Thursday, June 14, 2012

Who? Ha!

Legislators in Michigan have voted to ban one of their own  from speaking  in the House because in a speech yesterday she used the Latin word for hoo ha.

Quaint, considering that theere was a time when all serious government business was carried on in Latin (though possibly not in Michigan).  But what really bothers me is--can they do that?  Can a legislature gang up on one of their own and tell him to shut his/her pie hole?  A spokesman for the majority said something about how her remarks "violated the decorum of the House," but isn't that, ahem, a fairly flexible standard?

Meantime, the Michigan miscreant might want to take solace from her kinship with John Wilkes, the great hero of free speech and Parliamentary privilege--also the author of a crashingly obscene poem [I actually read it in my randy college days; to the best of my recall, the scandalous Latinism does not appear].  In what surely must have been a monstrous breach of decorum, one of Wilkes' adversaries read the entire product in the House of Lords.  Wilkes was sentenced to outlawry and driven into exile.

1 comment:

Jimbo said...

In fact, Michiganders used to use Latin, if rather lamely. The state's motto is Si quaeris peninsulam amoenam,
circumspice, which my high school Latin says something like "If you desire a pleasant peninsula, look around you." Ok, whatever. Most people don't go around pining after peninsulas, except maybe Michigan folks (or not).
Michigan is shaped like a mitten, which happens to be R$money's nickname. But, he's less concerned about that beautiful peninsula's people and more about whether Michigan's trees are the right height and to make sure that Michigan's workers are wage slaves if he becomes Prez.