My Dumbphone Speaks Latin

…what can your smartphone do?

1215441700743422472thilakarathna_Mobile_Phone.svg.medRecently, my aging phone has begun to talk back.

In Latin.

In complicated Latin.

Any time I attempt to use the coordinating conjunction “but”, my phone decides that it would prefer to use “ut”. And, as every classically educated scholar knows, “ut” is one of the more complicated Latin terms to translate.

“Ut is one of the most frustrating words to translate in Latin, along with ‘quam’ and ‘quod’ due to its range of meanings. Students tend to translate it as ‘in order to …’ automatically, when this is only one of its possible translations.” (1)

Uh-oh: does my phone want me to use a result clause, a purpose clause, or an indirect command?

Should I use an indicative verb or a subjunctive verb?

Why can’t I just text in English?

All I wanted to do was to use a coordinating conjunction.


I’m not even using AutoCorrect!

My dumb phone: making me feel dumber every day.


Published by Jen

The author of Snark on the Side is not your average run-of-the-millennial generation. Jen is a contradiction in terms: a graceful klutz, a smart blond, a math-savvy English degree-holder, a southern liberal, and an adult amateur equestrian who doesn’t match her saddle pads. Snark on the Side is a work in progress, born out of years of rambling email newsletters and anthropomorphized Christmas letters, small town observations, and the ever-present irony of pursuing a career with a degree in English literature. Thanks for visiting!

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