Quotes: Latin Phrases

(Latin words and phrases worth knowing)

Cave canem.
“Beware the dog”.

This warning was used in Roman times and may be seen even now on some gates, at least in Europe. Would anyone be warned sufficiently in the United States if he or she saw this sign on a gate?

Cave quid dicis, quando, et cui.
Beware what you say, when, and to whom.

Certainly good advice for all of us; especially, when writing e-mail. Recent studies have shown that e-mail messages may stay recorded somewhere for years and be available for others to read long after we thought they no longer existed.

A case in point is Bill Gates whose videotaped deposition for the federal trial in the United States revealed that he couldn't remember sending an e-mail about Microsoft’s plans to use Apple Computer to "undermine Sun".

Reading about, "The Tale of the Gates Tapes" in the November 16, 1998, issue of Time, the writer Adam Cohen, wrote, "Trouble was, it was a difficult line to swallow. Gates as a fuzzy-headed amnesiac? This is the man revered even by the geniuses who roam Microsoft’s Redmond, Washington, campus for his awesome 'bandwidth' (geekspeak for intelligence)."

Caveat lector.
Reader, beware (or take heed).

That’s good advice regardless of what you are reading.

Caveat venditor.
Let the seller beware.

Caveat emptor has a long history in common law, caveat venditor is just now coming into prominence as a result of the consumer-rights movement. Under caveat venditor, the seller is assumed to be more sophisticated than the purchaser and so must bear responsibility for protecting the unwary purchaser.

sic, [sic]
"Thus, so."

Normally, it is supposed to be used within brackets, [sic] to show that a quoted passage, especially one containing some error or something questionable, is precisely reproduced, or written, just as the person who is being quoted wrote it.

It is to be read exactly as it is shown because that’s the way it was written in the original quotation.

Links to quotations units. Other Quotes, Quotation Units.