Rhetorical Questions, from Cicero to Charlie
The Twelve Tables, the Roman forum, and the finer points of litigation in ancient Rome are calling me tonight, plus I've got to write some sentences for a quiz on the Ablative Absolute and Indirect Statement for a Latin class.
I don't think think I'm wrong to think that you might prefer to read yet another vaccine post over at Care2.com than my musings on the peregrine praetor and the formulary system—guess when I asked if this would be my last vaccine post ever, my question was a bit of a rhetorical one.
Which is entirely appropriate given what I'm immersing myself in for the next couple of hours. The late Roman Republican orator Cicero being quite a master of the rhetorical question, of the question designed in such a way that it's not actually asking for the information one usually seeks in asking a question, but has some other purpose.
Which makes me think, 'what do you want?' has evolved into just such a thing in our household. (Is it possible for me to resist writing about Charlie's day no matter what legal Latin class prep lurks ahead, or what the topic I'm writing about?) There are some set words and phrases that Charlie says in answer to 'what do you want' but they've become a bit outdated, as if he says some responses on autopilot and then truly wants something else, but he can't recall the word, or doesn't know the word, or doesn't know how to pronounce it so we understand it, or doesn't even know what he wants, just that he'd like something, something, somewhat thing.
I've been devising some ways to use the iPad to help with this dilemma of helping Charlie answer questions that are no longer really questions. No time to go into that tonight and actually the clock is ticking near and near to mediam noctem and now that I've just managed to talk Charlie, using fewer than ten words, into going to bed (he had designs on a walk; a full day of school, two bike rides, some moments of distress involving crying—talk about a 'behavior' that is a 'no biggie' in this household, can we handle crying?)—back to the actiones legis for me.
Or do you think this boy might have a better idea for how to spend his time?