Sunday, April 10, 2005

How Classics Majors Entertain Themselves in their Irrelevance

A guy I know once said that some charismatics were speaking in tongues, believing they were praising the Lord. Somebody was there who actually understood the language they were speaking, and informed them they were actually cursing Him.

The inference was that some demons were having a little fun with the pious, but such are the perils of the monoglot using another language that one finds less blasphemous and more humorous misuses of a foreign tongue all the time.

One such instance took place during a Microsoft advertisement campaign. An adman had the bright idea of using a selection from Mozart's Requiem Mass to play in the background. They chose these lines:

Confutatis maledictis
Flammis acribus addictis...

"When the cursed have been confounded
And given over to the bitter flames.."

Which played as the ad campaign's slogan "Where do you want to go today?" appeared.

There is another funny misuse of music in the introduction to the radio show of Sean ("Every day is a blustery one!") Hannity, which I hesitate to reveal because it's been running for the last three years without change and I still get a kick out of it when I happen across it. The announcer says something like

"From Coast to Coast
And into your living room
Sean Hannity is on the air!"

As the last lines of "O Fortuna" from Orff's Carmina Burana plays in the background.

"quod per sortem
sternit fortem
mecum omnes plangite!"

Which translate to something like

"Because through fate
Fortuna scatters the brave
Everyone weep with me!"

I especially like how the line "Everyone weep with me" coincides with the English of the announcer saying "Sean Hannity is on the air!"

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