Disputatio:Universitas Nationalis Centralis

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Nomen[fontem recensere]

De novo nomine "Media Universitas Nationalis" dubito. Id mihi dicit "the middle of the National University" (vel Latine "medius Universitatis Nationalis locus"). An erro? Paginam removendam suadeo. Andrew Dalby (disputatio) 11:48, 28 Augusti 2011 (UTC)

Probe dicis, amice. Indeed it may be problematic, not least because media can mean 'middling', and that description wouldn't be right for a supposedly illustrious institution. Both Ainsworth's and Cassell's lack a Latin gloss for 'central', which would thus seem to be an English word that nobody respectable would want to translate into Latin. On the principle that we should translate meanings, not words, what does this 'central' mean? Certainly not 'located in the center', because the university is actually located way off to the north of the island. Perhaps this institution is the prima or praecipua or principalis or princeps university in the educational system? IacobusAmor 12:10, 28 Augusti 2011 (UTC)
Very likely it is, but to call it that when they didn't call it that themselves would be over-translating. How about "centralis"? :=) Andrew Dalby (disputatio) 13:37, 28 Augusti 2011 (UTC)
Maybe, in this case, we have to translate (Saussurean) signifiants instead of signifiés: Universitas nationalis centralis (no hyperbaton is needed), although, as Iacobus surmises, what is really centrale is the middle point of a circle, whereas it might be preferable to express the figurative meaning of Engl. central by principalis in Latin. Neander 14:17, 28 Augusti 2011 (UTC)
It is really problematic to use principalis instead of centralis for central, because to do it not only would you have to be a mind reader to know what was in the namer's mind, in many cases names are compromises and there was no one agreed meaning . There are many instances where a central X is neither at the center or middle of anything, nor it is the main or principal X. It may be central in a sense other than position and other than being the chief or chief X. Maybe the namer named it so just because he hoped it would be at the center in some sense....but it never happened. In the case of a cpu for instance, I recently read that some computers have a principal and secondary cpu: no chance of principalis here and no chance of centralis in the sense of center, but centralis in the sense of "in the center in some vague sense known to the namer" works.-- 14:54, 28 Augusti 2011 (UTC)
It's for this reason that I attempted "Categoria:Centrum Artium Britannicarum Yalense" for the Yale Center for British Art, well aware that it isn't at the geometrical centre of anything (and far from the centre of anything British) but its founders, I guess, saw it as the centre of a virtual network of scholars or the like. And they aren't wrong, it is. I think this modern use of "Centre/Center/Central" draws metaphorically on the original geometrical sense in a way that Ainsworth and Cassell's editors hadn't yet thought of. Andrew Dalby (disputatio) 15:11, 28 Augusti 2011 (UTC)
. . . nor the ancient Romans for whom centrum was a recent loan word to enrich the technical vocabulary. Virtual centrality is a metaphorical extension, not attested philologically but very natural by itself. I'm voting for Universitas nationalis centralis. Neander 17:42, 28 Augusti 2011 (UTC)