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All the Perl that's Practical to Extract and Report

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  • "feliculacide"
    • "feliculacide"
      That's what I suggested on the evening, but I've just come home and checked my Cassell's, and it suggests "catulus" for kitten; that would render 'catulucide', which I think has better prosody. I'm going to check the huge reference tomes in the Bodleian tomorrow, though, because it surprises me that "catulus" would be real.
      • My understanding is that catulus was quite generic, meaning "any cute baby animal" and was, in fact, predominantly used in referring to puppies. There are several instances where ancient writers, specifically referring to a kitten, feel it necessary to clarify that point by writing catulus felis. Whereas only rarely do they seem to bother with catulus canis, as far as I can discover (and even then, it seems, mainly for poetic reasons).

        Indeed, Isidorus Hispalensis in his medieval encyclopaedia, "Etymologia

        • Interesting about the Etymologiae. I actually discussed the puppy/generic animal issue to some extent in my one and only journal post [perl.org] to date. The Etymologiae may have been referenced in the Thesaurus, but (O irony) my Latin is sufficiently rusty that I was having trouble reading the full entry.

          It is certainly true that "catulus" especially referred to puppies in the classical period (c.f. Lewis & Short), but I would argue that Isidore's pedantry shows us that the meaning of the word *was* shifting. Isidore, like a good proto-classicist and linguistic prescriptivist, would have wanted to nip such lazy language use in the bud; what set him apart from an actual classicist is that he was happy to contradict such authorities as Virgil, Pliny, and Phaedrus to do so. I, like any good medievalist / Byzantinist, am happy to accept the later meaning of "cattus" and, by extension, "catulus".

          All that said, I'd say that "catulofelicide" is probably the best of our options. It has that quality of acceptability to both the purist classicist and the laissez-faire medievalist. It definitely has better prosody than "feliculicide", and will better accommodate Nick's iniquitous needs by virtue of sounding more complicated, technical, and just plain satisfying than "catulicide".