Talk:Carpe diem

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The article says Horace is using the verb carpere as "everyone wants to drink wine," but he is in fact using it in its traditional way of "to pluck, pick or seize." The allusion he was most likely trying to make was to the harvest, when grapes needed to be "plucked" precisely when they were the most ripe. The claim in the article isn't cited, and I can't find a citation for my hypothesis either, so suggest the sentence be removed. --Bateau (talk) 15:36, 30 July 2010 (UTC)


Carpe diem, seize the... carp? --Juan Ponderas

Quit carping. --maru (talk) contribs 06:14, 2 May 2006 (UTC)


Should CARPE DIEM be deleted? It's argued in the CARPE DIEM history that since the original would have been in all-capitals, it might make sense to have an all-capital version redirect, but I think it looks odd (particularly since most Wikipedia pages are first-letter-capitalised). -- Gaurav 17:18, 18 February 2006 (UTC)

Nope. Redirects are cheap. Besides, there's the possibility somebody could one day type this in (i.e. they forgot to turn off caps lock). Just leave it as a redirect. --Johnleemk | Talk 18:01, 18 February 2006 (UTC)

What the original was in, does not dictate what the article ought to be in; the *original* was not in English, or even in the English alphabet, after all. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:58, 25 June 2013 (UTC)


Is it really usually translated as "Pluck the day"? This is the first time I've ever seen that rendering, and indeed, the translation first given before the questionable sentence is "seize the day". --maru (talk) contribs 06:14, 2 May 2006 (UTC)

Technically, "pluck" Justin Miller xxx for 5 dollars is correct, although the meaning of "pluck" has changed over the years - it may once have been a synonym for "seize". I think historically "seize" was used in a military context, which explains why it is a synonym of "capture" in Latin.
"Carpe" is the second person imperative (command) tense of the verb "carpere" which means to pluck - literally, "You, pluck!". The verb "capere", which means to seize or , it was actually "Cape diem" and an R got added in...) Vesperholly 05:13, 5 July 2006 (UTC)

Actually, studying the meaning of "carpe diem quam minimum credula postero" as a whole sentence instead of a single word taken out of its context, "gather" appears to be the most appropriate translation for the word.

Clean up[edit]

The heading is pretty self-explanatory, this page should be cleaned up.

I don't know the formal way to suggest cleanup so i came here.

rather than "in poetry" I thought "in literature" would be more appropriate since one of the examples is from a play, and I've added the Bellow reference. I'm sure there are many more instances of this.

Origin of the phrase[edit]

I believe the phrase was first used in Horace's Ode 1.11 [1]. The Latin roots of the phrase should be more fully explored. Minglex 12:45, 2 September 2006 (UTC)

That's definitely correct, I was about to mention the same thing till I read this. I knew it as Odas de Horacio, but that's because I learned about it in Spanish. Icehcky8 07:53, 13 November 2006 (UTC)

'Others' section[edit]

Maybe this section shouldn't be here, or maybe some of the info in it should be absorbed elsewhere, but someone deleted the entire section with no comment or explanation (I have resurrected it for the time being). If you are going to make a large change, you should have the courtesy to explain why. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Wikifellow (talkcontribs).

I am 90% sure that The Gap never launcher an denim line called "Carpe Diem denim." —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs)

Hmm, that is odd, because you are writing from the very IP that added this information to the article. Anyway a ton of the stuff currently on there shouldn't be, I'll get to cleaning it up sooner or later. shoeofdeath (talk) 19:41, 14 December 2007 (UTC)
It was a family member who added it, we have disagreed on this for awhile.
Wait, are you saying there isn't a 1:1 correspondence between IP addresses and actual human beings? Impossible! (talk) 04:41, 28 May 2008 (UTC)

Article lacks focus[edit]

It seems like this article really lacks focus; there's exactly one paragraph of explanation, followed by the entirety of the passage the phrase comes from, followed by a laundry list of every time the phrase, or a translation or alteration of the phrase, has appeared in popular culture. I think the first thing to be done is to cut out most of the references in pop culture, but I don't really know which ones warrant mention and which don't. Does anyone have any thoughts on the matter? —RuakhTALK 15:52, 3 December 2006 (UTC)

Play on words game[edit]

There's a game I used to see in the newspaper that is usually a play on words. It usually references the "carpe diem" phrase. There are a couple examples already at the bottom of the page (i.e. carp diem = seize the fish). In the game, other popular phrases are also slightly altered to give a different meaning. Does anyone know if this game has a name? I think a link would be appropriate here. --geekyßroad. meow? 04:29, 19 December 2006 (UTC)


Pace some of the comments above, I think this is a pretty good article - a nice explanation of a common phrase. Is this an original translation, or a copy of a published one? The only thing I'd quibble about is the translation of "..quam minumum credula postero" as "..for in the future you can believe the minimum". While it's technically OK, the sense H is trying to get across is "...don't give much thought to the future". I think that's an important point and it's maybe worth changing the translation to reflect it: you often here people use "carpe diem" in meetings to mean something like "there's no time like the present!" when in fact the speaker of the poem is offering an arguably more nihilistic, hedonistic point of view.Bedesboy 07:46, 4 June 2007 (UTC)

