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Archive for December 27th, 2011

Sprigman (3)

So I was paging through the photos I took recently at Spring Grove Cemetery, and I noticed the letters “obt” where i would normally expect to see “died” or some other euphemism for death. I hadn’t noticed this before, so I looked it up and found that obt. is an abbreviation for obiit (an abbreviation that only removed 2 letters? why?), which is Latin for “died.” Makes sense – Latin has been considered one of the languages of the educated for a long time. But I took 3 years of Latin in high school (plus a year of loose independent study when I transferred to a school that did not offer a 4th year of Latin), and I have retained a reasonable amount of my vocabulary from that, but I don’t remember encountering the word before. I’m not sure why. We learned a lot, not just about Latin, but about Roman culture and history, and there was certainly a lot of killing and dying in the political history of Rome.

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