si tacuisses, philosophus mansisses


I always have the above Latin maxim in mind when writing editorials – and certainly have it I mind when reading opinion pieces.

Sir Humphrey Appleby famously translated the phrase to fictional British Prime Minster Jim Hacker as: “If you’d kept your mouth shut we might have thought you were clever”.

The wikipedia notes the quote is often attributed to the Latin philosopher Boethius of the late fifth and early sixth centuries. It more correctly translates as “If you had been silent, you would have remained a philosopher.”

So, last,last Friday I had nothing to say and so wrote nothing. I hope you will forgive me!

Ideas, however, are not just the preserve of editors. Last month marked defenceWeb‘s first birthday, and that gave cause for some reflection. We will thus be conducting a readers’ survey and I hope everyone will participate. (On readership I’m delighted to report that according to Nielsen, the readership auditors, we comfortably crossed the 10 000 unique browsers barrier and had well over 41 000 page impressions. My goal is to double both in the year ahead and I hope I can ask you to further spread the word about defenceWeb in your professional networks.)

The readership survey will shortly appear elsewhere on this page.

Lastly, more on Latin maxims:

Si hoc legere scis nimium eruditionis habes

(“If you can read this, you have too much education.”)