Discussion in 'Lingua Latina (Latin)' started by edwardtheconfessor, Apr 26, 2014.

  1. edwardtheconfessor Senior Member

    English - British
    Arguar - first person singular future indicative passive of 'arguo': show, prove, demonstrate etc.

    Hi. Wonder if anyone can help me out here. Writing an essay for publication (part of a much larger postgrad level thesis I'm working on); subject 'The Methodology of Science'.
    Ever heard that famous little (and very sexist!) epigram usually attributed to Kipling? :-
    "A woman is only a woman [!!] - but a good cigar is a smoke."

    My little witty saw which parodies this - to point up something I am saying about why, since the earliest days even of the first philosopher-scientists, in true science - as opposed to mere opinion or conjecture - in this case, merely proposing something is not enough.
    My little witty (I hope!) saw, which parodies the supposed Kipling one:

    "A theorem is only a theorem - but a good 'arguar' is not just a joke!"

    You will see, of course, the intended quasi-homonyms (or sort of 'rhymes') to the original alleged Kipling which I parody here. Quite deliberate, of course:-

    theorem - woman; 'arguar' - cigar.

    Yes? My only question really: do I have correct (Latin) grammar here in the inserted word? i.e.: first person singular future indicative passive (= 'IS TO BE ARGUED (SHOWN. DEMONSTRATED etc.)') ??
    Of course, it is - obviously - 'lifted' Latin ... into an English aphorism - and being used as if it were an (English) gerundive anyway (which it is not in Latin, of course) - and thus is really only 'dog Latin' obviously. But I'd like to be right on the point of Latin grammar - the correct verbal conjugation.
    Any informed views or advice here?

    Thanks - edwardtheconfessor

    PS: I'm not a real Latin scholar - so keep the grammar simple!! Thanks.
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2014
  2. Schimmelreiter

    Schimmelreiter Senior Member

    It's at the same time present subjunctive, so it does serve your purpose (arguendum sum).
  3. edwardtheconfessor Senior Member

    English - British
    Thank you Schimmelreiter. So, are you saying 'arguar' could also mean 'If I were arguing (/showing/demonstrating etc.)' ?? If so, excellent!! Even better, in fact - for, still rhyming with 'cigar' (cf. Kipling) it also ties in rather well with my arguments about what I call use of the 'Socratic subjunctive' by the first philosopher-scientists as an invaluable device in deductive reasoning:-

    "Suppose (so- and -so); supposing that, would (x, y etc.) be true?".

    Many thanks!
  4. Schimmelreiter

    Schimmelreiter Senior Member

    No, that's not what I'm saying. You said you wanted it to mean
    i.e. to convey what a
    conveys. What I'm saying is yes, a meaning similar to a gerundive, i.e.
    is expressed by
    yet not because it's
    but because it's also
    whose optative use resembles a gerundive in meaning.
  5. wandle

    wandle Senior Member

    English - British
    I am sorry, but your idea is not going to work. It seems you want 'an arguar' to mean 'a proof or demonstration'. I am afraid it cannot do that.

    First of all, the verb is passive. When a verb is passive, the subject of the verb is the recipient of the action.
    Thus 'I hit' (active) means I strike someone or something: but 'I am hit' (passive) means that someone or something strikes me.

    Now let us start with the first person passive indicative of arguo. That is not arguar but arguor. What does arguor mean?
    It means that someone or something does the action of the verb arguo to the speaker (the person who is the subject of the verb).

    When a person is the recipient of the action of arguo, the verb does not mean 'show, prove, demonstrate' : it means 'accuse' or 'charge'.
    Thus the first person passive indicative arguor means 'I am accused' (in other words, someone is accusing me of something).

    Now let us come to arguar.
    arguar can be future indicative, in which case it means 'I shall be accused'.

    Alternatively, arguar can be present subjunctive. The subjunctive is used for making polite requests.
    In that case, arguar means 'Let me be accused': or in other words, 'Please accuse me'.

    Please excuse me for pointing it out, but whichever way we take arguar, it cannot mean a proof or demonstration.
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2014
  6. edwardtheconfessor Senior Member

    English - British
    No. I do not want it to mean 'an argument'. I want it to mean an 'is to be argued/shown/demonstrated/shown' but a verbal form - here 'lifted' from the Latin and used in my aphorism as if a 'gerundive' phrase (though it is a single Latin word ... but that, of course, is because Latin is able to express mood, like person and tense, by simply inflecting the verb itself - instead of adding auxiliary verbs and verbal forms as English does). I looked at several Latin verbs - though, as I say I am no real Latin scholar - which is why I appreciate help here from those who are. I knew it had to be a form that would (more or less) 'rhyme' with 'cigar' (in the attributed Kipling) but convey the idea of 'it will be argued/shown/demonstrated/proven'. 'Demonstrandum' for example (as in the ubiquitous 'Q.E.D.') would not do, obviously, as it does not 'rhyme' with 'cigar' and, in any case, I did not want to convey ' that which is to be shown or demonstrated' but rather,as I say, the idea of an:-

    'is to be argued/shown/proven/demonstrated'. Read again my original post and re-examine my context if you would please be so kind.

