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Old 08-21-2010, 12:50 AM   #1
Steven Lake
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A phrase question

Ok, we're working on a patch for the military guys in my Earthfleet series, and my friend came up with a really killer looking patch, but I didn't like the words. So my suggestion was these two phrases.

"Ad serviendum ac protegendum terra" meaning "To protect and serve Earth" which is more or less their primary mission, to protect Earth at all costs. The second phrase was "death before surrender" which details the other part of their mission, which is that they would fight to the last man to protect Earth rather than surrender.

So what do you guys think? Will those work? I'm hoping to portray the mission and dedication of the fleet through this patch since it'll be the official fleet patch that they'll be wearing on their uniform.
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Old 08-21-2010, 11:40 AM   #2
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Not a fan of the Latin. I like death before surrender, but I don't quite know if the government would approve s patch like that. How about just protectors of earth. Protect and serve sounds like theyrre cops not military guys.
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Old 08-21-2010, 12:18 PM   #3
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I agree that "To protect and serve Earth" sounds much more like a police function than a military phrase. "Death before surrender" sounded more appropriate, but I have to admit that when I read it, I thought of the movie Galaxy Quest. "Never give up, never surrender!"

What I might suggest is something you actually wrote to describe part of their mission.
"To the Last!" This could mean to protect the earth to the last man, or the last breath, or the last mission, or last whatever.

Another idea that just came to mind was one word. "Sacrifice"

Don't know if that would work for what you're writing, but that's what popped into my head.
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Old 08-21-2010, 06:11 PM   #4
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Well, their job is to protect Earth at all costs, hence the idea for the latin phrase. And they are sworn to fight to the last man to do that, hence the second phrase.
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Old 08-23-2010, 08:47 AM   #5
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"protect and serve Earth" seems to me more of a mission statement for a Druid-type/Earth-lovers cult.
In space, Latin rules ?

"Defenders of Earth" .... "Earth Defenders" ?
"Terra Secure" ....
[although I wonder they've been used before ]



Never Surrender !
Surrender ! Never !
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Old 08-27-2010, 06:32 AM   #6
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Hi Steve, this is a tiny point to make, but my Inner Pedant can be quite insistent:

I'm not well-versed in Latin, but shouldn't the last word of your phrase be "terram", since it's in the accusative case? Pardon me if I'm wrong. And - personal taste - if you're going to use "terra" as the name of the planet, i.e. a proper noun, I'd think you'd have to capitalise it.

But the phrase doesn't really have a punch, does it? If you want Latin, what about a translation of phrases like "In the name of Earth" or "For Earth's sake"? (But there, my Latin lets me down.)
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Old 08-30-2010, 08:19 AM   #7
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Hi Steve, et al,

pondered this for a while.

I too, dislike the latin, whether it's correct or not - I stumbled in my reading of it.

Mottos that I have encountered have been very few words, and though I know the terms are too archaic, I suggest in the hope it will inspire you, "Sword" and "Shield". ("Earthsword" and "Earthshield"?)

Perhaps too, "No Cost Too Great" or similar. Though fewer words would give more punch.

I lean away from the "Never give up..." because Bruce Springsteen did it so well with his song, "No Surrender" - "...no retreat, baby, no surrender..." and this was hardly a new term then.

I hope this has helped.

Cheers,
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Old 08-31-2010, 08:13 AM   #8
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Well, I've been doing some more thinking, and I talked it over with a couple of others, and I think that I'm gonna be going with something more simplified, like "In Defense of Earth" or "Service in Defense of Earth" and just drop the latin.
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Old 09-02-2010, 04:04 AM   #9
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"Drop the Latin"



- yep, that sounds like a good catchy phrase to use .....
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Old 09-02-2010, 10:09 AM   #10
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How about Sic Semper Tyrannis (not sure I spelled it right). It means "Death to all Tyrants" and is what John Wilkes Booth is said to have yelled as he jumped from the Presidential box after shooting Lincoln. Just sounds appropriate if your guys are going up against some aliens trying to control Earth.
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Old 09-02-2010, 01:41 PM   #11
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Would "sic semper tyrannis" be something more akin to: so always to tyrants with no implication of it being death or resistance or anything else?

If death had a place in the phrase wouldn't it be a variant of the French "morte" and quite probably "mortem"?

As for the whole should Latin be included on the patch I would say that military units mottoes are steeped in the heraldic tradition and this would probably survive quite far into our future. I don't see the U.S. Marines abandoning "semper fidelis" anytime soon for example.
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Old 09-02-2010, 06:27 PM   #12
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You might be able to get some inspiration if you look over real life military mottoes.
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