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--- Ray Brown <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>
> Except that in English 'quote' means repeating the
> verba_ipsissima (or a
> faithful translation of the actual words) not
> repeating what we may image
> the person to be thinking. We may state the latter,
> but it is not a quote.

True. "Quote" looks inappropriate here. Please replace
it by the right word. I just cannot find the right one
in French at the moment, I would have said "citer",
even if normally "citer" has the same meaning as "to
quote". Anyway it is possible to "citer de travers"
(to quote incorrectly). It is also possible to use the
word "citer" ironically, knowing that the quotation is
not a faithful one. Another possibility would be to
say: "Comme Seneque ne l'a pas dit...", but that's not
a verb. Is there a verb "to disquote" ? (AFAIK,
"malciter" does not exist in French).

> We may quote the words "non scholae sed vitae
> discimus" if we want, but
> either give the source as anonymous (we don't know
> who coined this version)
>   or as 'based on Seneca'. But it is false to quote
> them as Seneca's words.
>
> Indeed, now that I know the context, Seneca's words
> have far more meaning
> for me than the bland and platitudinous "non scholae
> sed vitae discimus".
>
> > Interesting that, when reading the original
> sentence,
> > nearly everybody thinks immediately that there
> must be
> > a mistake somewhere.
>
> Only if meeting it out of context!
>
> > Probably culture conditioning. We
> > understand "discimus" has "we have to learn, we
> must
> > learn, we should learn". But "discimus" means
> nothing
> > of the sort. It just means "we learn".
>
> Eh?? Sorry - we? Who are 'we'? Is this yet another
> generalization?

The very discussion you had about this sentence
earlier proves that you felt puzzled, just like your
interlocutor, and just like I was. You said that one
should know the context, which is quite right. What I
meant is that when someone reads:

"Non vitae sed scholae discimus" (Seneca)

this someone usually reads it twice and then thinks :
did Seneca actually say that ? isn't there a mistake
somewhere ? isn't it the opposite ? why did he say
that ? what did he mean by that ? what was the context
?

while in fact, once the context has been found, there
is absolutely nothing abnormal in this sentence. So
the question is: why do we feel puzzled at first
reading ? And my answer is: because we instinctively
understand that this sentence is normative, not
descriptive. So, why do we feel so ? Again, my answer
is: because usually, such sentences, especially when
signed by a famous Latin author, are rather considered
as precepts. This sentence, out of context, does not
work the usual way. That's why we feel puzzled. And
this is cultural. And that's my theory, be it right,
false or incomplete.

I don't think that the original sentence is better or
has more meaning than the reverse one, neither the
contrary: there are just two different things. And in
both cases, the question is the same: what do we learn
for ?

(As to the word "schola", a glose in Russian I found
in some book talks about "philosophical cabinets",
whatever that may be, not schools as we understand
them. Also, it qualifies the whole sentence as an
"uprek" (a reproach, made by Seneca). I can "quote"
the whole Russian comment in case somebody would be interested.)

=====
Philippe Caquant


Barbarus hic ego sum, quia non intellegor illis (Ovidius).

Populus me sibilat, at mihi plaudo (Horatius).

Interdum stultus opportune loquitur (Henry Fielding).

Scire leges non hoc est verba earum tenere, sed vim ac potestatem (Somebody).

Melius est ut scandalum oriatur, quam ut veritas relinquatur (Somebody else).

Ceterum censeo *vi* esse oblitterandum (Me).


		
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