Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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May 29, 2007
By: Kevin Drum

EXTRICANDAE COPIAE!....On Sunday I asked for a nice Latin translation of "We must leave Iraq." Something pithy and Cato-like. On Monday, after much discussion of the gerundive passive periphrastic and the first declension feminine nominative plural, Mark Kleiman provides the answer:

Extricandae copiae!

In other words, "Get the troops out." Somebody start making bumper stickers.

Kevin Drum 12:13 AM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (55)

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Comments

Extricandae copiae

My wife asked me to do that to her, I think. Naughty girl.

Posted by: craigie on May 29, 2007 at 12:37 AM | PERMALINK

Cool.

Pronunciation?

Posted by: Moonshine Patriot on May 29, 2007 at 12:44 AM | PERMALINK

I still prefer the old Ellen Ripley line...
'Gorman get yr troops OUT of there!'
You know...before the Augustean wail starts up like,'Varus, give me back my legions!'

Posted by: professor rat on May 29, 2007 at 12:57 AM | PERMALINK

Pronunciation?

Roughly: Ex-tri-KAHN-dye CO-pee-aye.

Or think of it this way: "copiae" is pronounced like the English "copious," except the last syllable is like "aye," as in "aye, aye, sir." The first two syllables of "extricandae" are like the first two of "extricate," and the last two are like "Hyundai".

Posted by: bza on May 29, 2007 at 12:58 AM | PERMALINK

ex-tree-cand-eye cope-ee-eye.

Posted by: notthere on May 29, 2007 at 12:59 AM | PERMALINK

Why not just change the anglicism to the appropriate ablative case: Extricatia clusterfucko prontus?

I think it would be generally understood.

Posted by: rewolfrats on May 29, 2007 at 1:01 AM | PERMALINK

On Sunday I asked for a nice Latin translation of "We must leave Iraq."

What next? How about a French translation? *Snicker*

Posted by: Al on May 29, 2007 at 1:13 AM | PERMALINK

Yes! because liberals do not enough of a problem getting their message across.

Posted by: Clint on May 29, 2007 at 1:19 AM | PERMALINK

Extricatia clusterfucko prontus?

clustercoitus interruptus?

Posted by: Dave Howard` on May 29, 2007 at 1:48 AM | PERMALINK

There's always the oldie but goodie "Get Your Filthy Hands Off My Desert!"

G C D G

G
Brezhnev took Afghanistan

C
Begin took Beirut
D G
Galtieri took the Union Jack
G
And Maggie, over lunch one day,
C
Took a cruiser with all hands
D G
Apparently to make him give it back
C G
Mm________

Posted by: Thin White Guy on May 29, 2007 at 2:55 AM | PERMALINK

And what happened to the "sunt"?

Posted by: Ross Best on May 29, 2007 at 3:00 AM | PERMALINK

If I'm a Selt Then You're A Sunt

Posted by: Thin White Guy on May 29, 2007 at 3:18 AM | PERMALINK

Al: "What next? How about a French translation? *Snicker*"

Sure thing, Al: You are a stinking piece of 'merde'!
How's that for ya?

Posted by: Kenji on May 29, 2007 at 3:51 AM | PERMALINK

Just for Al, who snickers, but of course, had we listened to the French, we would not be trying to come up with clever slogans in Latin to express the need to bail out of George Bush's worst decision ever.

Partez Irak! or possibly, if you want to be very French, "Il faut que nous partions d'Irak."

Still I think the Latin works better. It has that whole warrior/empire tone to it.

Posted by: PTate in FR on May 29, 2007 at 4:06 AM | PERMALINK

If the legendary Catonian statement is the model then the updated slogan needs a form of the verb "to be"--in this case, the third-person plural "sunt"--which has been omitted.

Posted by: Ross Best on May 29, 2007 at 5:35 AM | PERMALINK

Translated back into English:

Quick exit
Posted by: Jimm on May 29, 2007 at 6:14 AM | PERMALINK

Somebody start making bumper stickers.

I'll buy one! Please, Kevin, if someone contacts you that they've had some made, let us know.

Posted by: pol on May 29, 2007 at 6:45 AM | PERMALINK

It pleases. Verbiage omitted, has the pithy, punchy ring of, well, me.

By Jove I wish I could get hands on this war. What a job I could do with it.

Posted by: Tacitus (the real one) on May 29, 2007 at 6:51 AM | PERMALINK

Perhaps someone can create a CafePress account and design a line of products.

Posted by: Daniel Kim on May 29, 2007 at 7:04 AM | PERMALINK

That's asinine Latin. The first thing a Roman would see in that would be "the wealth must be disentangled", or "the riches must be removed", assuming a *sunt*.

