Fuzzy motto...

129D022B-6C22-42A8-9771-9D9B959840DD.jpeg


Not 100% convinced I’ve read it correctly, as the image resolution you see here, is as defined as I can find it!

I believe it is “Homines Officio Haud Communi Communes“

Have I read that correctly? Whilst I can roughly translate the individual words, how would you best phrase this motto in modern English?

Many thanks in advance :)
129D022B-6C22-42A8-9771-9D9B959840DD.jpeg
 

Pacifica

grammaticissima
Staff member
Literally it says something like "People common to an uncommon duty". Now, it's hard to be sure what is meant by that. There may be a bit of wordplay on two different senses of the adjective communis. One possibility would be that it's about people sharing, fulfilling together an uncommon (in the sense of exceptional, outstanding...) duty. Knowing some context might help. Do you know what it's the motto of?
 
It was the motto of the now-defunct Police Dependants’ Trust (they merged with another charity). I actually saw it on a notepad produced by them, that my partner was given some time ago.

Perhaps it’s a reference to Robert Peel’s statement that “the police are the public and the public are the police“.
 

Agrippa

Well-Known Member
In my opinion the motto makes an allusion to division of labour, the basis of a well-organized human society.
 

Laurentius

Civis Illustris
Imho maybe they mean "common people for an uncommon duty". Can communis even mean that? I find L&S to be not very clear about this.
 

Pacifica

grammaticissima
Staff member

Pacifica

grammaticissima
Staff member
I can't find any example of communis in that meaning being applied to people, though, (only things), but well.
 

Pacifica

grammaticissima
Staff member
Is it possible that the organisation’s Latin “consultant” at the time, got their motto a bit wrong?
Maybe not grammatically wrong, but definitely ambiguous and unclear. When you see the adjective communes after a form that could be dative (like officio communi) the natural default interpretation is to take it as "common to..." Now, as has been suggested by Bitmap, it's not theoretically impossible for officio communi to be ablative, too, though if that's what they meant it's far from obvious.
 

Agrippa

Well-Known Member
Last edited:

Pacifica

grammaticissima
Staff member
I think you’re all probably right!

I know this is L to E section, but in a bid to avoid a separate thread, how would you translate “Ordinary People doing an Extraordinary Duty/Job” ?
 

Agrippa

Well-Known Member
Well, there are several possible translations (classical Latin if possible). What about the following one?

Homines de populo munere fungentes extraordinario.

Alternative:

Homines cuiusque generis munere fungentes extraordinario.
 
Last edited:
Well, there are several possible translations (classical Latin if possible). What about the following one?

Homines de populo munere fungentes extraordinario.

Alternative:

Homines cuiusque generis munere fungentes extraordinario.
Thank you Agrippa! I’ve been thumbing through my 1960s Collins Pocket Dictionary, to determine the difference between those two fabulous-looking suggestions, and coming up with some surprising results (down to my ineptitude, I’m sure). Being as “needy” as I am, you just know what I’ll ask now...

What does each of them mean, precisely, please?

It struck me that such a phrase would suit our healthcare & emergency workers, at this difficult point in time!
 

Agrippa

Well-Known Member
...What does each of them mean, precisely, please?...
Well, it's worth a try. :)

Strictly word-for-word:

A) Homines de populo / munere fungentes extraordinario.
Human beings out of the people / fulfilling an extraordinary function.

B) Homines cuiusque generis / munere fungentes extraordinario.
Human beings of every kind / fulfilling an extraordinary function.

My favourite is version A.

Annotation:
Ordinary people] = people like you and me: It‘s not easy to find a Latin equivalent.
A) Following Cicero’s expression poeta de populo (Arch. 25) I wrote homines de populo.
B) Writing homines cuiusque generis I imitated Caes. civ. 1, 51, 2 (cuiusque generis hominum).
 
Last edited:
Top