Why does Tiresias look so sad? Oh right - because he was a JWG before 1280 anno domini (jerks, that's when glasses were invented).

I was one of two kids in my high school’s Latin class to attempt the AP exam.  I spent most of the exam time doodling Laocoon and Sons’ demise on my scratch paper, as the passages I was asked to translate, sans notes, were pretty much Greek to me.

We brought cookies to bribe the proctor.  No dice.  I got a one (the lowest possible score), and she got a two. It’s not so bad put into perspective: earlier that year, one kid tried pass off the Dryden translation of Virgil’s Aeneid – replete with rhyming couplets – as his own work.

Meghan fared slightly better than I did in Latin class with that whole gaining knowledge thing, but only after her teacher catapulted hardcover dictionaries and toy soldiers in her direction.  There’s nothing like corporeal threats to encourage proper conjugation.

So we’re not exactly ideal cheerleaders for Latin.  But that doesn’t mean we don’t know and love our Latin abbreviations.

Jerks that we are, we think that you should know them too.  Kids these days are all about the WTF and the LOL and the OMFGLMAO, but don’t know their QEDs from their N.B.s. And that’s just wrong.  What with all that twittering and texting they do, it seems obvious that the time is ripe to bring back the likes of q.v., pro tem., and p.m.a.

We’ll even help you out.  Here are a few common tweets, reworked to incorporate these extremely useful terms:

NB (nota bene) “note well.” – NB, @Rupert, that Madeira is for tomorrow’s company, not tonight’s wallowing.

Q.E.D. (quod erat demonstrandum), “which was to be demonstrated.” -The best form of birth control is asprin. To get pregnant you need to open your knees. Asprin between your knees keeps them closed. Q.E.D.

i.a. (inter alia) “among other things.” – Guys, @Horace maintains excellent personal hygiene (i.a. he keeps a clean shave).

pro tem. (pro tempora) “for the time being” – This arrangement we have with other swingers will work pro tem., until the kids come home from college.

in litt. (in litteris) “in letter.” – @Billy, you swore to me in litt. 12/13/24, that you would mow the lawn BEFORE you went to play ball with that miscreant Johnathan Berlington.

With a little practice, you’ll be well on your way to whole new worlds in the art of writing essays of 140 characters or fewer.


~ by jerkswithglasses on November 20, 2009.

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