Posted by: A guy in New Jersey on May 29, 2007 at 8:16 AM | PERMALINK

"What next? How about a French translation? *Snicker*"

Sure. Who wants to translate "We told you so."

Posted by: Steve Paradis on May 29, 2007 at 8:44 AM | PERMALINK

Translating your phrase into latin is a lot of fun - but perhaps you should recall that the reason the original was in latin was that was Cato's native language. I think you've learned the wrong lesson from history. The right lesson - if you've got opinion and a soap box, shout it out in a language clear to all. A modern example might be Keith Olbermann's frequent habit of ending his show by counting the number of days since the President announced "mission accomplished." He kindly does so in English, the native language of most of his viewers.

Posted by: caerochren on May 29, 2007 at 8:52 AM | PERMALINK

We'll also need a version in 1930's-era German, so that Al and Egbert can read it.

Posted by: lampwick on May 29, 2007 at 9:03 AM | PERMALINK

Commenters above are correct. The passive periphrastic requires a form of the verb esse and takes the dative of agent. The dative plural is -as not -ae. -ae is the nominative plural or dative singular

Copias extricandas sunt.

Militibus extricandis sunt might be more recognizable.

Posted by: Ekim on May 29, 2007 at 10:00 AM | PERMALINK

Sounds like something Harry Potter would yell just before zapping Voldemort.

Posted by: Fuzzy on May 29, 2007 at 10:12 AM | PERMALINK

Romanes eunt domus!

(And if it's not done by sunrise, I'll cut your balls off.)

Posted by: Ralph Kramden on May 29, 2007 at 10:15 AM | PERMALINK

We should remember the Gospels and the passage beginning "Nunc dimittis" (by which abbreviation the whole is known).

(Roughly)
Now, Lord, let us go in peace.

Posted by: Jeffrey Davis on May 29, 2007 at 10:35 AM | PERMALINK

Now write it 100 times by sunrise or I'll cut your balls off!

Posted by: Bill Kirsch on May 29, 2007 at 10:38 AM | PERMALINK

Whoa, Ekim! You better lay off the pedantry when you don't know what you're talking about. First, the dative plural in the first declension ends in -is, not -as. Second, the dative of agent is used to identify the person or persons who are the cause of the action being taken, not the person or persons who are subject to that action; so if you wanted to say, "the troops must be pulled out by us," you would put "us" in the dative, copiae nobis extricandae sunt. Finally, elision of the verb esse in the gerundive is perfectly acceptable Latin, and is in fact preferred literary style. So sunt should be left out, pace you, Ross Best, and a guy from New Jersey.

Copiae extricandae! (No alterations necessary)

Posted by: lampwick on May 29, 2007 at 10:45 AM | PERMALINK

Great.

Now Jonah Goldberg and Rich Lowry will retaliate with "Kill 'em all and let God sort 'em out" in Klingon.

And Veneral Disease Hanson will accuse you of Reconquista dhimmitude.

Posted by: Roger Ailes on May 29, 2007 at 11:11 AM | PERMALINK

How about "These Colors Run Like Hell?"

Posted by: elemendorf on May 29, 2007 at 11:12 AM | PERMALINK

Mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa.

Posted by: ekim on May 29, 2007 at 11:21 AM | PERMALINK

That will teach me to try to compose in Latin at 7 in the morning.

Posted by: Ekim on May 29, 2007 at 11:23 AM | PERMALINK

Here is a bumpersticker for you. But you'll need to talk to Gary Trudeau before you use it.

Posted by: rege on May 29, 2007 at 11:24 AM | PERMALINK

You can custom make one-off bumper stickers at
http://www.makestickers.com/

Posted by: Peter VE on May 29, 2007 at 11:35 AM | PERMALINK

Here's my go at a bumper sticker, for anybody who wants it; there's a JPEG preview and then the PDF file.

http://neuecolossus.squarespace.com/journal/extricandae-copiae.html

Posted by: R.M. on May 29, 2007 at 11:38 AM | PERMALINK
... maxima culpa. ekim at 11:21 AM
Or, as Bush says it, tua culpa, sua culpa, nemo maxima culpa. Posted by: Mike on May 29, 2007 at 12:00 PM | PERMALINK

Better bumpersticker, better latin:

exercitus exeat ~ get the army out!

(exercitus ~ army; exeat ~ 3pers. singular, present subjunctive functioning as imperative)

Posted by: gosprey on May 29, 2007 at 12:03 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin:Somebody start making bumper stickers.


