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Post Reviewing our Latin: Enemy Warfare Psychology
Created by John Eipper on 06/17/21 3:51 AM

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Reviewing our Latin: Enemy Warfare Psychology (Edward Jajko, USA, 06/17/21 3:51 am)

Eugenio Battaglia used this pseudo-Latin phrase, "inimicus bellum psycologia," in an earlier posting, there defining it as "enemy warfare psychology."

My philological senses are screaming. Herewith the correction:

The words do indeed mean "enemy," "war," and "psychology," but not as a phrase. "Inimicus" is here a masculine adjective, while "bellum" is neuter. The "h" is in the English "psychology" because it is in the Graeco-Latin word, for good reason. The Latin word is a feminine noun.

If Eugenio means to say "the psychology of enemy war(fare)," then he must say "inimici belli psychologia." If he means to say "the enemy(‘s) psychology of war(fare)," then he must say "inimica belli psychologia."

"Bellum" means "war" more so than "warfare, the carrying-on of war." There's a range of words and compounds that might be better in this phrase than "belli," but let that word stand.

The phrase as used by Eugenio cannot stand.

JE comments:  Ed, you've repeatedly earned the crown of WAISdom's Greatest Philologist!  Much obliged, and an mea culpa to Classicists everywhere.  While we're on the topic of pseudo-Latin, the tradition goes back centuries, probably to bored Medieval seminarians.  My favorite:  Semper ubi sub ubi ("always where [wear] under where [underwear]").

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  • Pardon my Latin... (Eugenio Battaglia, Italy 06/18/21 4:01 AM)
    Many thanks to Edward Jajko (June 17th) for sending the correction.

    Really I was very doubtful of what I had written and unfortunately, my Latin is extremely rusty.

    I can only say that I am very sorry for the blunder.

    JE comments: Eugenio, you are too gracious!  And also very brave.  Whenever a language asks one to attempt declensions, the safest response is always to decline...

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