28 Comments

  1. I don’t get the “O temp, O remoras” title. (Yes, I know what remoras are. I get the literal meaning but not the pun.)

  2. The phrase may have made more of a pun if it had been stated correctly . . .

    ‘O tempora, o mores! is a Latin phrase that translates literally as “Oh the times! Oh the customs!”, first recorded to have been spoken by Cicero. A more natural, yet still quite literal, translation is “Oh what times!”‘

    . . . . or not.

  3. Powers, it’s a syllable-switchup of some sort (maybe not exactly a spoonerism) on the expression O tempora, o mores!
    Here is an excerpt from the Wikipedia article on that phrase … yes, there is an article just for this phrase.


    O tempora, o mores! is a Latin phrase that translates
    literally as "Oh the times! Oh the customs!", first
    recorded to have been spoken by Cicero. A more natural,
    yet still quite literal, translation is "Oh what times! Oh
    what customs!";[1] a common idiomatic rendering in
    English is "Shame on this age and on its lost principles!",
    originated by the classicist Charles Duke Yonge.[2] The original
    Latin phrase is often printed as O tempora! O mores!, with
    the addition of exclamation marks, which would not have been
    used in the Latin written in Cicero's day.

  4. Thanks, Downpuppy and Andréa, for your explications. I hadn’t seen them when I started writing another.

  5. Brian: But they’re bracing for it.

    Every one of these is funny, although I would have said “make the round-up” instead of “do the rounding up.” The “make” would do double-duty for attending and creating.

  6. “The phrase may have made more of a pun if it had been stated correctly . . .”

    I think it is specifically because it isnt stated correctly that it works as a pun.

    The correct phrase as you point out is

    O temp|ora, |o |mores (7 syllables)

    Punning on the middle three we get

    O temp|0 ra|moras (6 syllables)

    It works for me. It works as both spoonerism (switching position of “ora” with “O”) and as straight pun (pronouncing “ora O” as “O re-“).

    I suppose the one way it doesn’t quite work is pronouncing “tempora” as “temp” and “mores” as “remoras” (which I figure is how Andrea saw it). Well, it does work but not very well.

  7. Vehicle in hospital? That’s a strange phrase.

    The scene reminded me of a passage in the comic song/story “Wet Dream” by Kip Addotta:

    “…I was driving through downtown Atlantis
    My Barracuda was in the shop, so
    I was in a rented Stingray
    And it was overheating
    So I pulled into a Shell station….”

    Now is the shark in the comic strip a loner?

    If he had problems would he be a troubled loaner?

  8. Vehicle in hospital? That’s a strange phrase.

    That’s the way they say it in the UK. I see that the cartoonist is Australian, so it’s probably the same there.

  9. chak: You’re welcome. Sometimes it has continuing stories, and I sometimes fine it difficult to remember all the relationships. But the standalones (like this one) are usually good, and so are the stories.

    deety: Thanks for the LOL.

  10. Sorry his vehicle is in hospital, but I’m glad he wasn’t hurt in the accident, so he doesn’t have to be in repair shop.

  11. As an accountant who was taught never to “plug” a number – rounding off is only suppose to be done when the tax return calls for it or there are fractional cents.

    The last business client I still have – a woman in her, I am guessing, 80s – was open part of last year in her jewelry business on 47th Street in Manhattan. Since she is braver than I am (not going out) I wrote her note with the information I need to prepare the annual sales tax return and corporation return for her business (basically – send me a list of the checks you wrote and a list of the invoices – under 25 of them last year – so I can file the sales tax return and prepare and mail her the income tax returns. I also asked her for a copy of the last bank statement for 2020 as that way I would have both have a reference for how much should be in the bank at the end and the monthly fee from her credit card provider when no – or too few – credit card sales were made during the month.

    I made a copy of the data file I had for her for Quickbooks (so I can go back to what was done in person if needed from the copy) and posted the invoices and checks. I presumed based on how she does business (no sales on account) that all sales had been paid for and subtracted 12x the monthly credit card fee and the checks – I was off by around $6,500. I put it all away to look at another day. I had not posted the actual deposits, just totaled them up to see where I was, so today I posted them. I am now out $17.96 – probably bank fees during the year as she was not using the account/had low balances at various times. In normal times I would go crazy to resolve a 6 cent (or 1 cent even) difference, but things being what they are this year – I can deal with being off less than $18.

  12. There’s an old Bennett-Cerf-type joke about a husband who looked at his wife’s checkbook register and was puzzled by all of the entries charged to “ESP,” since he didn’t think she had any interest in psychic matters. She explained that when she couldn’t get things to balance, she charged/credited the difference to “Error Some Place” and went on with her life.

    While a joke, it made good sense to me and I now do the same thing, at least if the error is only a couple of dollars or so and if I can’t find the problem after a reasonable amount of effort and re-arithmeticing. (And yes, I do write a lot of checks every month; I dislike using credit cards for anything other than emergencies.)

  13. I long long ago quit trying to balance my checking account. I just review the deposits and withdrawals.

  14. Interestingly, I was just reading an article in Scientific American about the Cosmological Constant. It’s a term Einstein put into his Relativity equations to make the math work out. But then Edwin Hubble found out the universe was expanding and the cosmological constant wasn’t needed. Except that the rate of expansion isn’t slowing down; it’s speeding up. So the constant is back in, representing the “dark energy” that is pushing the universe apart and is associated with the “vacuum energy” predicted by quantum mechanics. Except that quantum mechanics predicts that the value of the constant should be very large, but observation of the speed of expansion shows the value to be very small. Or it could be zero if dark energy and vacuum energy are unrelated. Or not.

  15. Mark in Boston, that is indeed an interesting subject.
    But I couldn’t figure out which cartoon it might have sprung from. (Or which previous comment.)
    Maybe the one about rounding? But I thought the calculations relating to dark matter as well as dark energy were very precise? (Though I did hear a recent conversation with Sean Carroll saying how imprecise they used to be about the value of the Hubble Constant.)

  16. Rounding error, or ESP (Error Some Place), or fudge factor, or whatever number accountants put in to make the debits equal the credits, made me think of the cosmological constant, which again only went in to make the debits equal the credits.

  17. Shrug –

    I use Quickbooks -both for work and us. I also keep our checking account info in a traditional paper register in the checkbook. I killed half an hour the other day as there was 3 cent difference between the two and had to find it. I could have plugged one or the other or left the difference and figured on waiting until the bank statement comes and finding out which was right then, but the accountant in me would not allow that.

    For me to plug anything is EXTREMELY rare.

  18. Mark in Boston –

    See my comment to Shrug. One of the first things one is taught in accounting is never to fudge the numbers – one must resolve all differences exactly.

    Slightly off color accounting joke – (For those who might not know – a :fixture” is personal property which is attached to real property – hence a light attached to and hanging from the ceiling or attached to and hanging on the wall is a fixture while a lamp on a table is not.) When is a secretary a fixture?

    When she is screwed on the floor. (It was mostly guys in accounting classes.) (sorry if too blue a joke)

Add a Comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.