This week I would like to talk a little about legal terms, but more so about The Big Bang Theory. I know that this is not a new episode, but I saw it again recently and thought it perfect to write about. In this episode Sheldon must go to traffic court because he was caught on a traffic cam running a red light while driving Penny to the hospital. His first use of Latin as he approaches the judge is to tell him that he is appearing in pro se, or in representation of himself. Se is the reflexive pronoun referring back to the invisible subject of this sentence, Sheldon. Continuing his great use of classical rhetoric and a three legged argument, Sheldon states that he will argue the legal doctrine of quod est necessarium est licitum, “That which is necessary is legal.” The first thing I must do is applaud the pronunciation as he used the hard “c” in both necessarium and licitum. While this defense has in fact worked in certain cases throughout history, it did not work for Sheldon. An interesting note about this though is that I cannot find an origin for the Latin phrase in Ancient Rome (if someone finds one please let me know). Instead it seems to be one of those things that has come about and translated into Latin to give it more prestige. I must say I was very disturbed while trying to find an origin by the overwhelming number of Law websites, journals, and other publications which said quad instead of quod, a word which doesn’t even exist in the Latin paradigm of qui, quae, quod.
Sorry for the short post this week, but there was not a lot to say about this since it didn’t in fact have an ancient origin I could find, and I didn’t have a lot of time today. I will be back with a bigger post next week.