When in doubt, escalate.

dragolo

New Member
Hi! I want to get a tattoo in latin.
What would the translation be for this phrase:
When in doubt, escalate.
 

Pacifica

grammaticissima
Staff member
Hello,

What do you mean by "escalate"? What sort of context do you have in mind?
 

Pacifica

grammaticissima
Staff member
In that case I think you could say:

Si quid dubitas, surge = If in doubt, rise up.

But a Latin proverb exists (from Publilius Syrus) that seems to convey something very similar:

In rebus dubiis plurimi est audacia = "In doubtful matters, daring is the most valuable thing."
 

Pacifica

grammaticissima
Staff member
You're welcome!
 

Callaina

Feles Curiosissima
In that case I think you could say:

Si quid dubitas, surge = If in doubt, rise up.

But a Latin proverb exists (from Publilius Syrus) that seems to convey something very similar:

In rebus dubiis plurimi est audacia = "In doubtful matters, daring is the most valuable thing."
I think Si quid dubitas, age should also work ("when in doubt, act/do something"), but I'm a bit unsure whether it would be idiomatic -- @Pacifica, what do you think?
 

Pacifica

grammaticissima
Staff member
I think Si quid dubitas, age should also work ("when in doubt, act/do something"), but I'm a bit unsure whether it would be idiomatic -- @Pacifica, what do you think?
It sounds good to me.
 

Michael Zwingli

Active Member
What really seems to be called for here is a hypothetical intensificare, but that seems to have not been a thing! I suppose, though, that one might say: Si quid dubitas, id(?) augifica! "If in doubt, make it bigger/blow it up!" (I'm not quite sure whether to use id or hoc here.) I say this because in English, the word escalate does not mean "act" or "do something". Rather, it is used when action is already being taken to indicate an intensification or evolution of the action taken. To "escalate a situation" means to intensify it or "take it to the next level" (as they say). In a simar way, "deescalate" means "make less intense, calm down, bring down a level or two", as in "the police arrived and began to deescalate the hostage situation". If you are having a verbal argument with somebody, an "escalation" would involve beginning to shout, perhaps swear and curse, or perhaps even to make it a physical altercation. This meaning of "escalate" indicates something like augificare, or even surgere. Perhaps one could say Si quid dubitas, rem augifica! In any case, the statements "When in doubt, act" and "When in doubt, escalate" seem to mean entirely different things. @Callaina, what do you think of that?
 
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Michael Zwingli

Active Member
Might one inquire what did you use to find that word, and how did you decide on it?
Of course. With the primary motivation of expanding both my Latin vocubulary (knowing the meanings of given words) and working vocabulary (determining groups of words to fulfill given meanings) in a fun and interesting way, I have been issuing possible translations in this particular forum with the hope of having both the semantics and the grammar of them criticized by folks, like yourself, who have a greater facility in Latin than me. Most of my attempts have been faulty, but I have had a couple of successes. In formulating the translations, I have found both Wiktionary (especially using the Wiktionary thesaurus and translation drop downs under the entry for each English lemma, which divides translations into the varying senses of the English word) in concert with Merriam Webster online (particularly for the finding of English "near synonyms" and "near antonyms"), and the usual Latin-English/English-Latin dictionary to be useful tools. Though a bit tedious, these can be made, acting in concert, to fulfill the role of a Latin Thesaurus which observes the varying word senses, as does the Roget's collegiate.

I found augificare in searching, on Wiktionary, for translations to semantically related words to English escalate in the sense of "to increase in magnitude and/or intensity", which is surprisingly difficult to translate into Latin. I was quite surprised to note that intensificare seems to not have existed in Latin, especially as it does exist in all in the daughter languages. Almost equally noteworthy is that the semantic fields of magnificare and amplificare do not include this meaning or a related meaning within their fields, as their descendants do in English.

May I ask your opinion of my suggested use of augificare in this way?
 
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Anbrutal Russicus

Active Member
May I ask your opinion of my suggested use of augificare in this way?
The reason I ask is that anyone who checks this word in, say Lewis&Short or the PHI corpus, will see that it's a hapax, an adventurous invention by Ennius that occurs nowhere else, something between embiggen and enlargify and found in a gloss in a corrupt passage. And I remember reading similar words from you earlier, so I figure your translation-formulating process must be lacking the most important part, the "was it really used (like that)" part, the "does it work" part of manufacture, one which obviously becomes even more critical when the word in question has been found by synonym-surfing the wiktionary translations tool, introducing not one but two levels of error. What are your usual dictionaries?
 

