Thursday, February 4, 2010

Sine Cera

There will be an opportune time for you to make an ‘impromptu’ speech. It may be at work, at a social gathering or even sitting around a campfire. If you have a speech prepared, when the opportunity comes you can jump on it. Otherwise you will just mumble something, perhaps cough – waiting for the moment to pass.

The opening. If in a public gathering someone sincerely thanks you, you can rise and in a nonchalant manner say, “You know, sincerely is an interesting word.”
And this is where launch in to you off-the-cuff, just-thought-of-it, I-can’t-help-it-if-I-am-so-smart speech.

Here it is:

Throughout the fourteenth through sixteenth centuries, Europe pulled itself out of the Middle Ages with new and invigorating advances in scientific, artistic, economic, and political thought. This was the Renaissance, which we all know is French for ‘rebirth’. It was during this period that many of what we consider the classic art works was produced. As with many European countries, Rome, along with the rest of Europe, flourished during this time. Among their artistic advances was the art of sculpturing. A bunch of marble sculptures were produced by the Romans. Now when one works with stone, such as granite and marble, one has to understand the strengths and weaknesses of the stone. Any slight miscalculation could result in an imperfection in the work of art.

Today we have ‘white-out’ and super glue and the delete key to take care of imperfections. Back then, all the Romans had was wax. If an artist made a minor goof on his sculpture, he would cover it with wax. This was common practice among sculptors. The goal was always to produce a sculpture without having to use any wax. ‘Without wax’ was the term, or in Latin ‘sine cera’.

The term ‘sine cera’ has evolved a bit. At first it implied perfection meaning that no wax had to be placed on the work of art because it was indeed perfect. Then it meant honesty. An honest sculpture. A perfect sculpture. The meaning has expanded today. The word ‘sincere’ comes from the Latin ‘sine cera’. A sincere sculpture.

This is important to know. Some day, sometime, somewhere, a mysterious lover is going to whisper to you, “I love you without wax.” To the uninformed, this may be taken to mean, “I love you, that is, if you clean out your ears.” But now you know what it really means.

Is this a true history? Some say it is; others say it isn’t. I kinda’ like the notion ‘cause it makes a nifty little speech.


  1. But not having wax in your ears probably helps.

    Excellent speech. Your blog is always humorous and wise at once. Not to mention sincere.

  2. I loved this post, without wax!

    (nice to have you stop by the manor, and I'm very flattered to see WM on your blogroll)

  3. Hey! No fair! Willow stole my line!

    Well, I'll keep this info in mind, should there actually be a moment of awkward silence at any gathering I attend. Without wax....

    (I'm still telling the story of the dogs and the intruder...and I chuckle every time I think of it!)

  4. Wow. I totally wish I hadn't been a slacker this week and had stayed up on my blog reading. Then I could have given this little speech at that boring dinner party last night. Damn. Although really? I don't think anyone there was truly "without wax".