Monday, 11 September 2017

gaudeamus igitur

Though possibly too late for this year’s matriculating class of freshmen, we enjoyed coming across this McSweeney’s index of honest Latin mottoes for the over-rated alma mater—especially deserving for those schools whose elite status is only by dint of exorbitant tuition and not academic excellence. Per aspera ad malam occupationem (though adversity to a bad job) does look sufficiently pithy to be an actual maxim but the whole list is funny—sort of like the faux binary nomenclature of Road-Runner and Wile E Coyote. As much pomp and circumstance that is accorded to the title hymn (So Let Us Rejoice), the composition gently pokes fun at the sacred cows of university life and has been a beer-drinking song from at least the early eighteenth century on.