Hi everyone, I'm thinking out loud on something which is troubling me a little, hopefully you guys can put me right if I am talking rubbish.
Like a lot of English football clubs, my local team (Sunderland) have a Latin club motto which appears on the crest.
The motto is:
Now, I have always assumed (prior to starting to learn Latin) that the English translation was roughly "Continuing Excellence", because I just assumed consectatio was latin for consecutive or continuing.
I decided to have a look in my Latin dictionary, and sure enough, Excellentiae was "Excellence", but I couldn't find Consectatio. I DID find the following closely sounding entry:
Consector, atus  v. dep. go towards; seek after; imitate; pursue; hunt down; attack
This puzzled me somewhat. I naievely assumed that the stems of all first conjugation verbs ended in "o". Then I could simply add an ending to give the word the correct tense, etc. e.g:
Consecto - I pursue
Consectas - You pursue
Consectat - He \ She \ It pursues
Consectamus - We pursue
Consectatis - You (plural) pursue
Consectant - They pursue
So from this, at absolute beginner level Latin, I would say that "Consectamus Excellentiae" would be the correct motto, because (being a football club) the present tense ending of "we" would be the most accurate, because a group of people are currently pursuing.
But of course, it's never that simple. I couldn't figure out why a 1st conjugation verb was ending in "r". I figured it had to do with the dep in the dictionary entry. Quick look in the front shows me that it stands for deponent. Quick look on the internet tells me that a deponent is a verb that is: "active in meaning but passive in form." Now I ain't got no idea what that means, but I started to think it through.
If you think about it, "we pursue excellence" doesn't sound quite right for a football club. It would sound better if it was something like "pursuing excellence". I am very poor at the technical side of language, but I am assume saying "pursuing" rather than "we pursue" is passive. But it is different from the past tense, because you aren't saying "we were pursuing".
So I don't know where the "tio" came from, but I think I have figured out that it the passive way of describing something active, and in this case, consectatio means "pursuing".
P.S. I know it's a crap motto, but I didn't make it up!