Michael Zwingli

Active Member
What are your usual dictionaries?
Though I have plenty of grammars (Wheelock's, A&G, Latin Made Simple by Doug Julius, a couple of odd volumes of the Cambridge Latin course, and several other older grammars which I picked up in my "candy store", a giant used bookshop which fills three floors of an old victorian house), the lack of a good print dictionary has been a bit of an issue for me. Of course, I can access the L&S dictionary online, through either the Perseus project directly, or through Wiktionary indirectly. It is a good dictionary, and gives usage examples from the corpus, but not all the hyperlinks work on Perseus, and L&S can be in some ways, dated (particularly in its...um...prudishness?). In print, I have a hardcover copy of Cassell's Standard, which is meh...okay, I guess, and also the Chambers Murray dictionary by Smith and Lockwood (in paperback used from the candy store), which is only Latin-English and has no English-Latin entries. Also, I have Barron's ubiquitous "501 Latin Verbs" for conjugations. In addition to the hyperlinks in L&S online, to find words used in context, I can use PHI texts, using the "word search" tool, but I often have difficulties with that in restricting a search to only the word I am seeking (if, for instance, I wanted to find examples of the usage of verb ire in the first person singular active indicative, and so entered eo, I would have results returned including the first person singular active indicative of every stative verb in the book, plus other additional terms...basically anything containing -eo- as an interfix). I have not yet sprung for a copy of the Oxford Latin Dict. Being relatively poor, I tend to look for books in used condition, and I have considered the OLD a bit too pricey to spend the money on new from the publisher. Additionally, I have a few odd volumes of the Loeb Classics series, and a couple of quite old interlinear translations. Well, that's it in a nutshell...
 
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Pacifica

grammaticissima
Staff member
if, for instance, I wanted to find examples of the usage of verb ire in the first person singular active indicative, and so entered eo, I would have results returned including the first person singular active indicative of every stative verb in the book, plus other additional terms...basically anything containing -eo- as an interfix
Use # to indicate the beginning and/or end of a word.

For instance, if you want examples of words that start with eo (but may have more letters after it), type #eo in the search bar.

If you want words that end with eo, type eo#.

And if you want eo alone, type #eo#. (Though, of course, that will include the pronoun and adverb as well; I don't think there's any way to let the search engine know you only want the verb.)
 

Anbrutal Russicus

Active Member
The best L&S with hyperlinks is probably Alatius. PHI search options are explained here (they're somewhat different for Concordance, no proximity search). I'm not sure if you specifically need a hard copy, but scans of OLD are available both on LibGen and even archive.org. In any case, it kind of seems to me like you already have too many tools - I suggest getting to grips with using a couple of the most indespensible ones. For example, everyone needs to be able to use Smith & Hall in conjunction with Lewis & Short on Latinitium in order to come up with correct word usage; admittedly for that one needs to learn to read L&S, which is far from trivial given how fubar it is by modern standards. OLD is way more readable and definite/reliable in the definitions/senses it gives, but it sometimes takes considerably more time to go through an entry, and finding a co-occurrence like you can using ctrl-F in a digital L&S becomes a veritable nightmare. PHI becomes usable as you start being able to read Latin with some fluency; in the meantime you can at least use it for finding co-occurrences (I use Concordance + ctrl-F).

By the way, what's the exact wiktionary page that gave you augificare as a translation?
 

Michael Zwingli

Active Member
...and how did you decide on it?
I realize that I did not answer that. I was looking for a Latin verb that, as I have indicated, gave a sense of "to increase in intensity", but (shocked that there seems to have been no intensificare) I couldn't find anything for that in Latin, so I expanded my search to include in the sense: "to increase in magnitude". None of the words I knew, magnificare, amplificare, et.al., seemed to include the specific sense I needed. I looked at augere, and it seemed not quite right, but so doing led me to augificare, and I thought I would try to get some feedback on that.

I think, perhaps, that Ennius was guilty of an overly licentious derivation, since -fico should probably not be suffixed to verbs to form other verbs. Even so, the deed was done, and the lemma already existed, so I decided to put it out there.
 

Michael Zwingli

Active Member
Use # to indicate the beginning and/or end of a word.

For instance, if you want examples of words that start with eo (but may have more letters after it), type #eo in the search bar.
If you want words that end with eo, type eo#.
And if you want eo alone, type #eo#.
If one wanted to search for, say, aetas and all terms derived therefrom, including all declined and (most) conjugated forms, one could possibly enter #aet in the search box?
 

Pacifica

grammaticissima
Staff member
If one wanted to search for, say, aetas and all terms derived therefrom, including all declined and (most) conjugated forms, one could possibly enter #aet in the search box?
Yes.
 

Michael Zwingli

Active Member
...everyone needs to be able to use Smith & Hall in conjunction with Lewis & Short on Latinitium in order to come up with correct word usage; admittedly for that one needs to learn to read L&S, which is far from trivial given how fubar it is by modern standards.

By the way, what's the exact wiktionary page that gave you augificare as a translation?
Thanks, @Anbrutal Russicus, I was not aware of the Smith and Hall dictionary; it's good to know, and may prove quite useful.

Well, "fubar" you say? How come yet by old American army acronymizations? That's a great term, isn't it? By the time I served, "fubar" had given way to "ATFU", or "AATFU", which stands for "(all) ate the f√¢k up". Usually, we just said "man, that's ate up!", and that sufficed. Fubar is a better acronym, though, as it can (and I think has) become a lemma in its own right.

Augificare can be found as a "derived term" on the English Wiktionary augeo page. You should probably consider editing in a "usage note" on the Wiktionary augifico page, indicating what you discovered and related above.
 
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