Felix dies gratiae agendae


Permalink 09:46:06 am, by Chris Jones Email , 289 words, 2807 views   English (US)
Categories: Vocabulary and Grammar, Fun & Games, Education

Felix dies gratiae agendae

Today is Thanksgiving day in the US, dies ad gallipavonem edendum spectandumque pedifollem consecratur. If you’re not familiar with the Latin words for “turkey” and “football", I recommend you pick up the latest edition of the excellent New College Latin and English Dictionary by John Traupmann. In my opinion this is the best pocket Latin dictionary around; cheap, thorough, and not nearly as heavy as the OLD (although you can keep a copy of the OLD on CD-ROM, for my Latin studies at least there’s no substitute for actual printed books, and that includes reference materials; it’s part of the connection to a long line of Latin scholars).

I got my first copy of Traupman’s dictionary in my freshman year of college, many many moons ago. From practical experience I can tell you they last about six years with moderate to heavy use. After a few years the page edges get dirty from excessive thumbing, eventually the glue-backed spine will crease at some well-worn page, and then pages become unglued.

At that point I usually trash it and buy a new one; my last such upgrade was in 2007, and I noticed some substantial changes in this latest edition:

  • The letter “J” is gone; all entries use the classical “I". I never really cared about this distinction, but some classicists are sticklers. U and V remain.
  • The English-to-Latin section has been extensively revised with quite a few modern terms (like gallipavo and pedifoliis). Given the enormous growth in spoken Latin, this change was a bit overdue.

I’m admittedly biased–I’ve literally marked my years with purchases of this dictionary–but it has been a faithful companion to my studies for the past 20-odd years. I couldn’t recommend it any higher.


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Qui sciet quae quoque sint modo dicenda, nisi tamen in procinctu paratamque ad omnis casus habuerit eloquentiam, velut clausis thesauris incubabit.

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