Wikipedia:Reference desk/Archives/Language/2013 December 5

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December 5[edit]

Use of there is/are after adverbials[edit]

First of all, I'm not a native speaker. Although my English is quite fluent and I use it in my job every day, there is one thing I'm still not sure about. Is it correct (in standard BrE or AmE) to simply omit there in sentences like On my desk there are some books ? Thanks in advance. -- (talk) 14:48, 5 December 2013 (UTC)

Yes, it is quite acceptable to omit there, especially if you want to emphasize the desk rather than the books (that is, as opposed to saying, "Some books are on my desk"). See Inversion (linguistics)#Subject–verb inversion. Deor (talk) 15:08, 5 December 2013 (UTC)
It's perfectly fine grammatically, but it seems incomplete by itself. I would expect some further thought, like: "On my desk are some books. Could you bring me the one lying on top of the others?" or: "On my desk are some books; please be careful moving them if you intend to work there." In either case you could retain the "there". If you simply said "On my desk are some books." I would likely respond, "And?" I also agree with Deor's point. μηδείς (talk) 17:18, 5 December 2013 (UTC)
That's an irrelevant comment, Medeis. Usually, saying anything has both a context and a point to it. The OP was asking about the grammatical correctness of this particular sentence. In answer to the question, 'there' can be used or not used. Both are OK. KägeTorä - (影虎) (TALK) 18:53, 5 December 2013 (UTC)
So, you are disagreeing with me? μηδείς (talk) 20:22, 5 December 2013 (UTC)
For me, either would work formally. In casual speech, omitting it would sound like "On my desker some books." But I think you're most likely to hear "there's some" (on my desk there's some books), despite grammatical incorrectness. It's engrained enough that I seriously doubt I would catch it while proofreading formal writing. Post-college, urban Midwest sociolect/dialect. Lsfreak (talk) 22:21, 5 December 2013 (UTC)

Latin motto[edit]

I'm a bit puzzled about the Latin motto engraved below the crucifix in this picture. There are a couple words that I can't make out at all and the grammar of the second sentence also seems odd (go and remember our what?). My best guess at a transcription is:

eni locusquo a teposiiis rogari vos purate. Ite: et recordemini nostri.

Photograph of stone crucifix from Prague

Donald Hosek (talk) 21:48, 5 December 2013 (UTC)

An odd mix of upper and lower case. I think that fourth word is "reposilis", which I assume has something to do with resting. The last word might be nosiri or posiri. Where is this? Is it on someone's tomb? Or on a church building? ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 22:25, 5 December 2013 (UTC)
I can't make out even as much as that, but I know that nostri is also the genitive of 'nos' (us), so I suspect the end means "remember us". I also think the second word is probably 'locusque', and the fourth 'repositis'. --ColinFine (talk) 23:11, 5 December 2013 (UTC)
And the capitalized letters probably form some kind of Latin number, possibly the year or something like that. Fut.Perf. 23:16, 5 December 2013 (UTC)
Name for that is Chronogram... -- AnonMoos (talk) 00:33, 6 December 2013 (UTC)
I think you aren't looking at the big version of the picture (click "original file"). Unless you're suggesting some kind of carving error, like copying from a text supplied in illegible handwriting. "Loqusquo" clearly ends in o, not e ... but I guess it could be "repositis", because the letter t is carved in an indistinct way throughout, with a tiny vestigial crossbar and only the faintest curve at the foot.  Card Zero  (talk) 11:06, 6 December 2013 (UTC)
  • I suspect "teposilis" is actually antepositis and that letters are missing from the beginnings and ends here. μηδείς (talk) 01:07, 6 December 2013 (UTC)
There are no numbers there at all, there's just some weird capitalization. I read it as "En! Locus quo a repositis rogari vos purate. Ite: et recordemini nostri." There's nothing missing around the edges, but it seems like there is something grammatically essential that isn't there. Maybe "repositis rogari vos purate" is "rogati vos putare" or "putate". I'm still trying to make sense of that, but the rest of it says "Behold! The place where... Go: and remember us." (Or "remember me.") I thought it might be a Bible quote, but apparently not. Adam Bishop (talk) 08:51, 6 December 2013 (UTC)
de:Chronogramm has many examples. First try: 1778 (Prague): enI LoCVs qVo a reposItIs rogarI Vos pVtate Ite et reCordDeMInI nostrI (= MDCCLVVVVIIIIIIII = translation wanting). --Pp.paul.4 (talk) 10:42, 6 December 2013 (UTC)
Oh! I see what you mean now. Maybe the month and day is in there too, but there seems to be too many Vs. Adam Bishop (talk) 11:18, 6 December 2013 (UTC)
I don't want to speak too soon, but encoding multiple numbers (day, month, and year) in the form of scrambled numerals which have to be summed in arbitrary combinations seems less practical than summing them all to get a single number (1778).  Card Zero  (talk) 11:33, 6 December 2013 (UTC)
Oh yeah. Neat. I don't think I've ever come across chronograms before. I guess that's why the Latin seems a bit tortured, they have to come up with something that will fit a chronogram? Adam Bishop (talk) 11:37, 6 December 2013 (UTC)
Wow, between chronograms and other, cool stuff such as sigla, it really saddens me that we don't all speak Latin, anymore. Pine (talk) 13:42, 6 December 2013 (UTC)
There's still only Latin for prefaces in many Oxford Classical Texts (although, as that page says, many texts since 1990 have used English instead). It's funny to have to read something like "My university, Otago, was kind in their support for this project" in a language that was already "dead" before New Zealand was even established. --Atethnekos (DiscussionContributions) 22:07, 6 December 2013 (UTC)
I know so little Latin that I really should just shut up, but "rogari" strikes me as a name. I'm guessing at something like, "This is the place where reposes rogar who was purified by you. Go, and remember us." Looie496 (talk) 03:59, 7 December 2013 (UTC)
Rogari could be a passive infinitive ("to be asked")... AnonMoos (talk) 06:35, 7 December 2013 (UTC)
Yeah, it's rogari or the past participle rogati. "The place where you believe you are invited by the dead"? I don't know. Adam Bishop (talk) 09:02, 7 December 2013 (UTC)
This took me a while to make a guess at. That first "I" has got to be an exclamation point, not an "I". So: "en! locus quo a repositis rogari vos putare. ite: et recordemini nostri." My translatese take:
"Behold! A place where, by having brought restoration, you are sought to purify. Go, and remember us."
Better English: "Behold! A place where you are sought to bring purification through restoration. Go, and remember us."
Particularly if they're trying to do a chronrogram for the date of completion, and it takes them so long to work out a chronogram that they go into the next year and have to start again... MChesterMC (talk) 10:13, 9 December 2013 (UTC)
Nevermind, that's mixing up the main verb. Hmm, I'm stumped. "the place to be sought where, through restoration, you are purified"? --Atethnekos (DiscussionContributions) 10:30, 7 December 2013 (UTC)
Would "redemption" be a better word than "restoration"? It fits the theology better - I don't know about the Latin. Alansplodge (talk) 14:09, 7 December 2013 (UTC)
Perhaps, "reconciled". [1] [2] [3] -- Alanscottwalker (talk) 16:09, 7 December 2013 (UTC)