Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Without Wax, Jane Doe, After Allotment - I Love You

The etymology of the word "Sincere" I've found out, is Sine Quaestio one of the most interesting meanings I've seen in all da history files del mundo. Weren't ya tell me, what fer em I speaken of? (Berkshire accent intended)

The Oxford Dictionary hits heads with the layman's derivation of the word, but I believe in Story over boring academia: those scholars with fine wooden pens up their rumpuses. The boring textbook take is that "sincere" is derived from "sincerus", Latin for clean and pure. All hail the more imaginative version, where Sine, meaning without; and Cera, meaning wax, meld together within the context of human laboring and honesty in the workplace. Sine Cera or 'Without Wax' would have been an indication of whether slaves hired by the Republic of Rome to carve and sculpt marble structures under Roman rule, were appropriately representing them with quality work. If a sculpture was made in haste or handled irresponsibility, potentially causing the work to become damaged and cracked, the artist would fill in the imperfections with wax to present the illusion of a smooth and seamless creation. On the other hand, if a sculpture was inspected and found to be Sine Cera, it was made with utmost care and was a guarantee that the artist was a fine craftsman and could be trusted for future projects.

The next time I use Sincerely as a salute at the end of my letters, I will have to remind myself that I'm making a promise and guarantee to the reader that I have both abstained from lavishly coating my words with pretension, and omitted any falsehoods or outlandish ornamentation of the text therein. So without further adieu...

Without Wax, just...full of cracks

Katie G.

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