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Pensum, that Latin word for everyday life

2021-10-26T08:37:38.739Z

Origin, meaning, examples… Jean-Loup Chiflet traces the course of this word from Latin and which has often changed meaning.



“Writing an impromptu that doesn't feel like a mess is difficult.

"

In this quote, taken from

artists Fireplace

(1947), Jean Cocteau uses two Latin words and impromptu chore.

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Read alsoThese Latin words that we use without knowing it

The

Latin

pensum

is the weight of wool that the slave had to spin per day, which corresponds in the 21st century to 100 T-shirts in Asia.

And perhaps we can imagine this or this slave in a bucolic or “georgic” way (“Carpentes pensa puellae” - Virgil,

Georgics

), working in the open air, unpolluted.

The other pronunciation of "pensum"

As early as 1740, pensum defined the “extra work required of a schoolboy to punish him”.

Which reassures us about our time: there have always been, it seems, unruly or lazy schoolchildren.

Read alsoDo you speak 21st century Latin?

“I read almost an entire Aeneid song yesterday afternoon.

To think that I copied that a hundred times in pensum!

What an infamy!

What ignominy, what misery!

I spat on it in disgust.

I had swoons of boredom and it's beautiful!

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Source: lefigaro

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