Letting Catullus out of the bag

“Pedicabo ego vos et irrumabo!”

So I read on the BBC News website that a City banker has been harassing one of his female employees: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/london/8375511.stm . Not least by trying to kill her, but also sending her obscene emails in Latin! Yes, a naughty message included the above quotation from Roman poet Catullus, a contemporary of Julius Caesar.

Banker Mark Lowe claims the quote is “light hearted”. Wikipedia offers the following translation:

I will bugger you and face-fuck you.

Hard to see how anyone might take that in a spirit of jest. But what mightily intrigues me about the whole thing is whether the company had an email filter sophisticated enough to screen out obscenities in a dead language? Perhaps I’ll try sending them a mail threatening to do naughty things to Mr Lowe written in Old Church Slavonic, Glagolitic alphabet…

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