Hi Scott,

Scott Cheloha wrote on Tue, Feb 05, 2019 at 12:02:39AM -0600:

> Oof, folks I think we've missed the forest for the trees here.
> By focussing on the minutiae of the Latin translation we've discarded
> the English motto ("through <something> to the stars") that imho
> anchored the whole thing.
> As noted previously, this phrase was a modern invention with a hasty
> Latin translation conscripted to it to add some credence so you could
> sew it onto a vest or stamp it onto a medal.
> The intent of the whole thing was a poetic English verse, not an
> accurate Latin translation.  The Latin was subordinate, as evidenced
> by the difficult translation.  The intended audience spoke English.
> But okay, because it isn't attributed to anyone or anything in our
> file I can see how we focussed in on that and worked from the Latin
> toward a more correct English translation.  And translation is
> puzzle-solving and puzzle-solving is fun.
> I empathize.
> But... I humbly suggest we partially revert and instead add an
> attribution.

I tried to find the original source but couldn't.  So unless somebody
finds out who originally coined the phrase and for which purpose,
giving an attribution looks like a thoroughly bad idea to me.

> Some quick googling suggests "Per ardua ad astra"

That's not even the same motto.

Are you arguing that a different phrase should be cited?
If so, why?
If anything, "per aspera" appears to be more widely used,
and less exclusively focussed on a military meaning.

> -Per aspera ad astra.  (Through hardship to immortality.)
> +Per ardua ad astra.  (Through adversity to the stars.)
> +             -- Motto of the Royal Air Force

I dislike that for the reasons stated above.

If somebody wants to continue this discussion, it should probably
be moved to misc@.


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