Re: Naming a detective division
Carl W. Conrad (email@example.com)
Mon, 20 May 1996 10:24:09 -0500
At 7:49 PM -0500 5/17/96, BibAnsMan@aol.com wrote:
> I have a unique request. The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department,
> detective division has approached me to ask if I could come up with a phrase
> in Greek that they could title a unit's project.
> This project is titled DIRC: Detective Information Resource Center. Their
> job is to do investigations for many other crime units. They search for
> locations, criminal records, crime patterns, etc. for other units. They have
> access to some of the most sophisticated computer resource systems that exist
> to do their research. Their main goal is to assist other detective units put
> bad guys in jail by doing research via computer databases.
> Given this initial description, I wanted to ask if any of you could come up
> with a Greek phrase that would be catchy to put with the DIRC name. They are
> looking for something catchy with a meaning pointing to their work, similar
> to the E. PLURIBUS UNUM on the U.S. coin. They want others who see it to
> ask them what it means and then they would tell them it means something.
> Could you help me produce a little two to four word phrase in Greek?
> I asked them if they could produce a phrase and then give it to me to
> translate into Greek, but they wanted me to try to come up with something
While admittedly it is fun to play around with versions of such things,
does anyone ever find such requests annoying, as I do, on grounds that
somebody wants to make a nice impression and show off a bit of erudition
that they don't have. Where mottoes are a matter of tradition deriving from
an era when people COULD read Greek and Latin, but I've gotten to the point
that I have started charging fees for this sort of sham cleverness.
There've been some weird things: I had once to invent a Latin title for an
"International Society for Contact Lens Research;" on another occasion an
obstetrician's secretary asked for a Latin motto to be put on a birthday
cake, translating, "No fetus can defeat us."
But what's the point in assisting other people to make a show of learning
that they don't have?
Carl W. Conrad
Department of Classics, Washington University
One Brookings Drive, St. Louis, MO, USA 63130
firstname.lastname@example.org OR email@example.com