Buchanan nodded

In today’s online column by Pat Buchanan there is an ironic Latin error. 

Why did the Ayatollah let the American hostages go, as Reagan raised his right hand to take the oath of office? Why did Syria not rush to the rescue of Hezbollah? What did Ahmadinejad not rocket Tel Aviv in solidarity with his embattled allies in Lebanon? Res ipse loquitor. The thing speaks for itself. They don’t want war with Israel, and they don’t want war with the United States.


Anyone can nod, even Homer.  But really!

The phrase is res ipsa loquitur.

It is ironic that this phrase, from a juridical context, indicates a mistake or an accident that is so obvious that it requires no other demonstration other than to point at it and let it speak for itself.

We need more Latin in our lives, I think.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. Jon says:


    Pat, smudging his Latin?! All the more ironic considering the following.

    As you know, Pat has a new book on the market. He’s been making the rounds promoting it. Well, last week a friend of mine (who secured me an autographed copy)had the chance to meet Mr. Buchanan on Long Island. He wrote me regarding their brief exchange.


    He gave a really great speech. He worked the crowd really well. When I met him for the book signing, here is how the conversation went.

    JLS: Hello Mr. Buchanan.
    PB: Hello.
    JLS: So, are you getting to the Traditional Latin Mass much these days?
    PB: I go every Sunday that I am home.
    JLS: That’s great.
    PB: Only problem is that we have a new priest saying the Mass, and he is a really nice guy, but his Latin is really bad. He struggles with it and as a result, I gotta tell ya, it is very distracting.
    JLS: Well you gotta tell him to work on it.
    PB: He’s a really nice guy though.

    At which point he was finished signing the books and when we shook hands, I said:

    JLS: We’re going to bring it (the old Mass) back.
    PB: Well Pope Benedict has been promising for a year now to bring it back.
    JLS: God Bless you Mr. Buchanan.

    So, if meeting Pat Buchanan wasn’t enough, we actually chatted about the TLM to boot!”

  2. Jon: Thanks for that interesting anecdote. The next time you see him, let him know WDTPRS cares.

  3. Jon says:


    You’re welcome, and as a fellow Wanderer columnist, I’m sure he already knows.

  4. billsykes says:

    Yeah, PJB attends the Indult at Old St. Mary’s in D.C.’s Chinatown. I’ve seen him there many times and encountered him a few. He is a very nice man and a true gentlemen. He’s off the rails on national security issues, though.

    The new priest there is replacing the recently retired Fr. David Conway, THE archetypal Irish-American priest. He was (and remains, I’m sure) a saintly man. Fr. Conway’s Latin was very good.

  5. MJL says:

    “He’s off the rails on national security issues”?

    Well, I guess our fine Pope must be too, then. And John Paul II, as well.

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