Friday, November 3, 2023


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Byter Tim B sent me a limerick which relies on a Latin phrase so today’s them is Latin humour, some being from past Bytes . . .

Caution, some risque language ahead.

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I'm proud that I got 40% on my Latin exam.

After all, you should always XL.

The professor gave me a C on my Latin exam...

Aced it!

A Roman walks into a bar and says "I'll have a martinus please." The bartender, a little puzzled replies, "Don’t you mean a martini?" The Roman scoffs and says "If I wanted two I would have asked."

I was hiking in the woods with the famed scatologist, Diedre Oppings, when we came across a brown mass.

"Bear?", I asked.

"No, clearly canine," she replied. She poked at it with a stick. "I think, a cocker spaniel mix, with..." She took a deep sniff. "Ah yes, poodle."

"You mean...?"

"Yes," she replied. "It's cocker poodle doo."

Which reminds me of an oldie . . .

The Montana State Department of Fish and Game is advising hikers, hunters, fishermen and golfers to take extra precautions and keep alert for bears while hiking.

They advise people to wear noise producing devices such as little bells on their clothing to alert but not startle the bear unexpectedly. They also advise carrying pepper spray in case of an encounter with a bear.

It is also a good idea to watch for fresh signs of bear activity and know the difference between black bear and grizzly bear droppings.

Black bear droppings are smaller and contain berries and possibly squirrel fur.

Grizzly bear droppings have little bells in them and smell like pepper spray.

A little boy named johnny is going to visit his neighbour's baby who was born with no ears.

"Listen Johnny, you must not mention the baby's ears, or i'll spank you." Johnny's mum explains to him. They arrive at the neighbour's house, and Johnny asks the neighbour: "So how much does he weigh?"

"He weighs a lot for his age, he's very healthy." The neighbour is excited to have someone so interested in her baby.

"Has he spoke yet?" Johnny asks. "He's already said mama, he shouldn't have said that for weeks." The neighbour getting even more excited.

"How's his eyesight?" Johnny asks next. "His eyesight is perfect." The neighbour states.

"Good, cause he's fucked if he needs glasses." Johnny replies.

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A reporter goes to Israel to cover the fighting. She is looking for something emotional and positive and of human interest. Something like that guy in Sarajevo who risked his life to play the cello everyday in the town square.

In Jerusalem, she heard about an old Jew who had been going to the Wailing Wall to pray, twice a day, every day, for a long, long time. So she went to check it out. She goes to the Wailing Wall and there he is! She watches him pray and after about 45 minutes, when he turns to leave, she approaches him for an interview.

"Rebecca Smith, CNN News. Sir, how long have you been coming to the Wailing Wall and praying?"

"For about 50 years."

"What do you pray for?"

"For peace between the Jews and the Arabs. For all the hatred to stop. For all of our children to grow up in safety and friendship."

"How do you feel after doing this for 50 years?"

"Like I'm talking to a fucking wall."

Several centuries ago, the Pope decided that all the Jews had to leave the Vatican. Naturally there was a big uproar from the Jews, so the Pope agreed to debate with a member of their community. If the Jews won, they could stay. If the Pope won, the Jews would leave.

Knowing they had no choice, the Jews picked old Rabbi Moshe to represent them. His Latin wasn't very good, but he was a man of great faith and well respected. He accepted, on condition that it would be a silent debate. The Pope agreed. After all, what could be easier than a silent debate?

On the day of the great debate, Moshe and the Pope sat opposite each other.

After a minute the Pope raised his hand and showed three fingers. Moshe looked back and raised one finger.

The Pope waved his fingers in a circle around his head. Moshe pointed to the ground.

The Pope pulled out a wafer and a glass of wine. Moshe pulled out an apple.

The Pope stood up and said, "I give up. This man is too good. The Jews can stay."

As the puzzled cardinals clustered around the Pope, he explained: "First I held up three fingers to represent the Trinity. He held up one finger to remind me that one God is common to both our religions. When I waved my finger around me to show that God was all around us, he pointed down to show that God is also right here with us. When I showed him the wine and the wafer to show that God absolves us from our sins, he showed me an apple to remind me of original sin. He had an answer for everything. What could I do?"

Meanwhile, the Jews had crowded around Moshe. "What happened?" they asked. "Well," said Moshe, "He says to me, 'You Jews have three days to leave.' So I gave him the finger. Then he tells me the whole city would be cleared of Jews. So I said to him, 'We're staying right here'".

"And then?" asked a woman.

"Who knows?" said Moshe. "He took out his lunch so I took out mine."

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We lawyers love our Latin legal expressions, even if it puts one in mind of the centurion making Brian correct the Latin graffiti in Life of Brian. Byter Tim B sent me a limerick based on a Latin legalism, which I will get to a little later.

By way of introduction, let me repost the following item from Bytes Sept 4, 2012:

In 1983 the House of Lords was debating the Occupier’s Liability Bill, which sought to provide that a duty of care was owed to trespassers in certain situations. One of the Lords who spoke on the Bill was Lord Mishcon. In his speech he referred to Serjeant Sullivan.

The Serjeants-at-Law were an order of barristers that were the oldest in England. Dating back to 1300, the order was formally created by Henry 11 but their numbers began to decrease when Elizabeth 1 created the position of Queen’s Counsel. No more Serjeants were created from 1873 when the Judicature Act came into force. Lord Lindley (1828-1921) was the last English Serjeant-at-Law; A M Sullivan (1871-1959) was the last Irish Serjeant.

A M Sullivan

From Lord Mishcon’s speech from Hansard:
Volenti non fit injuria is a maxim of our common law well known to lawyers. "If you voluntarily take a risk you cannot complain about an injury resulting from it", is a rough and ready translation. But there is also a maxim which clearly applies to the criminal trespasser (if I may so call him) and that is ex turpi causa non oritur action - ... "no right of action stems from a wicked cause". These maxims, so beloved of lawyers, sometimes lead my profession into the pompous belief that the layman of necessity knows of them and understands them.

If I may digress, there is a classic and, I think, lovely story ascribed to the last of the great Irish Serjeants, Serjeant Sullivan, who was undaunted by any court before whom he appeared. On this occasion he was appearing in the Court of Appeal for an appellant workman in a workman's injury case. Said one of the learned Lord Justices: "Has your client never heard of the maxim, 'Volenti non fit injuria'?"—to which came the immediate reply in lovely Irish tones: "My Lord, in the small village in Antrim from which my client comes, it forms the sole topic of conversation."

Which brings me to Tim’s limerick, which has actually appeared in Bytes previously.

The Latin phrase “De minimis non curat lex” means “The law does not concern itself with trifles", a legal doctrine by which a court refuses to consider trifling matters. An alternative translation is that the law does not bother with small things, indicating that beneath a certain low level, a matter will be regarded as too trivial, and treated as such.

Tim’s limerick, worth a repost . . .

There once was a lawyer named Rex
With minuscule organs of sex.
Arraigned for exposure,
He maintained with composure,
"De minimis non curat lex."

Thanks, Tim.

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A Roman walks into a bar. He holds up two fingers and says 'Five beers, please'.

5 ants rented an apartment with another 5 ants.

Now they’re tenants.

My friend Joe recently started the Dolly Parton diet

It’s really made Joe lean, Joe lean, Jo lean, Joe leeeaaaannn

I got fired from my job because I kept asking my customers whether they would prefer “Smoking” or “Non-smoking”.

Apparently the correct terms are “Cremation” and “Burial”.

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