You can get your own custom bumper stickers at Makestickers.com

Here is their blurb:
Welcome to the world's first online interactive bumper sticker service! Here you can design your own custom bumper stickers online. Just select a template, enter your text, choose your fonts and colors, then see an instant preview of your bumper sticker, right on your monitor! We've got many styles of bumper stickers to choose from. And best of all, there's NO MINIMUM QUANTITY! Whether you need stickers for your business, school, church or band, you'll find bumpersticker templates online that will fill the bill. Some templates have room for you to upload your own photo or logo. You can even design and upload your own bumper stickers using PowerPoint, CorelDRAW or Photoshop. We're anxious to hear your feedback and suggestions about our customized bumper sticker printing service - especially suggestions for new sticker templates.


I have already ordered two, "I Hate Iambic Pentameter," and "Back to Beowulf" ( I have strong opinions regarding literature. ) But Latin imprecations hurled at George Bush would be fine. After all, he appears to have difficulties with English.

Posted by: Duncan Kinder on May 29, 2007 at 12:04 PM | PERMALINK

Why you would want to quote a warmongering prick like Cato anyway is beyond me. Instead you should be quoting someone like, well, me.

Here is a better description of the Bush administration. Put THIS on a bumper sticker...

Auferre trucidare rapere falsis nominibus imperium, atque ubi solitudinem faciunt, pacem appellant.

'"empire" is their false name for plunder, slaughter, pillage, and when they make a desert, they call it peace.'

either that or "when they make a dessert, they call it peach" I'm still new at this language.

I've started writing my posthumous history of the Bush years. It begins "The first crime of the new presidency was...

Posted by: Tacitus (the real one) on May 29, 2007 at 12:38 PM | PERMALINK

Nah.

Sounds like "Extra copies" or something.

Not at all stirring.

Try some other dead languages?

Posted by: Horatio Parker on May 29, 2007 at 12:47 PM | PERMALINK

Man I hated taking latin in high school. Thanks for reminding me why.

Posted by: jg on May 29, 2007 at 12:56 PM | PERMALINK

You want French, Al? Here it is:

Nous vous avons cont!

Posted by: derek on May 29, 2007 at 1:03 PM | PERMALINK

You want French, Al? Here it is:

Nous vous avons conté!

Posted by: derek on May 29, 2007 at 1:04 PM | PERMALINK

How about etgay hetay roopstay utoyay?

Oh wait ...

Posted by: TB on May 29, 2007 at 1:17 PM | PERMALINK

Extricandae copiae

Are Catholics allowed to do that?

Posted by: thersites on May 29, 2007 at 1:28 PM | PERMALINK

While we're cribbing off of Cato, why don't we use a parallel construction?

copiae extricandae sunt

That way at least one or two more people might get the allusion.

Posted by: David Houghton on May 29, 2007 at 2:14 PM | PERMALINK

sunt


heh heh heh

Posted by: beavis on May 29, 2007 at 2:28 PM | PERMALINK

Fuzzy said what I was thinking: Sounds like something Harry Potter would yell just before zapping Voldemort.

And I think rewolfrats' easy-to-grasp Extricatia clusterfucko prontus! is the way to go.

Posted by: low-tech cyclist (formerly RT) on May 29, 2007 at 2:40 PM | PERMALINK

Making getting the troops out seem like a liberal smart-ass position isn't the way to get the troops out in this era.

Cute as it sounds.

Posted by: catherineD on May 29, 2007 at 3:54 PM | PERMALINK

The best non-Latin of all time:

non illegitimi carborundum.

[Don't let the bastards wear you down.]

Posted by: JB on May 29, 2007 at 4:27 PM | PERMALINK

Come on guys, especially Lampwick--you sound like you should know better--, you can't just open up the back of an English-Latin/Latin-English dictionary, pick out the "equivalent" Latin to some English words and sow them together, no matter how good your grasp of syntax, into a reliably good Latin sentence. The result just looks stupid, like extricandae copiae. David Houghton's on the right track, and Tacitus (the real one) even more promising.

Posted by: A guy in New Jersey on May 29, 2007 at 6:47 PM | PERMALINK

secedo ex iraq iam! secedo iam!
withdraw from iraq now! withdraw now!

servo nostrum copiae!
save our troops!

servo nos ex malum, servo nos ex bush!
save us from evil, save us from bush!

licentia iraq statim!
leave iraq now!

veneratio verum , veneratio copiae. subjectio inhonesto totus. addo copiae domus iam!
honor truth, honor our troops. lies dishonor all. bring our troops home now!

Posted by: virgil on May 29, 2007 at 8:36 PM | PERMALINK

Iraq est omnis divisa in partes tres, quarum incolunt Sunni, aliam Shi'a, ...

Wait, what were we talking about again?

Posted by: cmdicely on May 30, 2007 at 12:11 AM | PERMALINK

Since nobody else did I finally made one. I made it as low cost as possible for you kids.

http://www.cafepress.com/leftee/3058776


Posted by: Dickard on May 30, 2007 at 9:40 AM | PERMALINK




 

 

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