    Your other grammatical elucidations lose me a bit, I'm afraid. I'm sorry. But no - I certainly do no want to convey anything like 'I shall be accused' or 'please accuse me'.
    However, if (as perhaps you are saying - if I have understood you on this?)"a good 'arguar' " (my own English 'borrowing' - again; read my original post to see context) can mean something like :

    'I [the theorem - again; see my original post for context here] am to be [for it is future tense, is it not?] argued/shown/demonstrated etc.' ... then that is exactly what I want here!

    Or have I missed something very important?
  7. wandle

    wandle Senior Member

    English - British
    If we use arguo, the word for 'something that is to be shown or demonstrated' is arguendum ('the point to be proved').

    If the idea is to make a witty saying, we have to consider how people will naturally interpret what you say.
    You seem to want to tie the sense down very tightly: that is fine in a definition or stating a subject for a thesis or essay, but in a witty saying you have to let it go and wait for people to interpret it as they see it. If they are not allowed the chance to work out the meaning themselves, you may be able to make your meaning clear, but only at the price of losing any element of wit.

    My point with this discussion of 'wit' is that if you use the finite form of the first person singluar passive, then people will naturally interpret that as meaning that a person is intended. Anyone with a good knowledge of Latin will know that in that case the verb does not mean 'show', it means 'accuse'.
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2014
  8. edwardtheconfessor Senior Member

    English - British
    Schimmelreiter, I thank you once again, for clarifying. I note that wandle (see above) seems not to agree on this at all - and I have also replied to wandle (see).
    From my point of view, and for my purposes, it will be sufficient if I can, as I say, 'lift' or 'borrow' a Latin verbal form (as one sometimes does in scholarly work - even if one, like me, is not a true Latin scholar) and, as it were 'Hobson Jobson' the usage just a tad (as, again, often happens with such 'borrowings').

    'Hobson Jobson', btw: alter (or distort in some cases) the original context or grammatical usage. Italian (which I do speak somewhat), for example, does this:
    'Un dancing' (meaning a ballroom - a place for dancing). English, which is probably richer in borrowings - direct and indirect - than almost any other language I know of, frequently 'Hobson Jobson' s in this way when it borrows.

    If I can 'get away with' slipping in 'arguar' to my aphorism - and still keep both the wit (I hope!) and the rhyming parody of attributed Kipling, by saying:

    "A theorem is only a theorem - but a good 'arguar' is not just a joke.'

    And then simply add a footnote:

    * 'Arguar' - cf. Latin; here meaning (loosely): An 'It (the theorem) is to be argued/shown/proven/demonstrated' .

    - then, if that is sufficient as to be unassailable - as a 'borrowing' - by even the the arch-pedant or real Latin, dyed-in-the- wool 'gerund grinder' ... then that will be sufficient.
    If, as I think you are suggesting - and trying I am , as far as I can, to take account of what wandle seems to be advising too - I could also say in my footnote:
    (again, in the same way) :-

    Also loosely translated: 'arguar' here meaning an 'It could/would/should be argued/shown/demonstrated' .

    .... then that will serve well for purpose here. I have explained above to wandle (see) why, for example, 'demonstrandum' (as in the ubiquitous 'Q.E.D' ) will not do here.

    Or, again, have I missed something major here??

    Thanks - edwardtheconfessor
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2014
  9. edwardtheconfessor Senior Member

    English - British
    Thank you wandle. I try to take on board your points here also. But actually, in the context of what I am arguing in this particular section of my essay (which, as I say, is part of a much larger thesis - also for publication) - namely, that any scientific theory is not valid until or unless one can, or one can respond to the challenge to, argue, demonstrate, show, prove in some way ... then it is not valid science anyway and should not be taken seriously; and hence the ending of my aphorism/parody :-

    '... is not just a joke' (see my original post for context)

    - then it would, I think, do no harm at all for me to be implying too that the true scientist presenting a provisional theory should, in effect, be prepared to say 'Please accuse me, then!'. In other words: 'Please DO challenge me - and I will argue, show, prove, demonstrate'. Cf. the French idiom - also sometimes 'Hobson Jobson' ed in English usage (* see my replies to Schimmelreiter - above) - of 'J'accuse' .... often used in scholarly discussion to challenge a position or theory.


    'Arguendum' of course I cannot use - as it will not give me anything like the 'near rhyme' I need to the original alleged Kipling.
    As I have explained to Schimmelreiter (see), I will add a footnote for my readers. I do not think that will dilute any (hoped for) wit to my little aphorism, no. ​Au contraire! ​It will merely clarify it IMO.
  10. wandle

    wandle Senior Member

    English - British
    The difficulty with arguar is that on its own it can only mean either 'I shall be accused' or 'Please accuse me'.
    The difficutly with this is that if we pick a Latin word because it has a few letters in common with an English word, that does not make it appropriate to use, either as part of speech or in semantic meaning or in any other respect.
  11. Scholiast

    Scholiast Senior Member

    Salvete amici!

