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E Pluribus Unum

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50690.  Sun Feb 12, 2006 7:08 am Reply with quote

Q: What is 'e pluribus unum'?

F: The motto of the USA

A: A recipe for salad dressing

This comes from a thread in General Banter, called Who wants to be Lawrence Llewelyn Bowen? in which Suze draws our attention to a recent kerfuffle in Celebrity Who Wants to be a Millionaire.

E pluribus unum was dropped as the motto of the USA in 1956 (the poster cites US Code Title 36, but I haven't checked this). It's still on the Great Seal of the United States, but is no longer the national motto, which is "In God we trust", a line from from The Star Spangled Banner. The tag e pluribus unum is originally from Moretum, a work formerly attributed to Virgil but now considered as anonymous, and concerns a recipe for salad dressing using cheese, garlic and herbs.

50691.  Sun Feb 12, 2006 7:14 am Reply with quote

For the notes, here's the story in suze's (paraphrased) words:

the contestants were celebrity couples this week. To be precise, Lawrence Llewellyn-Bowen and his wife. They had reached 500,000 and received this question for the big million:

Which phrase, translated from the Latin, is the national motto of the United States of America?

A In God we trust
B One out of many
C All for one
D [I can't remember - it wasn't D]

B was the answer which the Millionaire people were looking for. Sadly for them, LLB gave the answer "In God we trust" and heard the tragic words "You have just lost 468,000". In fairness to the Millionaire guys, they grudgingly accepted that they were wrong, and allowed the Llewellyn-Bowens another go at a different million pound question. (They took the 500K).

50728.  Sun Feb 12, 2006 11:10 am Reply with quote

Did anyone see the replacement question they got?

Something like "Who was the second man in space".

I thought, yes I know that - or at least I will know the name when it comes up. Sure enough the 4 names came up and I was stumped; I was sure I'd know the name.

a) Vladislav Titov
b) Michael Collins
c) Gus Grissom
d) Yuri Gagarin.

I would have been very annoyed had I got this question, as the actual answer is Virgil Grissom (a name you may recall fom last series' thunderbirds question) - "Gus" was just a nickname.

The name "Virgil" would no doubt have jogged my memory, but by putting his nickname, it made the question impossible for me, another imperfect question in my view.

50821.  Mon Feb 13, 2006 5:47 am Reply with quote

Presumably, the adoption of "In Gawd we're trussed" would have been controversial, in light of the constitutional seperation of church and state? I seem to recall that it was felt to be more suitable for a nation which at that time defined itself entirely by its anti-communism ... whereas the old Pluribus sounded a little bit suspect to red-hating ears.


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