February 24, 2003

Mark Steyn writes:

They were a soccer-mommish crowd, the kind of women who run recycling programmes and so forth. They loved the Nineties because you never heard a thing about macho stuff like war: it was all micro-politics, new regulations for this, new entitlements for that — education, environment, ‘social justice’. Bush, Cheney and Rummy are from Mars, these demonstrators were from Venus, and they want to go back to talking about Venusian issues. I think that’s also true in Australia and much of western Europe. This war is an unwelcome intrusion on what large numbers of people had assumed to be a permanent post-Martian politics.

"Venusian"? There's an adjective to disgust anyone who knows Latin -- not that there are many of us left. It's as bad as 'genusal' for 'general' or 'tempusal' for 'temporal': would anyone write about 'corpusal punishment'?

The correctly-formed adjective for 'pertaining to Venus' is avoided today for obvious reasons. It is 'Venereal', as in Milton, Samson Agonistes 531-39:

Then, swollen with pride, into the snare I fell
Of fair fallacious looks, venereal trains,
Softened with pleasure and voluptuous life
At length to lay my head and hallowed pledge
Of all my strength in the lascivious lap
Of a deceitful Concubine, who shore me,
Like a tame wether, all my precious fleece,
Then turned me out ridiculous, despoiled,
Shaven, and disarmed among my enemies.

I doubt the part about 'laying his head in her lascivious lap' was intended to be as obscene as it sounds to modern ears.

Posted by Dr. Weevil at February 24, 2003 10:56 PM