Summit Up 1-1-10
Good morning and welcome to Summit Up, the world’s only daily column that is bound and determined to start this new year with a brand-new, fresh set of good manners.
At least that was some advice we got from long-time local Adrienne Sielaff, who called to say that she sees people in too much of a hurry, all stressed about whatever and not paying attention to manners. That could be in driving, at the table, or wherever, Adrienne said, and she was hoping we could run some occasional tidbits on manners to help people remember that you should do things like cover your mouth when you yawn, not eat beef jerky with a pair of tongs or remember to thank your grandparents for sending you a Christmas check.
Good idea, Adrienne! We agree people have, for the most part, turned into apes and have forgotten many of the manners folks were taught in previous generations. Sometimes even with our own kids we’ll tell them something we thought they already knew, and they look at us like we’re crazy. It just so happens that we have on our bookshelf here (and don’t ask us why) a copy of “Emily Post’s The Gift of Good Manners,” which is primarily aimed at kids but which has lessons for all of us. Let’s have a look …
(sound of pages turning; a soft violin begins to play)
OK, here are a couple of tips on beverages:
1. When a glass or cup is full to the brim, do not tip the container to drink. Take small, silent sips at the rim of the glass until enough liquid is consumed to allow careful drinking.
2. Do not upend or lick at a glass to get the last drop.
3. When eating soup, put the spoon in the mouth – no slurping or
4. Swallow the liquid immediately – no swishing, sloshing, gurgling or gargling.
Oh, great, now we can’t gargle our Kool-Aid anymore! Lessee … what else is in here? OK, here’s a few tips for teens on driving etiquette:
1. Offer to pay for gasoline (if you ride with another teen a lot).
2. Don’t litter – throw trash from the car.
3. Be considerate of other drivers and pedestrians. Booming stereo players in cars are a serious annoyance … cranking it up should be limited to wide-open spaces and times when people are not so likely to be disturbed.
There you have it, for now. Let’s get mannerly out there, folks, for the new year!
The other day, for no particular reason, we threw in some phrases in Swedish and asked if anyone knew what they meant. Then we did some in Latin, same question. So here’s a response from Dan Taylor in Wildernest, hereafter to be known as the Cicero of Summit County:
“The Latin sentence A cane non magno saepe tenetur aper appears fairly often in beginning Latin textbooks, because it beautifully exemplifies both a simple passive verb form (tenetur) and an instance of litotes (non magno), which is the affirmation of something by the negation or denial of its opposite or contrary and which is a quite common literary figure in Latin prose and poetry. So the (wild) boar is being held by a small dog.
“The sentence comes from the Remedia Amoris (Cures for Love, line 422) of Ovid, the greatest of Roman love poets (43 BC – AD 17). Its meaning is a bit difficult to convey in a family newspaper since it appears in a rather indelicate vignette. The title of the poem is crucial to the meaning of the sentence, for Ovid is teaching us how to get out of an unsatisfactory love affair with minimum psychological damage to ourselves.
“After enjoying afternoon delight, carefully scrutinize your lover’s body. A. D. Melville (Ovid: The Love Poems, Oxford U.P., 2008) can translate from here on out. “Then make a note of each and every blemish / And fix your eye on everything that’s wrong. / Perhaps this may be called small stuff, and rightly, / But when things don’t help singly, many may. / A bulky bull’s a tiny viper’s victim, / A small hound often brings a boar to bay.”
“Both the passive verb and the litotes are lost in the translation, but the point is not. Both Ovid and Kitty Kallen (1954) know that “little things mean a lot” in matters of the heart, but whether for better or worse is another matter entirely.”
Wow, awesome response Dan, thanks! Were pretty sure that is the first-ever Latin lesson we’ve run in this column, so you get a place in Summit Up history books (if and when they are written, hopefully in Latin).
BTW: Dan also points out that “the Neo-Latin sentence contains a misspelled word; it should be eleganter.” We’re sure our readers already caught that, though – right?
OK folks, that’s the first column for 2010. Now just 364 more to go … (this isn’t a Leap Year, is it?) …
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