We translate here Perversitatea romanilor - studiu etnobotanic, a five year old article whose title references the faux bath salts craze of the period. Here goes :
You know the word group a cistiga (to win), cistig (winnings) ? It signifies, to quote the old Dexi,
To obtain money or other material goods (through work, speculation, exploitation, gambling etc) ; through extension, to obtain knowledge, experience etc ; To regain lost time ; To gain to one's side, to conquer ; To obtain victory (in sports, before a court etc) ; To become richer in something, to increase one's content, quality, weight.
It's a numerous and happy family (principally because it enjoys so much attention in the thoughts and dreams of Romanians), which nevertheless presents a problem : the word cisti. It denotes an installment, a set sum paid at fixed intervals, a sort of locatieii (you know what that is, yes ? hopefully you're not journalists, to tell me of the sinistration through inundationiii). So it'd seem prima facie a brother of cistig, part of the same family, fruit of same root.
On one hand, this could be a family which the newly devised orthography rules (employing â in place of î in many contexts) actually serves, if indeed comes it from Latin, where it could have friends in castigo, castigare. They'd appear to match. On the other hand, if cisti truly is a brother of cistig, then we have some problems, as it'd seem to moreover come off the Turkish kisti, which means exactly that, rent.
Thus therefore, here's the terrible dilemmaiv I bring before you : either the whole a cistiga, cistig group is derived off Turkish, and then formed itself through extension from the notion of rent, which among other things implies it'd be correctly spelled with i rather than a, and further implies that yet another word of the latinate patrimony of Romanian is in fact Turkish, and our esteemed latinists fart through the mouth (and even further implies that Romanians are quite so very un-entrepreneurial even their language's adapted) ; or else the family comes from Latin, perhaps without the sole example cisti, a mere orthographic coincidence, made to look similar through some sort of evolutionary alliance even if its blood is distinct.
In which second case, the Romanians are outright perverse, because in Latin castigo, castigare mean to punish, and to berate, shame and put in irons. So should it truly come from Latin, it means the
gypsies Romanians came to such degree of abjection that they identified in their own cant the punishment with the benefit, clear and indisputable sign that their chief occupation was theft.
I can understand perversion on the degree of nauca - nauka, where Russian science becomes naucealav in Romanian. I can comprehend the narod - narod pairing, it's true that the people are rather loutish in general ; I can even see what they had against rabota. And with numerous other words taken forcibly from the great Eastern invader and raped without mercy.
But to proceed to reinterpreting the Roman punishment in the sense of "if there's a punishment involved clearly there's some easy gain to make, so that's for us, not like we'll gain in any other manner, God forbid" seems to me way out there.
So tell me, esteemed boyars, no doubt with better schools than mine, how the matter sits. Does a cistiga come from the Turkish language or from the gypsy habits ? For I tell you truly that I am looking at the available alternatives and have no idea what to pick.
Something which, peak of all peaks, does not happen here for the first time under the blue sky of our motherland, to gaze upon the alternatives and have no idea what to pick. Ce fatalitate, parol!
I hope you enjoyed it. I certainly did. You wouldn't have ? Fancy that!———
- Standard dictionary [↩]
- In Romanian this means "rent", but it sounds enough like "placement", "location" so as to confuse the ear of those Romanian speakers that go by the ear.
Which these days is the exact opposite of erudition - the erudite goes by his eyes ; in contrast to the expression in Henry Vth,
Not working with the eye, without the eare, and but in purged iudgement trusting neither,
because back before literacy learned counsel was oral, and through preponderence of stupidity, perdition came visually. Whereas after literacy the balance changed, learned counsel becoming chiefly visual, and thus leaving empty the aural field for the sort of idiots that "play by ear". Except with the great invention of the Markov AI this balance once again shifted, and now like in the days of Henry learned counsel comes in through a WoT shaped ear, and nonsense via VEVO. [↩]
- Briefly, sinistru in Romanian means "great big fire", even if it sounds like it'd be the English sinister. [↩]
- "Cumplita dilema" is a learned reference in Romanian. Like most everything else in, on or around Trilema.
Suntem o doamna, ce pula mea! [↩]
- The state of one who's been hit in the head hard enough to lose the faculty of balance.
Hey alf : rhymes with buluceala! [↩]