21 June 2007

Friends, Romans, Old Symondians...

Hi Everyone. I subscribe to this Nostalgia Corner, but so far - to my shame - haven't contributed. I have lots to say about my time at Symonds between 70 and 77, though this will have to wait until I can find a few spare hours....

In the meantime, I need to have a few words translated into Latin for a job I'm doing ... I was one of those lucky/unlucky lads who were sidelined into 3C, and therefore didn't persue Latin (with Noggin - hoorah!) after the second year. Noggin christened me 'Scriba' - the scribe, as my surname is Knibbs, and it remained my nickname for the rest of my time at school.

I digress... the phrases I need translating into Latin are 'my country home' and 'country living', to appear on a property brochure I'm producing for a client. (My brother and I work together as graphic designers in the West Country).

I'd be really grateful if one of you who ended up in 3A or 3B could help me with this, which hopefully shouldn't be too testing for an Old Symondian...

Thanks very much; lots of stories later, I promise...
Jeremy Knibbs


  1. Great contribution Jeremy! Now rally round lads. I am afraid my Latin started and finished in 3c so I can't help.   jim 

  2. Hi, Jeremy. I look forward to future posts from you.   'Noggin' was after my time - unless EO Jones survived into your day and got a new nickname. But I can't imagine anyone saying 'hoorah!' when they mentioned EO. (He was actually described as a 'brute' in an after-dinner speech at the last OSS dinner ...)   I nonetheless enjoyed Latin and got my O-level in it - but I couldn't possibly translate 'my country home' and 'country living' with any confidence. Can I recommend one source not to go to? (I bet that's really useful, isn't it!) Don't bother with TranExp.com. I went there and keyed in 'country living' and got 'terra victus' back. This didn't look very convincing, so I got it to translate in the reverse direction, and it came up with 'earth victuals'. I tried various things after that: 'rusticus sedere' gave me 'rustic sixteen'; 'rustico sedere' gave me 'boorishly sixteen' ... I think the site knows as much Latin as I do, and that's not nearly enough! Maybe BabelFish can do better.   So - good luck!

  3. Hi Chris. Thanks for your efforts, though I'd also tried TraExp with similar results. 'Rustic sixteen' sounds like one of those websites you land on by accident. 'Boorishly sixteen' too...Phew!

    'Noggin' was Mr O.O. Postgate, affectionately known s Noggin as it was believed [rightly or wrongly] that he was Oliiver Postgate's brother. A delightful, gentle man, though as with many of my teachers in the '70s, he appeared to be about 75 years old, and retired while I was there.

    Probably because I was there, come to think of it. Happy days.

  4. Hi Jeremy   I offer:-   Domus Rusticus mei, and Rurus vivere   However these may be revealed to be too unsophisticated. I had EO for Latin in 3A, 3B and 4B. We dropped Latin in V1 G but didn't escape EO who became our Eng. Lang. Master. When he took us for Latin , he would say "the problem with you chaps is you don't know English grammar" and then when we got him for English he would say " the problem with you chaps is you don't know Latin grammar". - Go figure!   Churchie

  5. I was a total non starter at latin - I can't even remember amo amas amat......... well barely - from there on it sounded like a list of prehistoric animals to me! Anyway, I remember a latin teacher in the 60's whom we realized we could sidetrack quite easily: it went something like this:-
    "Sir, why do roses have latin names" ( the link!)
    " Ah, I love roses, I grow a lot in my garden" (we knew this!)
    "How do you grow them sir?"
    For the next week or two we had far more interesting latin lessons all about the grafting of roses - in fact I learned all I know about roses from this gentleman! Never grown one in my life, but believe I could if need be!
    Wish I could remember this master's name, he even had time for those who didn't grasp his subject. Seem to remember he may also have had something to do with tennis or badminton??
    Probably a far lesser know fact was that this man had a deep - but innocent - interest in ladies shoes!! This fact ascertained by my mother at a parents evening, once it had been established that there was nothing to discuss about my latin prowess, but ten minutes had been allocated for interview!

  6. I seem to remember (though 40 years clouds the memory) the latin master with wandering attention was Mr Benson.  He was also an officer in the navy CFF.  I remember we used to have an old Chief Petty Officer come in on Fridays to assist with navy called CPO Lightfoot.  I'd always thought this was a made up name, but there is now a girl in my office with the same name.  I wonder if they are related.   We used to get a french test every day from Boggers, 10 questions, which we passed to the person in front to be marked.  I had the misfortune to sit behind a Jehova's witness, and while other people might get the benefit of the doubt, or a little help, my test was always marked rigidly, so I often got a poor result.  It's unreasonable, but I confess I have hated Jehova's witnesses ever since.   David Jackon, '65 - 72, Kelso  

  7. Ah! Mr Benson it was.... during the couple of years I had to endure Latin I think the year spent in his class was the most bearable in my case!
    Ref Boggers; he also ran a black mark system for anyone who spoke English in his lesson - I remember a particular member of my form who could accumulate a dozen black marks in one sentence!! I didn't much like getting them, so never asked when I didn't understand - my French ended up little better than my Latin!!

    As you will gather from the above, I was no linguist; it is only now 40 years on I am attempting to learn Spanish, and hope to have a little more success!


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