Wednesday, February 05, 2014
I'm helping out a bit with a confirmation class, and in the recent class the topic was reconciliation; the person presenting on the topic asked the students, all of high school age, what 'reconciliation' meant. Several answers were given, but my very favorite was "Recombining eyelashes!" Most people laughed, probably because they just thought it was a weird thing to say, but I was actually pretty impressed, because it's a very highbrow joke -- actually, I don't know for sure if it was intended to be a joke, but it would still have impressed me if not. 'Reconciliation' comes from re- and concilium; concilium, which is an assembly or meeting, has something like 'calling together' as its root meaning. But the Latin word for 'eyelashes' is 'cilia', so you could also pretend that the word should be divided as re-con-cilia-[a]tion. Or in other words, putting eyelashes back together. If it was a joke, it was a clever joke that shows that the student has been paying attention in Latin class. And if it was meant seriously, it was a mistake that shows that the student has been paying attention in Latin class.