Saturday, August 17, 2013

Ablative Absolute

Some of my posts lately have been about "stand alone absolutes," such as the concept of "nothing" or "something" or just simply "being." As a result I couldn't resist a post about the "Ablative Absolute."

Let me explain. The "Ablative Absolute," which, by the way, this has nothing to do with voiding your bladder :) is a grammatical construction derived from the Latin. That is, ablative absolutes are Latin phrases which are in a way detached or set off  from the rest of the sentence. (This means that they do not grammatically interrelate very closely with the other words of the sentence. They have a certain independence.)

Be unique and independent.

Here are some examples in English within the brackets. ( )

(All things considered,) you are on your own.
(Tax included,) you owe me a bundle.
(It goes without saying,) this could become very boring.

These are common everyday sentences, but they embody a concept from an ancient language and they pay homage to the idea of being set apart or acting independently.  I like to compare this concept to people. There is something very inspiring about a person who is independent and can stand apart from the crowd!!

OK, grammar isn't all that exciting, especially grammar from a dead language and discussing the ablative absolute is not exactly cocktail conversation, unless you are at a reception for classicists. However, I take my examples for personal growth, where I find them. And just in case you are at one of those intellectual parties, here are a few examples from the Latin:

mutatis mutandis
with the things that need to be changed (mutandis) having been changed (mutatis)
vice versa
with the alternation turned around to its opposite, reversely

So, as I was saying, keep these under your hat or mortar board, until an occasion arises, by all means stand out, be independent; but pick your venues, for discussions of the ablative absolute :)

Have an outstanding day!!

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