavat is an example of this: "One hand the other hand washes" (what we'd say as "One hand washes the other" in bloated English).

There are two Latin-based English words in particular that I'd like to highlight here: science and fidelity. Science is taken from the Latin word sciens - "to know". The word is actually a verb, whose common form is scio. Fidelity is taken from the Latin word fidelis - "faithful". The root of the word is actual fides, or "faith".

Nowadays, of course, the only people who use Latin on a regular basis are the members of the Catholic Church. Thus, the word fides is a very widely used term. In fact, the church is sometimes referred to as "The Faith". The phrase fidum amo would be translated to "I love the Faith."  The Latin word scio isn't used very often in conjunction with the word fides, of course - I mean, it's obvious if you "know the faith" or not - but it's not just for that reason.

See, the Latin alphabet is based on the Greek alphabet, and the actual letter used for the C sound in the word sciens is actually chi - a "ch" sound. And when it is combined with the letter S, it produces a sound like "sh" instead of how English speakers would pronounce it ("skuh" as in "school"). And, like most common Latin verbs, when using it in the third person the "o" is dropped and is replaced by the letter "t".

So, it is for this reason that you don't hear too many priests, bishops and other individuals within the Catholic church, when talking about an individual, mention fidum schit.

"I know, long buildup for a joke, but don't you feel smarter now?..."

Monday, July 12, 2004


I am officially back in the world of the Apple.

Back on the first, I traded in my old Tangerine iBook for a new iBook G4, courtesy of CompUSA. I have since discovered that most of my apps that worked on my old iBook are now Abandonware under Panther (OS X.13).

It's not a huge thing, but there were some docs that I had that I have carried with me from my old SE days. It's like a security blanket, in a way.

Overall, I'm not doing backflips about OS X at the moment. There are some neat things that I wish would be available over in the Windoze world, but there are other things that I could do without (the metallic toolbars, the "gumdrops," and the Dock bar, to name a few). It is a nice alternative to Windows, though.

Now if I can only figure out how to make SuperPaint work on here...

Thursday, July 01, 2004

Strange things

Am I the only one who's been noticing a distinct slowdown in net traffic from about 5:00 to 6:30 AM CDT?

Seems like a lot of the websites I've tried to log into during that approximate time period have either not completely loaded or have hung trying to load.

I'd blame my ISP, but I don't think it's their fault. And besides, they chopped my cable bill for this month, so I shouldn't complain (LOL).

Anyways, I have now done two things that I never thought I'd ever do: completely wipe and restore two computers that I bought within seven months of each other. Of course, those seven months were back in 1999, so that needs to be taken with a grain of salt.

It's something strange to go through the process of restoring a computer. You get used to how a computer starts up for you, and with a few clicks and whirrs of a CD drive, you're back to where you started when you bought it.

Okay, maybe not exactly when I bought it - one of the computers was an original tangerine iBook. I restored it to system 9.0 (after restoring the thing to the original 8.6 that it came with).

Still, it's funny when you're taking a computer that was yours for so long and just wiping everything out and starting over. It's an experience.