Thursday, February 7, 2008

Banjo sigline in Latin

Any Latin lovers out there? (Oh, that will help my Google rank!)

I mean, can anyone help me with some banjo-related Latin?

I'd like the sig line for my posts at the Banjo Hangout to be a Latin phrase that loosely translates as "Keep on plucking!" or "Pluck 'til you drop!" or something to that effect. I want to command the reader to play (the banjo) and to keep doing it. Kind of like the Marine's motto semper fidelis but meaning "always pluck" instead of "always faithful."

Let me simplify: How do you say "Pluck forever!" in Latin?

The verb "pluck"

It's been a long time since my college Latin. I know that the "plucking" in "Keep on plucking" is a geruned, but I think that I want it to be a command, so the mood should be imperative ("Pluck!") as opposed to indicative ("You are plucking.") or subjunctive ("Let him pluck.").

I'm not even sure which verb I want to use. I think my options are:

It would be satisfying to use some variant of the noun plectrum, which any banjo player knows is the Latin word for the pick that we pluck with.

Via the Conlang Mailing List ("constructed languages") I discovered someone who was trying to translate "Strummin' on the old banjo" into Latin, but that was surprisingly unhelpful. He wanted to say "strum" and I really want "pluck" or "pick".

The gerund "plucking"

On the other hand, maybe the gerund would be nice. I think the gerund form of the verbs I listed above would be:

The adverb "forever"

I found some suggestions for "forever":

  • Aeternus: eternal, everlasting
  • Aeternum or in aeternum: for ever
  • Sempiternus: continual, everlasting
  • In omne tempus: forever (until all time)
  • In saecula saeculorum: for ages of ages forever

Putting them together

So what should I use? Should I go for accurate Latin? Should I use some pidgin Latin which is more easily understood?

  • Psallerā́te in aeternum!
  • Psallerā́te in omne tempus!
  • Dícendum sempiternus!
  • Cantandum in saecula saeculorum!
  • Plectrum in aeternum!
  • Semper plectrum!

Help, anyone?

Update: I keep thinking about that hilarious Latin scene from Monty Python's "Life Of Brian":

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