MOORESTOWN, N.J. (CBS) — A motto mistake has left one library in South Jersey scrambling to explain.
What they thought was inscribed on the building, wasn’t, and that led to a lot of red faces.
“Nos Secundus Coniecto Omnia”
It’s a powerful-sounding Latin statement that is fit for higher learning.
That is until you translate the expression.
Should Be: “We Confirm All Things Twice.”
Translates To: “We Second Guess All.”
After nearly a decade of building the brand new multi-million dollar Moorestown Township Library, the architect and town leadership wanted a medallion on the walls to represent all that hard work.
They thought they came up with: “We Confirm Things Twice.”
But with that mantra, residents started doing a little Google translating and they came up with “We Second Guess All.”
Next to it, the date in Roman numerals says “1653” when it should say “1853,” when the Friends of the Library Group were formed.
Moorestown residents say their town is not about ignoring problems, but about confronting and fixing them.
And that’s exactly what the architect who designed the medallions said he going to do for free.
Architect Rick Ragan is in charge of the project. His firm isn’t solid on what the fix is, but he offered an option.
“We will pay to remove the entire medallion and reset a new one,” Ragan explained.
At Eyewitness News, we “confirm things twice” and contacted the University of Pennsylvania’s foremost authority on the language who added another wrinkle, saying quote:
“It’s not real Latin, but a kind of pseudo-Latin called “dog Latin” in which you just translate each individual English word into a Latin equivalent, without worrying whether the result makes sense or not,” said Joseph Farrell, professor of classical studies at UPenn.
The bottom line: good intentions lost in translation.
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