A matter of interpretation

Letters to the Editor

A matter of interpretation

Thursday, October 10, 2019

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Dear Editor,

People's National Party (PNP) General Secretary Julian Robinson this week wrote a letter to the political ombudsman expressing objections to Government Senator Robert Morgan's Tweet: “If you sit with Lammy you will rise with fleas.”

According to Mr Robinson, a university graduate, “we find these utterances highly unacceptable and unbecoming of a member of the Upper House and Parliamentary Secretary in the Government”.

For those of us who are graduates of high schools where English Literature is taught, we find Mr Robinson's letter offensive to the intellect. We live in a country where ignorance reigns among holders of university degrees.

Clearly, a knowledge of English Literature could enhance interpretation skills.

The Latin phrase “Qui cum canibus concumbunt cum pulicibus surgent” translated to English is “He that lieth down with dogs shall rise up with fleas” or, “If you lie down with dogs, you get up with fleas”. It has been attributed to Benjamin Franklin's Poor Richard's Almanack. The Latin has been unreliably attributed to Seneca.

Senator Morgan's Tweet is a transposed version of the Latin.

The quote has a universally agreed meaning of “You should be cautious of the company you keep. Associating with those of low reputation may not only lower your own but also lead you astray by the faulty assumptions, premises and data of the unscrupulous.”

Perhaps we should not associate with these political parties that lower both our intellectual, social and economic standards.

Dudley C McLean II

Mandeville, Manchester


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