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Re: Non vitae sed scholae discimus

From:John Cowan <jcowan@...>
Date:Monday, September 20, 2004, 11:47
Philippe Caquant scripsit:

> Is there a verb "to disquote" ?
"To misquote". There are many misquotations in English that have become fixed parts of the language: for example, "to gild the lily", meaning to add decoration to what is already beautiful, is a misquotation of Shakespeare's line "to gild refin�d gold, to paint the lily". A related phenomenon is quoting something verbatim et literatim, but in a sense quite different from the original: to take another Shakespeare example, most people who say "more honored in the breach [i.e. disregard] than in the observance" use it to mean "more often honored", but in the original context it plainly means "more *appropriately* honored".
> And my answer is: because we instinctively understand that this sentence > is normative, not descriptive. So, why do we feel so ? Again, my answer > is: because usually, such sentences, especially when signed by a famous > Latin author, are rather considered as precepts.
Quite sound psychology, I think.
> (As to the word "schola", a glose in Russian I found in some book > talks about "philosophical cabinets",
German _Wunderkammer_; what it may be called in French I don't know. This was an 18th-century box with a glass door used for the display of curious natural objects (often fossils); "philosophical" here means "scientific". -- What is the sound of Perl? Is it not the John Cowan sound of a [Ww]all that people have stopped banging their head against? --Larry