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
maberry[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]u.washington.edu
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]nyu.edu or downingg[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]is2.nyu.edu
"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