Word of the day

The word for today is…

macaronic (adj) – 1. Of or containing a mixture of vernacular words with Latin words or with vernacular words given Latinate endings.
2. Of or involving a mixture of two or more languages.

Source : The Free Dictionary

Etymology : Macaronic verse—it can scarcely be called poetry—is associated especially with medieval universities, in which the various “nations” of students, e.g., English, Welsh, Scots, Picards, Normans, Paduans, Milanese, etc., all listened to lectures delivered in Latin and asked and answered questions in Latin. Such bilingualism, more or less fluent, invites bilingual puns and, sad to say, scurrilous verse.

Perhaps the most popular macaronic verse in the contemporary United States is the Carmina Burana, a collection of 254 mostly bawdy and irreverent poems dating from the 11th or 12th century, from Benediktbeuern in Bavaria. The carmina were written in Medieval Latin, Middle High German, Old French, or a mélange of Latin and the vernacular languages. The German composer and conductor Carl Orff (1895–1982), who was born in Munich, about 45 miles away from Benediktbeuern, set 24 of the carmina to music in 1936. Macaronic entered English in the early 17th century.


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Peter is a fourth-generation New Zealander, with his mother’s and father’s folks having arrived in New Zealand in the 1870s. He lives in Lower Hutt with his wife, three cats and assorted computers.

His work history has been in the timber, banking and real estate industries, and he’s now enjoying retirement. He has been interested in computers for over thirty years and is a strong advocate for free open source software. He is chairman of the SeniorNet Hutt City committee.

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