October 17, 2006

In caput auctoris facinus plerumque redundat

In English: A crime often comes back to hit the doer in the head.

The Latin word for the way the crime comes back is redundant, from unda, "wave." So the crime comes back against the doer of that crime as sure the tide coming in. We get a lot of great English words from the Latin "wave," such as undulate, inundate, abundant, redundant, etc.

I was prompted to choose this proverb for today thinking about the ongoing saga of the late Ken Lay. I've posted various comments about Ken Lay and his partners in crime from Enron in the past, most recently back on September 26 when I posted a proverb in honor of Andrew Fastow being sentenced for his crimes. Today I read in the news that because Ken Lay died after he was declared guilty but before he could appeal the verdict, that guilty verdict has been vacated, and Ken Lay is "not guilty." Well, I guess that means Ken Lay got justice. I wish I could say the same for the folks unlucky enough to have put their financial futures in Ken Lay's hands.

In any case, I do believe that whatever our justice system may be able or unable to do, there is a cosmic sense of justice that runs with the force of the tides, as this proverb tells us.

Meanwhile, I'll be sure to post a proverb about the ways of wickedness and greed when it comes time for Jeff Skilling to get sentenced. That should be sometime soon! In the meanwhile, if you have not seen the genius documentary, Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room, I highly recommend it.

And here is today's proverb read out loud:

1179. In caput auctoris facinus plerumque redundat.

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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1 comment:

Laura Gibbs said...

Sad to say, I could tell the same story all over again now in 2009 about Madoff and his cronies!