Sep 27, 2011

Imago, Imagas, Imagat.

"Pay attention, Simpleforth!"
Raps ruler on desk.
"Simpleforth, are you bored?"
"No sir!"
"Do you by any chance not like Latin, Simpleforth?"
"Oh yessir. Amo molto Latino, Magister."
"But I thought I saw you yawning just now, Simpleforth. As if construing two hundred or so words of sensible Latin was, how shall we say, beyond your wit? Do not the forthcoming examinations generate an atmosphere of foreboding? Even fear?"
"Has the wretch actually gone to sleep?"
"No sir. I'm thinking."
"You mean, Simpleforth, that within the putrefying mess that passes for your brain, there is discernible activity?  And what will emerge as a result?  What terrifying creature will this pupil's pupa produce? Marcus Tullius in tablino sedet? Omnes Gallia in tres partes divisa est? Or are you hoping that if Latin finally begins to appear it will be at the same moment that the bell announces end of lesson and Hooray it's Morning Break?"
(Bell sounds.)
"Not so fast, Simpleforth. Instead of hoofing off for a ciggie behind the bike sheds, you will stay here and write a two hundred word imposition to explain the Latin or Greek roots of the words imago, lacuna, miasma, oscitate, and synchronicity." 
"Ohh . . . SIR!"

(Hint to the beleagured schoolboy . .  all the given words are implied in the story, but in Simpleforth Standard English)

(200 words, not including the title and footnotes.  Posted in response to Rachel Harrie's Second Campaigner Challenge)


  1. Simpleforth Standard English should be made compulsory throughout Blogland, I think, Magister, if this example is anything to go by. :)

  2. Ooh I like it! Great job!

    (My entry is #112)

  3. I barely even noticed the words, at all. Well done!
    And you used putrefy ... I love that word

  4. Hah! Oh wow that was so entertaining. I love the way you worked the challenge words into your piece.

    Extraordinarily well done!

  5. That was a very different way of using those words. Loved your dialogue.

    Great job! :)

  6. Clever way to use the words for this challenge. :) I'm #127 and a new follower.

  7. Pupil's pupa...alliteration is fun. I feel sorry for Simpleforth though, having the benefits of a classical education inflicted on him!
    Mine is #3.

  8. Thank you, kind commentators.
    yawning = oscitate, n.oscitance
    pause = lacuna
    putrefying mass = miasma
    terrifying creature . . etc = imago (biol.)
    at the same moment = synchronicity.

    NB SImpleforth went on the read Classics at Oxford University, UK, securing a First Class Honours Degree.

  9. Brilliant, I was enjoying the story so much I began to wonder how you would get the words in. Mine is 153 BTW.

  10. Oh, how clever! I enjoyed reading this.

  11. This was really funny! A good scene that was easy to visualize! Convincing dialogue!

  12. Great dialogue! I was pulled right into the scene.

    My entry.

  13. Simpleforth Standard it. Fun dialogue. Great take on the challenge.

  14. Loved the dialogue here:)

  15. This was brilliant and from now on I am using solely Simpleforth Standard English! Loved it :)

  16. Very funny. I could so hear John Cleese speaking! Loved it. 'Simpleforthh Standard English' - hilarious! Voting and following. I'm #133.

  17. Well I would vote for you but can't remember (and can't seem to find) what your entry # is!

  18. Claire . . and maybe others, who knows. Thank you for your support. My linky number is 129. You can't find me by post title because I have changed the title since I joined the list, and linky doesn't know that. Posted as "THE HAPPIEST DAYS OF YOUR LIFE."

  19. I loved this piece and enjoyed it thoroughly. Your voice is so clear and amusing and your entry was truly original. Great job!



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