February 06, 2011

Hodie vivendum, omissa praeteritorum cura

Recording also available at iPadio using this link.

Today's saying is Hodie vivendum, omissa praeteritorum cura. In English: "Live for today, setting aside all worry about the past."

This is awfully good advice for life in general: whatever you do, don't let the past drag you down. Or, as the English saying goes, "Today is the first day of the rest of your life." In terms of teaching and learning, this saying urges you to start each task fresh, without worrying about any frustrations or failures you might have experienced in the past, as a teacher or as a student. Admittedly, there are all kinds of aspects of school - like the awful GPA - which makes people obsess about the past, but obsessing about the past can sometimes be a real obstacle to forward progress. Of course, like so much good advice, this is easier said than done, but it is still very good advice nevertheless. You need to live right here, right now: hodie vivendum - and let bygones be bygones: omissa praeteritorum cura.

In terms of the Latin grammar, you might notice that the Latin praeterita is very much like the English word "bygones." The praeterita are the things that have literally "gone by," from the verb praeterire, "to go by, to pass away." In Latin grammar terminology, the praeteritum, or tempus praeteritum, refers to the past tense, which is where we get the grammatical term "preterite" in English.

For those of you who are fans of macrons, here is the Latin written with macrons:

Hodiē vīvendum, omissā praeteritōrum cūrā.



mifaina said...

So what is the "correct" pronunciation of the diphthong "ae"? It sounds like you are pronouncing it " ¯a ˘e" not
ae Like ai in aisle / Like Latin ¯e
as in "Latin Pronunciation Demystified".
I was thought ¯e although curious enough in Romanian it is pronounced as you do a (like father) and e (like pet) e.g AER - air.
Also it seems v is u for you - that makes me think that you are using "ancient Roman" as method of pronunciation?

Laura Gibbs said...

Hi mifaina, I'm not sure how there could be a "correct" pronunciation of Latin (a language now dead and, when spoken, spoken for millennia all over the world). To be honest, it seems like the best thing we can do is read the Latin for meaning, not for phonology. I personally have zero interest in debates about correct pronunciation. Most American students use the restored classical pronunciation with u for v so I usually use that - but for medieval authors, that is not the best idea... so: there is really no good solution, and in the absence of a good solution OMITTO CURAM, as the saying here urges us to do. You will find plenty of other people who will tell you what the "correct" way to pronounce Latin is... but I am not one of those people. I guess I would say AS LOUD AS POSSIBLE is the correct way. :-)