This blog is for everyone who uses words.

The ordinary-sized words are for everyone, but the big ones are especially for children.



Saturday, 1 August 2015

Saturday Rave: not entirely serious. Catherine Winkworth

Catherine Winkworth: 

Catherine Winkworth.PNG

was a respectable, learned, Victorian lady, a keen promoter of women's rights and a translator of German texts.

What she's best known for translating are hymns:

Ponder anew
What the Almighty can do
If with his love he befriend thee

is one of hers.

That's all well and good, you may be thinking, but she doesn't sound much of a barrel of laughs, does she?

Well, I don't know about that. She certainly made one of the very best puns ever. Luckily for us it was printed in Punch and thus preserved.

What message did Sir Charles Napier send to Lord Ellenborough after he had conquered the Indian (now Pakistani) province of Sind?

Peccavi.

(Peccavi is Latin for I have sinned.)

Yep: so bad it approaches genius, as far as I'm concerned.

Word To Use Today: sin. People have been sinning in English for ages. The Old English form was synn. The Latin sons means guilty.

Actually, if anyone was guilty, it was Sir Charles Napier. The Sind campaign was both ruthless and unauthorised.




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