greg at bronze.lcs.mit.edu
Mon May 6 21:22:26 PDT 1996
The Charles the Bald joke deals with Charles sitting across a table from a
visiting Irish monk-scholar.
The joke was originally in Latin, so I'll give both the Latin and the
First, in Latin:
CAROLUS: Quid scotum a sotto separat?
SCOTUS: Haec mensa, rex.
Then, in English:
CHARLES: What distinguishes an Irishman from a drunkard?
IRISHMAN: This very table, O king.
It doesn't work as well in English as in Latin, since "separare" has
both the connotation of "to logically separate, to distinguish between"
and of "to physically separate," which duplicity of sense is difficult to
render in English.
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