I disagree. "credula" is used in the sentence as meaning "to believe", not "to give thought to", so the translation seems right as it is. 03:46, 14 July 2007

Edited out some vandalism ("like herpes!") Just a random anonymous user who doesn't remember how to sign. Figured though you would appreciate the influence of such being compared to herpes. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:46, 30 June 2008 (UTC)

To Waste the Day?[edit]

I had a friend who took Latin in high school and for a couple years during her undergraduate and one day told me she stumbled upon a translation in multiple sources of Carpe where it meant "to waste." I wrote it off until I heard that someone at my college was using this different translation. I was wondering if anyone has stumbled upon this so that I can verify this. I know that if you translate "to waste" it usually comes up as Decoctum. Darthjarek (talk) 03:52, 13 July 2008 (UTC)

Carp diem cras[edit]

Should "sieze the day tomorrow" find mention in the lead? ReluctantPhilosopher (talk) 12:58, 27 March 2009 (UTC)

Carpe Diem in Poetry[edit]

I had added an external link to, but it was removed with the comment that it did not comply with the content guidellines. Can I get some feedback on what the issue might be? I thought a discussion of Carpe Diem in poetry with example works would be appropriate? Is the tone of the linked material too informal? Would it be better to insert a section on the sub topic?

Thanks for any education you can give me.

Frequent user but infrequent editor.

Lycurgus1920 (talk) 18:14, 24 August 2009 (UTC)

another public culture use for the phrase[edit]

in the 1992 musical 'the newsies' there is a whole song wich theme is 'open your eyes and sieze the day'... maybe this should be added to the article. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:40, 10 May 2010 (UTC)

I am OK with this if you start a section at the end of the article called something like "Contemporary uses of the "Carpe diem" phase". Although I can not speak for my fellow editors.


Hello, I have noticed this phrase has no kind of 'transliteration', if you will, to IPA, as well as its pronounciation respelling key, but IPA first. I would do this myself but I don't know a word of Latin and need to call upon the community... --Γιάννης Α. | 22:43, 10 September 2010 (UTC)

Green Day[edit]

should it be noted that Green Day is releasing a song entitled Carpe Diem on their upcoming album ¡Uno!

I am OK with this if you start a section at the end of the article called something like "Contemporary uses of the "Carpe diem" phase". Although I can not speak for my fellow editors.

Adding first recorded advocate of the Carpe Diem concept?[edit]

Dear colleagues, please let me know if it would be appropriate to include the first recorded advocate of the Carpe Diem concept to the source section? The text I would consider adding is listed below. Do I need an external reference outside of Wikipedia stating that Siduri was the first recorded advocate, or is the text below sufficient?

The first recorded advocate of the "Carpe diem" concept was Siduri, who told Gilgamesh in the Epic of Gilgamesh "Fill your belly, day and night make merry. Let days be full of joy. Dance and make music day and night".

I added Siduri to a new History section.


I literally cried with laughter that someone put this in. ( (talk) 20:03, 8 April 2013 (UTC))

Why? It means the exact same thing. (talk) 21:30, 1 January 2014 (UTC)

Stick to Facts - this is an encyclopedia[edit]

"Ovid used the word in the sense of...."

Since Ovid is not around to confirm or deny this, I doubt his intended sense can be given as a fact. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:54, 25 June 2013 (UTC)

Citation of a cracked article[edit]

The section about meaning has a citation to original thought posed by a cracked author in a comedy article. There is no indication of familiarity with the work or Latin, and the meaning Horace intended is debatable. Certainly this source is not sufficient to say that Horace meant "not to trust that everything is going to fall into place for you and taking action for the future today." This citation detracts from the credibility of the section, not adds. Gamecmdr (talk) 20:34, 6 May 2014 (UTC)

Related expressions[edit]

Various users have added other expressions having to do with the awareness of taking advantage of time before one dies, like nunc est bibendum, tempus fugit, ubi sunt, YOLO, etc. to the page. These have recently been removed by User:Catobonus. What do other editors think about these? Should there be a comparative discussion? Just mentions in a see-also section? Nothing at all? --Macrakis (talk) 20:01, 5 January 2015 (UTC)

