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The sentence with which Cato the Elder ended each speech was Ceterum censeo Carthaginem delendam esse: “Also, I think Carthage must be destroyed.” Delendam is the feminine singular accusative of the gerundive of deleo, I destroy. It is feminine because it modifies Carthago, which is feminine, and it is accusative because it is the subject of a sentence in indirect discourse; the infinitive “esse” is used for the same reason. The phrase as a stand alone sentence would be “Carthago delenda est” — a more familiar version of the quote.
“Saddam has been destroyed” would be “Saddam deletus est,” using the past participle of “deleo.” “Saddam delendum est” would mean “Saddam must be destroyed” only if we assign the neuter gender to Saddam, an insult equal to Bush I’s deliberate misaccentuation of the name.p>Maybe you can borrow a Latin proof-reader from NRO…. br> — Mike Bates /p>
Jed Babbin replies: Thanks. Your correction is much appreciated, but your version differs with other scholars we’ve heard from. I have already deleted the reference book from which I got the quote from my library. All I know is that Saddam must be destroyed. Or, as you might put it, “Saddam delenda est.” That’s what we’ll use for nowp> Errare est humanum. br> — Matt Bartle /p>
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
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It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
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