(Sorry if there's been a topic on this before... I tried searching but couldn't find anything.)
So recently I read Through the Looking Glass
(yes, this is Latin related!), and in the book, the White Queen says: "The rule is, jam to-morrow and jam yesterday -- but never jam to-day." According to Annotated Alice:...Carroll plays on the Latin word iam (i and j are interchangeable in classical Latin), which means "now." The word iam is used in the past and future tenses, but in the present tense the word for "now" is nunc. I received more letters about this than about any other oversight, mostly from Latin teachers. They tell me that the Queen's remark is often used in class as a mnemonic for recalling the proper usage of the word.
This no-jam-today business is news to me! I'm only a Latin II student, but I know I've seen "iam" used in the present tense before. My school uses the Ecce Romani books, and in one of the Latin I book's first translations appears the sentence "Laeta est Flavia quod Cornelia iam in villa habitat"... is Ecce Romani wrong? My sense of the two words was that "iam" is a more vaguely defined sense of "now" (as in, Cornelia is living now in the country house but has also been living there for a while), while "nunc" is more "right now." And I have only ever seen "nunc" in the present tense.... but it never occured to me to limit "iam" to past and future tenses.
So... anyone care to enlighten me on nunc vs. iam?
Thanks in advance!