Latin Quotes, Sayings, Tattoos, Phrases & Mottos

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E pluribus Unum Controversy

 
Wednesday, April 7, 2010, 18:08 - Best Latin Quotes, Words of Wisdom, Proverbs and Sayings, Latin Translation
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E Pluribus Unum
One out of many

I learned about this story not too long ago:

"On a special Valentine's Day celebrity edition of the show, which aired three days before the actual Valentine's day, Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen and Jackie Llewelyn-Bowen reached the 1,000,000 question, which was "Translated from the Latin, what is the official motto of the United States?" The Bowens chose answer A, "In God We Trust," but the correct answer was actually answer B, "One Out of Many," which is the English translation for the Latin E pluribus Unum. Because they answered the 1,000,000 question incorrectly, they lost 468,000. However, the question turned out to be ambiguous, as "In God We Trust" is the legal motto for the United States; the phrase is found on many American monetary coins. Because of this, they were invited back to play again, reinstating their previously-lost 468,000 to bring them back up to 500,000. The contestants decided not to risk it this time and left with the 500,000. The first million pound question was never aired, but the second million pound question was."

(From Wikipedia's article on the UK version of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire)

The interesting thing here is that the knowledge of the actual Latin phrase "E pluribus unum" was not required of the contestants! It suffices to know that a certain phrases is translated a certain way. It goes to say that whenever Classical education looses popularity the decline in game show intelligence is soon to follow


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