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  1. Senior Member
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    Parague dictum = be quiet?


    Parague dictum, gentlemen. Allow Lord Asriel to explain himself. It could be an aborational malfunction of some kind. No it isn't. ...

  2. 5jj's Avatar
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    Re: Parague dictum = be quiet?

    As this comes from a novel about a parallel universe, it means what the author chooses it to mean. We'd need far more context than you have provided.

  3. BobK's Avatar
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    Re: Parague dictum = be quiet?

    I haven't met the phrase, but I suspect it's paraque (either your typo or the typesetter's - they don't speak Latin either ). The que ending suggest it's a quotation (as that ending was a sort of metrical makeweight that Roman poets often used) - which excuses the fact that the imperative is in the singular whie it's addressed to 'gentlemen'. Of course, as Pullman*'s is a parallel universe (where electri light, for example, is 'ambaric'), the lapse may be intentional (as 5jj said while I was talking the hind leg off a donkey ).

    Parare is not ''to stop' but 'to organize in preparation for something'. The original writer of the Latin tag **, however, may have been one of the later ones (as by the time Spanish came to be, parar did mean that. In this context, anyway, it effectively means the same.

    [*I assume the line comes from Northern Lights.]
    **[Bits of Latin used to be very popular in educated English. For example, a schoolboy would speak of his father as 'the pater'; and when keeping watch at the classroom door would say 'Cave' so that his classmates would know they needed to hide (rather than pointing out that it should have been cavete, as I might have done...).

    Last edited by BobK; 29-Dec-2011 at 17:29. Reason: Fix typo

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