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NE SUTOR ULTRA CREPIDAM.

Roberto Henry Ebelt

02.12.2011

NE SUTOR ULTRA CREPIDAM.

By mentioning the above Latin proverb, I first want to pay tribute to the memory of one of the most intelligent Brazilian economists of the twentieth century, namely, Roberto Campos.
Roberto Campos

One of his favorite quotes was NE SUTOR ULTRA CREPIDAM. This sentence was originally uttered in a slightly different way. Probably “Sutor, ne ultra crepidam”.

Sutor, ne ultra crepidam is a Latin expression meaning literally "Shoemaker, not above the sandal", used to warn people off passing judgment beyond their expertise.

Its origin is set down in Pliny the Elder's Naturalis Historia where he records that a shoemaker (sutor) had approached the painter Apelles of Kos to point out a defect in the artist's rendition of a sandal (crepida from Greek krepis), which Apelles duly corrected. Encouraged by this, the shoemaker then began to enlarge on other defects he considered present in the painting, at which point Apelles advised him that ne supra crepidam sutor iudicaret (a shoemaker should not judge above the sandal), which advice, Pliny observed, had become a proverbial saying.

Pliny the Elder or Gaius Plinius Secundus

Pliny the Elder or Gaius Plinius Secundus

Pliny the Elder: an imaginative 19th century portrait. No contemporary depiction of Pliny has survived.

Born 23 AD Como, Italy.
Died August 25, 79 (aged 55–56) Stabiae, near Pompei, Italy
Cause of death Died in the eruption that destroyed Pompei
Body discovered By friends, under the pumice
Residence Rome, provincial locations, Misenum
Citizenship Roman
Education Rhetoric, grammar
Occupation Lawyer, author, natural philosopher, military commander, provincial governor
Notable works Natural History
Weight Corpulent in later life
Spouse None
Children None
Parents Celer and Marcella
Relatives Sister (Plinia), nephew (Pliny the Younger)

The English essayist William Hazlitt most likely coined the term ULTRACREPIDARIAN, first used publicly in a ferocious letter to William Gifford, the editor of The Quarterly Review:

A related English proverb is "A cobbler should stick to his last" (a last being the wooden pattern used to mould the shoe).

COBBLER:
1.one who makes or mends shoes;
2. crusty pie topped with a layer of fruit;
3. iced beverage made from fruit and wine.

The second reason for mentioning this proverb is to apologize for making a suggestion regarding what can be done to reduce the number of accidents and deaths of motorcycle riders. As I am not a traffic authority, I am perfectly aware that I lack the expertise to do so. Nevertheless, I have been driving for almost 50 years. I also used to ride a motorcycle, on a daily basis, for more than 20 years. I stopped riding motorcycles about 10 years ago, thanks to the possibility of performing most of my activities just by using a computer. I never had a serious accident while driving my two-wheel vehicles.

How did I survive more than 20 years driving a motorcycle?

I seriously believe that the reason was the fact that I had already been a good car driver for decades when I started using a motorcycle. The reason for not having accidents while riding a bike was the fact that I was perfectly aware of what was going on in the mind of my fellow drivers. My suggestion to our dear editor Ricardo Orlandini, who has been frequently writing about traffic problems, as all readers of this newsletter know, is the following: no one should be allowed to ride a bike without a previous experience in driving four-wheel vehicles of, at least, two years.

Would that be too hard for future motorcyclists? Undoubtedly, but that would certainly teach future bikers to take in consideration what goes on in the mind of car drivers.


Have an excellent weekend and drive/ride carefully.


Tags: Roberto Henry Ebelt, ensino, inglês


Roberto Henry Ebelt é professor, escritor, escreveu uma coluna semanal para o Jornal do Comércio de Porto Alegre entre 2001 e 2013, e é diretor do curso HENRY'S BUSINESS ENGLISH desde 1971.

Seu mais recente livro, O QUE VOCÊ DEVE SABER ANTES DE ESTUDAR INGLÊS, pode ser encontrado nas livrarias Disal, Cultura e SBS ou à rua Hoffmann, 728 em Porto Alegre.

E-mail: roberto@henrys.com.br
Fone (51) 3222-3144
www.henrys.com.br
Página no Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/henrysbusinessnglish/?pnref=lhc




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