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Pensum, that Latin word for everyday life


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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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,


), 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

All news articles on 2021-10-26

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