Created By: TropeEater on September 17, 2012 Last Edited By: TropeEater on September 19, 2012

Roman V's

When in Rome, replace every instance of the letter "u" with "v".

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In Ancient Rome, there were many stone engravings. They were almost as common as written paper, if not more so. Now, this created some problems, becavse it's difficvlt to neatly carve a cvrvy line. The Romans remedied this by replacing instances of the letter "u" with "v". They didn't have the letter v in writing, either. Becaves of this, it has become a bit of a Stock Parody to do this in ancient Roman settings (or Greek, if the avthors feel like taking a bit of artistic license).

Examples


Community Feedback Replies: 17
  • September 17, 2012
    MrRuano
    Fittingly used in the Ancient Rome segment of Mel Brooks' History Of The World Part I.
  • September 17, 2012
    rodneyAnonymous
    "They did, in fact, have the letter u in writing, contrary to popular belief."

    Citation needed. No "U" according to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Latin_letters (and many other sources).

    Sentences are often started with a capital letter, too. Chairs.
  • September 17, 2012
    NimmerStill
    What they didn't have is a distinction between "U" and "V". They wrote both as the angluar "V" in stone carvings. (They also didn't have lowercase letters.) It may have been more curvy in paper writing; I'm not sure, but they were not distinguished.

    I'd say it's Chairs if it's just respresenting Latin writing as it was, with only V's, but may be a trope when used for other languages, such as the modern language the media is in, like in English, as the trope description above partially illvstrates.
  • September 17, 2012
    StarValkyrie
    It's opposite in written - both u and v are curved. You can see examples of their handwritten script which is all very curvy from photos of the Vindolanda Tablets or there's a digital recreation of one on The Other Wiki here. The transcription for each is given so you can pick out the examples of u and v.
  • September 17, 2012
    Ghilz
    I'd also question the "it's hard to neatly carve a curvy line" Because it didn't stop them from writing C, B or O or any other curved and/or circular letters. The article reads like something one just made up and doesn't seem tropeable.
  • September 17, 2012
    NimmerStill
    ^That's actually quite true, and yes it did stop them from writing C B and O in the way you think.
  • September 17, 2012
    Ghilz
  • September 17, 2012
    NimmerStill
    That was much later. Here's the original. Notice the B on the right. The "V" must simply not have been changed to be more curvy until later.
  • September 17, 2012
    Duncan
    Used in Tom Weller's sequel to Science Made Stupid, ''Cvltvre Made Stvpid". [1]
  • September 17, 2012
    randomsurfer
    • I Clavdivs
    • William Shakespeare's First Folio, while not pretending to be ancient Groman (the Greek & Roman plays notwithstanding), swaps many of the u's and v's. According to the Spelling Nazis of the day, v was always used at the beginning of words with a "v" or "u" sound, and u's were always used in the middle or end. One understands from the rest of the word which pronunciation is intended: for example, vniuersity is pronounced "university;" value is "value" - but it's also "valve."

    There's a similar trope when writing in Ye Olde Butcherede Englishe of always using a long s, which looks a little like (but isn't) an f. It isn't supposed to be used when it's the last letter in a word, but expect it to be used for every s.

    See also The Backwards R, and Japanese Ranguage.
  • September 18, 2012
    rodneyAnonymous
    Those are wrong or unusual, though. This is how Latin was engraved in ancient Rome, apparently.
  • September 18, 2012
    TropeEater
    ^^^^^^^ I said it was hard, not impossible.

    And okay, yeah, maybe I Did Not Do the Research. Sve me.
  • September 18, 2012
    NimmerStill
    ^Well I had heard that too.
  • September 19, 2012
    randomsurfer
    ^^^Yeah, but you see it nowadays when writing in English too, like I Clavdivs, making it "wrong or unusual."
  • September 19, 2012
    rodneyAnonymous
    If this is limited to not Latin and not an engraving, maybe... and the meaning would be what, "Romanesque"? Seems flimsy.
  • September 19, 2012
    Kinitawowi
    I Clavdivs is now almost universally pronounced with the Vs.

    There's also Belisarius Productions, which typically shows up as "BELISARIVS" carved in stone relief until the graphics change it to BELISARIUS.
  • September 19, 2012
    NimmerStill
    ^I've never pronounced it like that.
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