Truly a Dead Language

A few months back, a gaggle of middle schoolers gathering up canned goods for a food drive showed up on our doorstep. “Hang on a second; let me get you something,” I told them. When I returned from rooting around in the pantry, I found them staring quizzically up at the top of the doorframe, where we have inscribed “Esse Quam Videri”.

“What’s that?” one of their leaders asked.

“It says ‘Esse Quam Videri,'” I told them. Blank looks.

“It means ‘To be, rather than to seem,'” I further explained. The blank looks didn’t budge.

“It’s Latin for ‘Don’t be a poseur,'” I elaborated.

Comprehension dawned. “Oh, that’s cool! Thanks!” she said, and marched on down the street with her canned corn in hand.