Playing with papal tweets

playing with papal tweetsPapal tweets help Latin teachers in classrooms around the world to teach and review the whole language. Take for example the first statement of a recent tweet:

Dominica tandem dies quid nobis importat?
In the final analysis, what does the day of the Lord do for us?

The verb importat means more than “it imports”, as if importing goods into the country. Rather it means “cause, bring, occasion, do”.

A teacher could could put this question in the passive right away:

Dominica die quid nobis importatur?
What is done for us on the day of the Lord?

Keeping the question passive, depending on the level of the course, the teacher could use the accusative and infinitive to ask using any number of verbs:

What do you think is done for us on the day of the Lord?
dominica die quid nobis importari arbitraris/putas?.

Next the question can be made indirect, such as:

Dominica tandem dies quid importet nesciunt plerique.
In the final analysis, most people do not know what Sunday does for us.

Then this indirect question can be placed in the past, as in:

When you come down to it, most people do not know what Sunday has done for us.
Dominica tandem dies quid importaverit nesciunt plerique.

Or the syncopated form could be used: importarit.

The indirect question can be set in futurity:

Dominica tandem dies quid importatura sit nesciunt plerique.
Finally, most people do not know what Sunday is about to do for us.

The original sentence could set in the past:

Domenica dies quid plurima saecula Christianis importabat?
What was the day of the Lord doing for Christians for many centuries?

This last question could be made indirect in the sentence:

Quid dominica dies Christianis importaret pagani ignorabant.
Pagans were unaware of what the day of the Lord was doing for Christians.

On a final note: the dictionary says that ‘to peep’ is pipio, following the use of Catullus. But who is going to say Pontifex pipit? Is it not more eloquent and dignified to say Pontifex breviloquitur, following the use of Cicero?

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