Readers’ wildlife photos

June 27, 2022 • 8:00 am

Today we drive off the road a bit, as reader Athayde Tonhasca Júnior has a collection of Scottish signs he photographed (this is one of two parts, the second coming later). His notes are indented, and you can enlarge the photos by clicking on them:

They all leapfrog, with surprisingly few injuries reported (Redgorton, Scotland).

I reckon you are expected to sneeze and cough explosively before leaving the van (Perth, Scotland).

A joiner from Perth who knows his Classics. Cesar wrote the famous words after crushing the forces of Pharnaces II, king of Pontus, in 47 BC. Veni, vidi, vici exemplifies the concision and precision of Latin – although the saying loses some of its gravitas when pronounced because it requires going full Elmer Fudd: “weenee, weedee, weekee”. Cicero, the cunning orator, could also get to the point quickly and elegantly. When he needed to announce to the Senate the execution – ordered by him – of some conspirators, he avoided awkward and incriminating words like “execution”, “death”, “strangulation”, etc. by declaring, vixerunt (“they have lived,” which implies “they are now dead”). Nuff said.

Wise advice at Perth College library.

These pets belonged to members of the Raj and apparently were brought back from India for burial in holy Christian ground. Dead servants probably were discarded locally (Hopetoun Estate on the outskirts of Edinburgh).

My petition to have a sign like this for summons to my home office was rejected by higher domestic authority. My motion to be addressed as His Lordship didn’t pass either (Hopetoun Estate).

This culinary atrocity amuses and attracts tourists visiting Scotland. True natives stick to a traditional fare: greasy, starchy & overcooked food (Stonehaven, Scotland). [JAC: I ate a deep fried Mars bar, battered of course, when I lived in Edinburgh. I just wanted to try it,  and it was surprisingly good!]

Home cooked. Really, honest to god (nudge, nudge, wink, wink). Why do quotation marks “baffle” so many? (Stonehaven).

Tea room in Thornton, Scotland. “Serendipity” was coined in 1754 by English writer, art historian and politician Horace (born Horatio) Walpole (1717-1797). He was inspired by Michele Tramezzino’s 1557 tale Peregrinaggio di tre giovani figliuoli del re di Serendippo (The pilgrimage of the three young sons of Serendip’s king). In the story, the princes of Serendip (a Persian name for Sri Lanka) went about making accidental discoveries of good and pleasant things. According to the Oxford English Dictionary, Walpole introduced over 200 words into the English language, including beefy, malaria, nuance, sombre, and souvenir. Some of them didn’t quite catch on, like balloonomania or robberaceously. But “serendipity” was voted the UK’s favourite word in 2000.

An unassuming wall sign in Falkland (Scotland) praising James VI of Scotland, who became James I of England, thus the first king of Great Britain. James’ greatest legacy was the commission of a translation of the Bible into English. A group of sages laboured for seven years to translate from Greek, Hebrew, Aramaic, and Latin. The resulting text is considered a monumental literary achievement, which Christopher Hitchens labelled “a giant step in the maturing of English literature”, and which prompted Richard Dawkins to say “a native speaker of English who has never read a word of the King James Bible is verging on the barbarian” (I can’t comment because I never read it). The good king was also into demons and black magic, writing a whole book about the subject. William Shakespeare may have been inspired by it to create the Weird Sisters, which to me are the best part of Macbeth. James upheld a delicate religious harmony, but it all went pear-shaped: his weak and incompetent son (Charles I) managed to get his head lopped off.

19 thoughts on “Readers’ wildlife photos

  1. I don’t get it – “before and after eating” – as in, _immediately_? Or, for instance, at some point before, and, of course, after, at a time of the eater’s choosing?

    It is so confusing. Are they SURE they know what they mean?

  2. Thanks for these.

    A lot of people seem to think that quotation marks are used for emphasis, like underlining. I knew a fellow at work who would send the following message: ‘Thanks for the “excellent” work’. Yikes!

    1. Hey – remember, AOC said (or wrote? Not sure) “language is fluid”. So it is US who are the problem. Meaning, of course, YOU.

      ^^^^ sarcasm.

    2. In this case, “home cooked” quote marks are not inappropriate as the meals for sale are not home cooked.

  3. Never been to Scotland. Nor have I had a deep-fried Mars Bar. Would love to try it. But I have been to Chattanooga. If you are there, stop in at the Naked River Brewing Company, and get a deep-fried Moon Pie. Moon Pies were created in the town since 1917, first marketed as a dinner bucket treat for coal miners. Surprisingly tasty, as is the brewery’s Chocolate Moon Pie Stout. Pretty good barbecue to boot.

  4. Showing my age- but the immortal quote from “1066 and all that” on the Roman invasion of Britain:

    Julius Cæsar was therefore compelled to invade Britain again the following year (54 B.C., not 56, owing to the peculiar Roman method of counting), and having defeated the Ancient Britons by unfair means, such as battering-rams, tortoises, hippocausts, centipedes, axes and bundles, set the memorable Latin sentence, “Veni, Vidi, Vici,” which the Romans, who were all very well educated, construed correctly.

    The Britons, however, who of course still used the old pronunciation, understanding him to have called them “Weeny, Weedy and Weaky,” lost heart and gave up the struggle, thinking that he had already divided them All into Three Parts.

    1. Isaac Asimov came up with a translation of “Vini Vidi Vici” that preserves the alliteration:” Went, Watched, Won.” He admitted that this was “rather lame.”

    2. Having taken Latin for four years In highschool I have to be pedantic and say that the “e” in “veni” is pronounced like “-ay” in “stay”, just as in “Venite adoremus” in the Christmas carol: all three “e”’s. (In a “short” syllable, the “e” would be as in “let”. Latin textbook writers put macrons over the long vowels to help students.)

      Now, of course, no one can know for sure how the Romans pronounced their language and it evolved as it was preserved by the learned and the holy. Sung Latin is a bit different. But that’s how it was taught to us. Caesar’s ancient telegram is so well known that it’s worth getting it right, or at least as received. If anyone learned it differently, by all means holler.

    1. You’re going to love the deep-fried pizza from the Auchtermuchty Upper chip shop.
      Battered, or unbattered is up to you. Cooked to order.

  5. “Why do quotation marks ‘baffle’ so many?”

    I also wonder why some get confused by question marks?

  6. This is a fun bunch of photos…some interesting commentary too. I would expect nothing else from the talented Athayde.

  7. Do you know how many times I had to look at that “Cyclists Dismount” sign before I finally got it, even with the hint?
    Now I can’t get the vision of frolic-induced mayhem out of my mind. Leapfrog!!

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