Date: Fri, 2 Jan 1998 15:15:57 -0500

From: Larry Horn laurence.horn[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]YALE.EDU

Subject: Re: Deletia (Was Re: Dilbert for WOTY?)

At 10:05 AM 1/2/98 -0800, you wrote:

i wondered about "deletia" myself, especially about the presence of the

"i". i would have expected "deleta" = "things deleted" neuter plural

participle of "deleo" or "delita" the perf. part. = "things having been

deleted" .



I figure it's maybe humorous, pendatry-joshing, deliberately fractured

Latin. Others have written me offlist in the last little bit to say they

themselves have seen deletia, and used it. Maybe it's a what one would

prescriptivistically term a deleterious (delet-hilarious?) usage....

Delenda is an old-fashioned editorial term (cp. the better known "addenda").

Greg Downing/NYU, at greg.downing[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE] or downingg[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]

"Delenda" has an even richer history. If I'm not mistaken, it was Cato

(the younger or older; can't quite recall that part) who used to end every

speech in the Roman senate with the warning "Carthago delenda est", and of

course he eventually got his wish when Carthage was unrecoverably deleted.

And yes, one WOULD expect "deleta", as in "excreta" (I may have also heard

"secreta"), but for some reason it's "deletia" we get. --Larry