Aug 18, 2008

Rapid Rhetoric: TEMPUS FUGIT

Raphael's depiction of Plato defining the difference between true and false rhetoric This is an irregular feature - both in frequency and oddness - dedicated to a word I came across that I have never previously used.

tempus fugit (TEMP-uhs FOO-jit) phrase (Latin) "time is fleeting," "time flies."

I came across this inscription on a grandfather clock in Spain, and jotted it down so I could look it up later. What surprised me the most about this phrase is how common it really is, as I found over one million Google pages with the term, and how I managed to live for 44 years without encountering it in a meaningful way.

The earliest extant instance of this expression seems to be in the poem Georgica, penned by Roman poet Virgil: Sed fugit interea fugit irreparabile tempus ("But it flees in the meantime: irretrievable time flees”).

The phrase has found its way into a variety of pop culture references, appearing as the title for an episode of the television program The X-Files as well as a song by the art-prog rock group Yes. The expression is also the name of a California alcohol importer, should you need to imbibe on absinthe or some other obscure intoxicating liquid.


Anonymous said...

I thought you weren't back yet.

I've been to Spain multiple times - having Spanish blood. And I always have loved it. I don't love marranos though. So there you go.

But hey, some folks just seem to cross paths in life. One day I will meet you in person. Not to hurt you or some other crazy shit. But I would love to debate with you over a bottle of beer. ;)

- Charles Martel, your foe in Sacramento.

FranckCantal said...

Oh Yep ! The exact quote is : "fugit irreparabile tempus"