Ave. Hic adsum ad tesseras pontificis maximi Colosseo Maximo tollendas.

As I lay in bed listening to the radio this morning, unsuccessfully willing myself to get up, the host of Morning Edition said they were about to play a traditional Christmas carol in Latin, performed by a choir in New York City. I, of course, expected “Ave Maria”, or perhaps a version of the Magnificat, only to realize after a second that the choir was singing, in six-part harmony, “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer”.

In Latin.

When I got an email account for the first time in college, back in the mid-nineties, one of the first mail forwards I got was entitled “Useful everyday Latin phrases”, which included, amongst others, the translation of the very useful phrase, “Hi. I’m here to pick up the Pope’s Superbowl tickets.” I thought I was going to have an aneurysm right there in the computer lab, I was laughing so hard.