You can carpe diem, or you can carp all day long.
Yes, I know my use of carpe diem as infinitive complement was grammatically incoherent, since it’s an imperative. It’s also a piece of a different language, so don’t be captious.
Which leads to an obviously important question: is carp as in ‘complain’ related to carpe diem and/or to captious? And do fish come into this? The etymology of all this turns out to be about as interwoven as a carpet, and it has threads of many words, but I’ll try to keep focused on an excerpt. Continue reading