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628978.  Fri Oct 23, 2009 3:41 pm Reply with quote

Thanks for that, suze. I think the problem is that it is difficult to explain grammatical forms from one language when they do not exist in another, as examples cannot be given. Whilst I take the points from the article and from Dr Branford, there does remain something vaguely unsatisfactory about the explanation.

Latin masters would simply get round this by saying, “Think in Latin boy/wretched specimen/fool” *. (The honest reply to this was never advisable). Of course, they were (are) right – it is perfectly understandable if one understands Latin, but a paradox looms.

As far as I was concerned, remembering that a gerund is active and a gerundive passive seemed to keep everyone happy.

* They never could (can?) remember anyone’s name, so delete as appropriate.

629021.  Fri Oct 23, 2009 5:27 pm Reply with quote

Yea, that would be good enough for most purposes, as indeed would the notion that a gerund is a noun and a gerundive is an adjective. (Except in Chinese where it's an adverb, what with the language not having any adjectives in the conventional sense.)

And I'd have to agree that there's not really anything to be gained by insisting that English needs to have a gerundive just because Latin does - Jespersen, Fowler, and all the rest of them managed perfectly well without it.

After all, it's that sort of thinking which has led to us spending two hundred years being told that one must not split the infinitive - that "rule" was only invented because in Latin it's physically impossible to.

629027.  Fri Oct 23, 2009 5:40 pm Reply with quote

In my Latin teaching moments, I just told my charges that properly explaining the concept of gerundivity was beyond me, and that understanding it was probably beyond both me and them, and that all they needed to know was that gerundives turned up in the following circumstances, where they were to be translated in the following ways...

However, it is perhaps worth pointing out that rumours of the unsplittability of the Latin infinitive have been greatly exaggerated. Or slightly exaggerated, at any rate. Present active, perfect active and present passive examples of the genre each consist of one unsplittably single word, but if the infinitive with which one is dealing is a perfect passive infinitive, a future passive infinitive, or a future active infinitive, then it will consist of two words, and nothing prevents you (or would have prevented a Roman) from splitting it with gay abandon.

629031.  Fri Oct 23, 2009 5:43 pm Reply with quote

If a cooking apple is a gerundive, then so is an eating apple.

629141.  Sat Oct 24, 2009 9:34 am Reply with quote

Just nipping down the shops to buy half a dozen gerundives...

635813.  Wed Nov 11, 2009 12:17 pm Reply with quote

I am going to ask my Latin prof about gerundives. I am curious to hear what she says about them.

636032.  Wed Nov 11, 2009 7:29 pm Reply with quote

The Private Life of the Gerund.

Sadurian Mike
636055.  Wed Nov 11, 2009 11:30 pm Reply with quote

From Alexander and Guagamela to a discussion of the finer points of gerunds in one page.

Both QI, both "G". Only on the QI forum.

642454.  Tue Dec 01, 2009 9:17 pm Reply with quote

Celebaelin wrote:
I'll admit to being slightly worried that the recent announcements of increased troop deployments to Afghanistan (President Obama has indicated that 50,000 more US troops will be deployed) are indicative of a mindset where a) victory is attainable entirely by military superiority and b) that in the abscence of new ideas throwing large numbers of highly trained troops at the problem will address the issue. I'd just like to point out that this is exactly what the Romans thought prior to Cannae. The ideas of Quintus Fabius Maximus Verrucosus 'Cunctator' (ca. 280 BC–203 BC) may be of interest to you, especially with regard to whom in the modern scenario is fulfilling which of the historical parallels - the fact that the allied forces can re-supply a foreign invasion force enables them to take the Roman role but is this wise? Might it not merely create a target rich environment as was the case at Cannae?

President Obama has just announced a further 30,000 US troops to be deployed by July next year alongside a plan to withdraw in 2011. He is also seeking additional deploymemts from America's allies - Sir Jock Stirrup announced yesterday that he considered the army to be the best equipped it has ever been so we should expect further UK troop deployment (500 troops is the much mooted number) to be forthcoming in the near future.

Speaking ahead of the meeting, Sir Jock said the military had "more than met the remit" in terms of quantity of equipment, with quality "going up all the time".

642560.  Wed Dec 02, 2009 11:09 am Reply with quote

Except that according to Ken Shinseki the number of troops actually needed to accomplish the required outcome would be more in the range of a quarter of a million, which we don't have available.

642651.  Wed Dec 02, 2009 2:15 pm Reply with quote

What makes me nervous as a High School teacher is that there are more than 250000 kids available to any draft that may come along. Living in a fairly poor part of a relatively poor, (in financial terms), state means that I have seen a disproportionate number of my former students packing up their old kit bags, I have also seen a few who have returned with not all the bits they went with. Fortunately as Brian Hanrahan said, many years ago, "I counted them all out and I counted them all back again", so far.

955042.  Sun Dec 09, 2012 7:13 am Reply with quote

Just found this thread again - along with the one that begins at post 32632. Some interesting stuff.

955043.  Sun Dec 09, 2012 7:17 am Reply with quote

Almost exactly 3 years on from my post above, I can tell you from a graduating class last year of 92 kids, 15 of them joined the armed forces. We recently had one of our graduates return following 5 months of recuperation in an Army hospital after being a victim of a suicide bomb in Afghanistan.

955047.  Sun Dec 09, 2012 7:24 am Reply with quote

Do you know if he felt it worthwhile?

955062.  Sun Dec 09, 2012 7:56 am Reply with quote

It was a she, and I haven't talked to her as yet.


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