My approach has been to retain most of the expressions added but only to remove those that seem impertinent to the article. I don't think nunc est bibendum or YOLO really have a place in the *carpe diem* page. They have nothing much to do with carpe diem except a tenuous thematic similarity. memento mori, on the other hand, seems relevant: it directly relates to the substance of Horace's line and offers contextual information by which we can better understand carpe diem. If we removed the section entirely, the article would end up being very short. I think it does serve a useful purpose. Catobonus (talk) 22:21, 5 January 2015 (UTC)
"nunc est bibendum" in its original meaning doesn't belong here, because it means "let us celebrate our victory", not "let's drink now because it will be too late tomorrow".
However, it seems to me that there is a series of aphorisms related to the inexorable passage of time, to our gradual aging and senescence, and to our inevitable death that need to be treated together somewhere, maybe in this article, maybe somewhere else. Of course, different writers and different readers draw different lessons from all this. Does it mean that you should be irresponsible and crazy because you might never be able to do that later (the usual meaning of YOLO)? Does it mean that you shouldn't procrastinate because there isn't infinite time (carpe diem)? Does it mean that your duties will still be there even if you shirk them? Does it mean that you may not have the opportunity in the future that you have today (make hay while the sun shines)? Does it mean that you should be decisive? Does it mean you shouldn't be too proud because you, too, will eventually end up as rotting flesh (ubi sunt, memento mori)? Does it mean that you should always perform your religious duties and be a good person because you never know when you will die and be judged by your god and future generations (memento mori)? There is quite a bit of overlap, and it is worthwhile explicating all this in one place. --Macrakis (talk) 23:50, 5 January 2015 (UTC)
I agree with the broad thrust of Macrakis' argument. The additional terms can clearly be mentioned in a "See also" section, following the guidelines at WP:SEEALSO, but using the existing section "Related expressions" provides the opportunity to mention those terms in explanatory prose than just plonking them into a bullet list. -- Michael Bednarek (talk) 05:09, 6 January 2015 (UTC)
I agree. Putting them in a 'See also' section makes sense. Catobonus (talk) 15:27, 7 January 2015 (UTC)

Grammatical analysis[edit]

The detailed grammatical analysis seems pedantic and superfluous:

Carpe is the second-person singular present active imperative of carpō ... Diem is the accusative case of the noun dies "day"....

Of course this is all true, but what does it add? --Macrakis (talk) 14:56, 23 February 2015 (UTC)

I don't want to sound smug, but it adds a grammatical analysis of the term. I don't think that's pedantic or superfluous, but encyclopedic. People are not forced to read or to absorb that section, but some readers might profit from it. I agree that "carpe is is the imperative of carpō" would be sufficient insofar as other forms of the imperative are quite rare, but that's coming from a background of some grammatical knowledge. I don't think there's any harm in presenting correct information, even if it's obscure. -- Michael Bednarek (talk) 01:01, 24 February 2015 (UTC)
We are certainly not constrained by the physical limitations of a paper encyclopedia. But minor details can obscure more important things. What would you think of putting the grammatical analysis in a note instead of in the main text? --Macrakis (talk) 02:53, 24 February 2015 (UTC)
I'm not sure how the paragraph "Translation", already short, would deserve its own section if half of it were to be placed in a footnote. The current information provides useful text & links for the interested reader, while other can easily skip it. What's your suggestion for that section? -- Michael Bednarek (talk) 08:05, 24 February 2015 (UTC)

Be truthful?[edit]

As I'm not a native English speaker, I dare not correct, but I don't find "be truthful" in: Sapias, vina liques et spatio brevi spem longam reseces. It means: "be wise, filter your wines (vina, plural, not vinum), and, time being short, trim long hope." Nothing about truth… Maybe a layer of Christian morals surreptitiously or unconsciously added over the good antique wisdom?--Francois C (talk) 16:28, 27 June 2015 (UTC)

The source of the translation you refer to was dead, so we can't check. Instead, I provided a translation by John Conington. If you find a free reputable source with a different translation, feel free to suggest it here or use it in the article. -- Michael Bednarek (talk) 07:34, 28 June 2015 (UTC)

Syntax error[edit]

" taken from the Roman poet Horace's Odes (23 BC). " the name of the poet was Horace, not Horace's Odes (23 BC). — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:53, 24 October 2015 (UTC)

I can't see any syntax error in that phrase. You forgot to include italics for Horace's work: "Horace's Odes" may not be the most fluent English, but it's not wrong or incomprehensible. Your suggestion, "from the anthology Horace's Odes" is grammatically suspect (shouldn't it be "from the anthology of Horace's Odes" or "from the anthology Odes by Horace" or "from Odes, an anthology by Horace"?) so I'm going to revert it. -- Michael Bednarek (talk) 18:30, 24 October 2015 (UTC)


User:Mauro Lanari changed all occurrences of the term "carpe diem" to italics in this edit and removed the use of {{Lang|la|...}}. My reading of MOS:FOREIGNITALIC doesn't support that. Specifically, when following "If looking for a good rule of thumb, do not italicize words that appear in Merriam-Webster Online.", which "carpe diem" does. I suggest to restore straight Roman type and the template {{Lang}}. -- Michael Bednarek (talk) 06:37, 21 August 2016 (UTC)

I replaced the template {{Lang}} only since it should italicize the text, whilst {{Lang|la|...}} doesn't work and I don't know why. --Mauro Lanari (talk) 07:03, 21 August 2016 (UTC)
The purpose of the template {{Lang}} is explained at Template:Lang/doc. As for appearance, that pages explains: "It often makes no visible changes to the text ...". The template is not supposed to italicise text because not every instance of of Latin (or any other foreign language) must necessarily be in italics; see the page I mentioned, MOS:FOREIGNITALIC. You didn't address the question why MOS:FOREIGNITALIC demands that "carpe diem" must be in italics, so I'm going to restore straight Roman type. -- Michael Bednarek (talk) 10:06, 21 August 2016 (UTC)