Since I'm wiling away the time on my all-expense paid vacation in Nulb, I don't have much to report. But as I haven't done a nonfiction sourcebook update in a while, I thought I'd talk a bit about the holiday beach-reading I brought along with me: the good ol' Latin English Dictionary. Mine, at 502 mass market pages, is pretty meager, but it's still pretty handy for naming monsters or characters or what-have-you so that they don't sound like I just pulled them directly out of Blipdoolpoolp's clunis.
We all know the cooler latin words like codex and sepulcrum, but what about invictus (something to do with rugby), sicarius for assassin, and arx for citadel? And aren't elves +1 to hit when using an arcus or gladius? Sadly, a hefty proportion of Latin words are either tragically familiar to English speakers--injury = injuria, insanity = insania, interdict = who cares--or just sound too clinical or downright silly; I can't read more than a few entries without being reminded of the Biggus Dickus scene from Monty Python's Life of Brian. And to top it off, there just doesn't seem to be a good Latin word for dungeon: my book offers carcer and ergastulum, but these focus on the status of the people detained in them more than the subterranean connotations that dungeon requires. Plus, they just don't sound very cool. But still, a lot of Latin words have enough charm that they're worth using anyway; as long as the Padre isn't in your group, no one needs to know that your new character Furnax the Filcher is named after the furnace.
One other cool bit: The Latin version of the saying "Making a mountain out of a molehill" is "Arcem facere e cloaca" which, literally translated--if my flimsy little Latin & English dictionary is to be trusted--means "Making Citadels out of Sewers" which describes to perfection what it is that I do around here.