Thursday, February 14, 2013

A Great Week for Latin!

By Keith Massey, PhD Connect with me on Google+ and Twitter. Explore my novels at Lingua Sacra Publishing.

The world was rocked by the surprise resignation of Pope Benedict XVI this week. After the dust settled, we Latinists were delighted by the sudden attention he gave the Latin language by delivering that resignation in Latin itself.

Now, in an earlier post, I made it very clear that I wish His Holiness nothing but the best of health and many years in a long peaceful and restful retirement. I pointed out that the Latin text of the resignation as it was posted on the Vatican Website contained a typo (pro Ecclesiae vitae instead of pro Ecclesiae vita). I further asserted that I was certain that His Holiness was not personally responsible for the typo. (I mean, when you're the Pope you have people to do the typing.)

Even so, I was surprised to learn that some people felt my pointing out of this typo was, eo ipso, disrespectful to the Pope. I utterly reject that. I'm a perfectionist on typos within my own writing. And I make plenty of them. I would want any typo in my writings brought to my attention so I could fix them.

For the record, the Pope himself did not say out loud the typo. The video above makes that clear.