Andrey (azangru) wrote,

Физики и лирики - 3

Из воспоминаний Алана Александра Милна о днях его школьной юности, когда он был скорее математиком, чем кем-то еще:

I remember once at school having to do a piece of Latin prose about the Black Hole of Calcutta. The size of the Black Hole was given as "twenty foot square". I had no idea how to render this idiomatically, but I knew that a room 20 ft square contained 400 square feet. Also I knew the Latin for one square foot. But you will not be surprised to hear that my form master, a man of culture and education, leapt upon me.
'Quadrigenti,' he snapped, 'is 400, not 20.'
'Quite so,' I agreed. 'The room had 400 square feet.'
'Read it again. It says 20 square feet.'
'No, no, 20 feet square.'
He glared at me in indignation. 'What's the difference?' he said.
I sighed and began to explain. I went on explaining. If there had not been other things to do than teaching cultured and educated schoolmasters, I might be explaining still.

(С ужасом пытаюсь вообразить, как же можно было бы выкрутиться, если бы пришлось переводить это на русский. Длина и ширина? Да нет, глупо...)

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