I think, therefore I am dangerous

Here you can discuss all things Latin. Use this board to ask questions about grammar, discuss learning strategies, get help with a difficult passage of Latin, and more.
Post Reply
Oidhche
Textkit Neophyte
Posts: 3
Joined: Sun Mar 28, 2004 7:42 pm

I think, therefore I am dangerous

Post by Oidhche » Sun Mar 28, 2004 7:50 pm

Hi! I know that "cogito ergo sum" means "I think, therefore I am", but I was wondering how to say "I think, therefore I am dangerous". I would be really grateful for any help. Thanks in advance!

Ulpianus
Textkit Member
Posts: 197
Joined: Fri Jan 23, 2004 3:14 pm
Location: London, UK

Post by Ulpianus » Sun Mar 28, 2004 9:27 pm

In principle, and as a matter of grammar, this is easy: cogito ergo --- sum, where --- is an adjective meaning "dangerous". The only thing to do is choose the adjective.

But this is harder than you might think, because whereas "dangerous" in English is a word which has acquired some postive connotations, the Latin adjectives seem to lack that -- indeed, they generally have rather negative ones.

periculosus or periculosa if you are a woman. But this is normally applied to places or situations, not (so far as I can see) to people. It doesn't feel like good Latin to me.

lubricus literally "slippery" can be applied to people whose arguments are dangerous: but it has overtones of craftiness, trickery or deception which you do not want.

infestus looks like the closest match: hostile, antagonistic, dangerous. But it really needs to be qualified by an explanation of what you are dangerous too or it might simply be taken to mean savage, violent, obnoxious.

What sort of danger do you see your thinking-self as posing? To whom?

User avatar
benissimus
Global Moderator
Posts: 2733
Joined: Mon May 12, 2003 4:32 am
Location: Berkeley, California
Contact:

Post by benissimus » Mon Mar 29, 2004 5:06 am

my first thought was cogito ergo minor, "I think therefore I threaten". Not exactly the same meaning, but concise.

Vale
flebile nescio quid queritur lyra, flebile lingua murmurat exanimis, respondent flebile ripae

Oidhche
Textkit Neophyte
Posts: 3
Joined: Sun Mar 28, 2004 7:42 pm

Post by Oidhche » Mon Mar 29, 2004 11:20 am

It seems that infestus is indeed the best word. By dangerous I mean dangerous to those who wish to control others by telling them what to think, what is "right", and discouraging them from thinking for themselves.

Thanks for help!

Ulpianus
Textkit Member
Posts: 197
Joined: Fri Jan 23, 2004 3:14 pm
Location: London, UK

Post by Ulpianus » Tue Mar 30, 2004 9:30 pm

Could you live with "tyrant" as a one word encapsulation of what you have in mind?

cogito ergo tyranni infestus sum

(or, for a more home-grown Roman version: dictatori).

Oidhche
Textkit Neophyte
Posts: 3
Joined: Sun Mar 28, 2004 7:42 pm

Post by Oidhche » Wed Mar 31, 2004 8:51 pm

I think it's pretty good, it's accurate and sounds nice. Thanks a lot!

Post Reply