Just when I was beginning to think the neoconservatives had reached the nadir of ignorance with people like Jonah Goldberg and David Frum, along comes Harvard grad Bill Kristol to flaunt his ignorance. Bill was so thrilled that someone had put up these mock lyrics to a Harvard Fight song: Illegitimum non carborundum that he posted a link on his blog.
Archons of Athens!
Some old geezers will remember the gag Latin, “Illegitimis non carborundum est,” facetiously translated as “Don’t let the bastards wear you down.” The joke lay in giving it the appearance of the gerundive of obligation with the subject (illegitimis) in the dative case. But, what had been a semi-literate gag in the 1960’s is now impenetrable to the brain trust at the Weekly Standard. Dative shmative.
I remember once telling Pat Buchanan about some political prediction the young Kristol had made. Pat laughed his laugh, saying “That guy–he never gets anything right.”
Pat was right. If we do not laugh at these poor fellows, we shall have to cry for the Americans who actually read them. If only their mistakes were confined to the grammar of dead languages and did not extend to the grammar of dead Americans and Iraqis.
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