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Oh Dear.

In Australian politics it’s been a pretty awful week for women, with a range of rather horrid men from the conservative side of politics parading their misogyny in public concerning our (female) Prime Minister. But this blog isn’t the place for that (you can see my twitter for many comments illuminating what exactly I think of this country’s right wing). This blog’s about Classical History and related topics.

But as well as the political dimension, the Australian football manager (as in, the coach of the national soccer team, not as in so-called “Australian Football”, i.e. the Victorian game that’s played on Cricket ovals) made a terrible sexist gaffe about women shutting up in public (yes, he really said this). Now he claimed that the cause of this was actually him quoting a Latin expression mulieres taceres in ecclesia, an expression I have never heard before, but somehow as if quoting some old bit of sexist Latin that supposedly spouted out of some fourth century patristic saint somehow excuses your own sexism (and Osieck’s attempt at translation is thoroughly debunked here). So it’s been an entirely terrible week for women in general in this country, what with the army thing also coming to light (but to their credit, Army brass seem to have responded to this incident with some foresight and an excellent commitment to the ongoing acceptance of women in the military).

However so-called political columnist Annabell Crabb seeks to explain the week with this article A little more respect, a little less Latin, right?. Crabb tries to get a little even by using Google translate to tell Osieck, in Latin, that:

“Football experts should stick to football”

which Google translate apparently told Ms. Crabb was:

“ornare eu peritorum adherebit”

Oh, dear God, no. Anyone who says Google translate is OK is a fool. It doesn’t understand even something basic like verb tense, let alone mood or voice. Allowing for the spelling mistake of adhaereo, the above says something totally nonsensical like:

to embellish, well done! it will stick of experts

Well, In Latin you’re going to have a real problem with football of course, so let’s broaden the possibility to sport in general: “experts in sports should stick to sport” … using the 2nd person plural imperfect subjunctive active as a iussive for “should stick to”, and the dative (adhaereo takes the dative) for the thing that must be stuck to (ludo, sport), as well the genitive for “experts of sports”, I get something like:

periti ludorum ludo adhaerent

You could also probably use the gerundive adhaesundum est (or perhaps adhaesundi sunt in the pl. masc.) to imply a sense of obligation, but I’m not going to even attempt that here.

Comments invited.