    I confess to being a little bemused by the length of this thread, because after all the original post was only asking for a bit of whimsy: I fear Schimmelreiter and wandle may be taking things a little too seriously.

    "...a cogar is more than a joke".

    cogar = "I may/should be compelled", but that may be by force of argument (hence the English word "cogent", in precisely the context of rational debate and validity of proof).

  12. edwardtheconfessor Senior Member

    English - British
    Scholiast! At last we seem to be getting somewhere! I think you may have rescued (some of us, at least) from what looked like becoming an - admittedly polite and well-mannered - scholarly argument (and yes I do mean 'argument' in the normal English sense of the word, in this case!).
    'A bit of whimsy'? Hmmm. Well, no; not quite. I intend the sardonic humour of course - but I am also making a serious point. However, I think you have grasped that too.

    I never heard the word 'cogar' - but then, like I said, I am not a Latin speaker or writer. However, I am a serious amateur philologist, and I take the point you are making about etymologies here. My Oxford Concise Dictionary has:-

    cogent (adjective) ​: Forcible, convincing (of argument ... [French from Latin cogere = CO(gere drive), - ENT.]


    cogitable (adjective)
    : Able to be grasped by reason, conceivable [from Latin cogitabilis ...]

    The English word 'cogitate', of course, also comes from the same etymological root. However, that is often, in modern English usage, used rather facetiously. I note that Oxford Concise also advises a more 'playful' usage of the word cogent ... though I myself have never heard it so used.

    "A theorem is only a theorem - but a good 'cogar' is more than a joke."
    (Original attributed Kipling: "A woman is only a woman - but a good cigar is a smoke." Kipling himself uses the qualifying adjective 'good' (as I have done)).

    Well, it is a very neat little (extremely close) homonym to Kipling's 'cigar'. Great!! And, if it really has all the nuances and 'overtones' of one being compelled to show forth, explicate, demonstrate or otherwise convincingly argue for or prove - and even that be incumbent on the proponent of the theorem (in this case); then great also!! As you see from the context - which I subsequently explained - I am indeed arguing that this is what makes any 'theorem' science (I am not here using 'theorem' in the specific mathematical or geometrical sense, of course) and distinguishes this from mere opinion or speculation. So also: great!! So long as this word has no 'undertones' of flippancy or 'playfulness' or of a mere piece of sophistry - then; perfect!!
    Have we solved this one now - 'Q.E.D.' .... ? Well, I hope so! Many thanks

    - edwardtheconfessor
  13. Scholiast

    Scholiast Senior Member


    "...but a good cogar is no joke" would be rhythmically better.

  14. edwardtheconfessor Senior Member

    English - British
    Yes, good point. Thanks.
  15. wandle

    wandle Senior Member

    English - British
    Even with cogar in place of arguar, the whole thing still seems to me too strained and difficult to be effective.

    Since you have been candid enough to tell us that this is intended for a thesis and eventual publication, may I, in good will, comment frankly on how I would judge it if I were in that position?

    I would ask myself three questions:
    (1) Will it aid the exposition of the thesis?
    (2) Will it, in addition, impress the examiners or assessors?
    (3) Will it, in addition, appeal to the potential future readership and be likely to gain wider currency?

    My answers would be:
    (1) probably not - more likely to confuse than to clarify;
    (2) very unlikely - it might be seen at best as awkward and over-ingenious;
    (3) extremely unlikely.

    Please excuse my frankness, but I would judge it myself as something to be (regretfully) discarded.
  16. edwardtheconfessor Senior Member

    English - British
    This argument is over wandle. Thank you but I disagree. I think you have completely failed to appreciate what was intended here in the first place. Oh and btw, I don't need any examiner to 'assess' or 'be impressed' by this work. It is not a student thesis. I am not a student. I passed that stage as an academic writer long ago. I said it is for publication - not assessment. I don't need for anyone to assess me. Neither do I need to 'impress' anyone. I think Scholiast has understood this - and, unlike for you (apparently), the dry humour, as well as the serious point, for him, was not missed. You are trying to be helpful. ty - but .... as the saying goes 'thanks but no thanks'. Over and out!

    - edwardtheconfessor
  17. wandle

    wandle Senior Member

    English - British
    Well, well, I did my best. I apologise for any offence. I was trying to help.
    It was with a view to preventing a mistake that I threw on the idea all the cold water at my disposal.
    If that has not worked and you still go ahead, all I can say is, 'Good luck!'
  18. edwardtheconfessor Senior Member

    English - British
    No offence taken, wandle; don't worry. Thank you for your kind, well-intended help and for your selfless wishes for success of my essay (and thesis) ... at least I've learned a bit more about Latin verbal conjugations (said to be the bane of every neophyte Latin scholar!). Salute. - edwardtheconfessor

Share This Page