October 29, 2006

Cuique suum studium

In English: To each his own enthusiasm.

This is a follow-up to yesterday's proverb, "cuique suum." As I mentioned in yesterday's post, such an abbreviated proverb can mean many different things, based on context. Not surprisingly, there are also many variations on that basic saying which help make it more clear just how the saying is to be applied. Today's proverb is an example of that kind of variation: cuique suum studium is a saying used to express how some people get excited about one thing, while other people get excited about other things.

The Latin word studium has really come down in the world, unfortunately, thanks to the pernicious effects of school and schooling. The original meaning of the Latin word "studium" is "eagerness, enthusiasm, devotion." The Latin verb "studeo," meaning "to be eager, zealous, friendly, attentive," is where we get the English word "student" (formed from the present active participle of the Latin verb.).

But now look at what has become of the word in English! The English verb "study" means "to apply one's mind purposefully to the acquisition of knowledge; to read carefully; to memorize; to take a course at a school." None of those activities seem to convey a strong sense of eagerness, enthusiasm, and devotion, alas.

So when you hear the Latin word studium in today's proverb read out loud, remember that it is all about excitement and enthusiasm - not just homework and final exams!

929. Cuique suum studium.

The number here is the number for this proverb in Latin Via Proverbs: 4000 Proverbs, Mottoes and Sayings for Students of Latin.

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