View Full Version : Homo Callidus?

12th Aug 2011, 02:43
I tend to rise before dawn and this morning was no different. I sat on the terrace watching the stars wink out and spied a rat scampering along the top of the wall. The clever little blighter then worked its way down the lattice making up part of the dog run and, hanging from its back legs, took his share of the hound's breakfast. Dog (known as 'Bloody Useless' or Úseless' for short) spies rat and tries to catch it. Rat makes escape upwards along the lattice and escapes hound who lives up to its monicker.

This is the third time I have watched this scene. I thought clever rat.

For some reason my mind wandered to the thought of whether or not we, members of the species homo sapiens are clever rather than wise?

This seemed relevant in view of events around the World.


Wisdom is a deep understanding and realizing of people, things, events or situations, resulting in the ability to choose or act or inspire to consistently produce the optimum results with a minimum of time, energy or thought.
It seems - to me at least - that there is not much wisdom in the World at the moment.

What about clever?

The Latin word for Clever is Callidus, Callidus is defined as: clever, dextrous, experienced, skilful / cunning, sly
Hmm, seems to fit better.

So, and finally getting to the point, we seem to have - rather arrogantly - misnamed ourselves Homo Sapiens. Would not Homo Callidus better describe our species?

Back to rat watching!

Buster Hyman
12th Aug 2011, 04:32
The Homo bit seems right though...

12th Aug 2011, 04:43
Homo Erectus Could be stretched a bit to suit the current circumstances.

12th Aug 2011, 08:15
Clever is knowing that the tomato is a fruit; wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad....

Solid Rust Twotter
12th Aug 2011, 08:24
Sir Terry may have hit it on the button with his Pan Narrans monicker.

12th Aug 2011, 09:13
whether tomato is a 'fruit' or a 'vegetable' depends on the language, lack of 'sapiens' does not.

(Homo avariticus, the greedy one, would also do well in many cases)

12th Aug 2011, 09:39
whether tomato is a 'fruit' or a 'vegetable' depends on the language, lack of 'sapiens' does not.
Uuumm, a fruit has a covering or skin, and a body enclosing seeds, vegetables only have a covering and a body, no seeds. So tomatoes are fruits but rhubarb is a vegetable.
Although I did hear a curious, possible EU urban myth, that the EU had officially classified carrots as a fruit because Portugal makes a type of jam from them and had applied for the change in order to continue making the jam which is officially classified as requiring to be made from fruit.


EDIT - Not an urban myth but absolutely true as a part of harmonisation:
In the field of product standardisation, the Commission's initial approach was to devise absurdly detailed regulations, most of which were blocked in the Council of Ministers. A less intrusive method was made possible by the 1979 Cassis de Dijon case, in which the Court of Justice forbade Germany to ban the marketing of a French liqueur which failed to match German standards of alcoholic content. This decision established the principle of 'mutual recognition', enabling products that are legal in one member state to be sold in any other (before the Cassis de Dijon judgment, the Commission had been obliged to redefine the carrot as a fruit to allow Portuguese carrot jam to be marketed in the Community). The Single European Act of 1986 effectively removed the national veto on single market legislation, opening the way to a free market in products that meet EU health and safety requirements, with detailed harmonisation now delegated to industry standardisation committees.

12th Aug 2011, 10:12
Good point, BDiONU - languages are not logical and regulations can be absurd. "Fruit" would be translated into some languages as something growing on trees, therefore tomato is not a fruit. Rhubarb has just stems, therefore it wouldn't be a vegetable in some languages - a 'vegetable' being more like a tuber in that sense (potatoes, carrots). Also something like 'garden food' (that do not grow tubers, food from the garden, like seafood - food from the sea) could be specified - cabbage, peas etc.

12th Aug 2011, 11:04
I had a lovely* young lady working for me once who was not intelligent but who was EXTREMELY street-smart, so there's a category on it's own.

*I was in arcniz's blessed state more than once in her company. God, those (almost) unfulfilled passions of our younger years !

12th Aug 2011, 11:36
Uuumm, a fruit has a covering or skin, and a body enclosing seeds

So what does that make the humble strawberry, then, BD, 'cos it wears its seeds on its skin? :confused:

Nice thread creep! From Latin Etymology to Biology (or that discrete part of it, the name for which escapes me!)

tony draper
12th Aug 2011, 11:48
So a Cucumber is a fruit?
One like cucumber sarnies,with the crusts cut orf of course.
I believe a coconut is a seed not a nut.

12th Aug 2011, 12:57
Well, that's terrific now. Why wouldn't a cucumber be a fruit - if a tomato is? (and we are discussing the layman's categories, not the botanical ones!). I've laid out the principles of my native tongue (spoken buy a really small number of people) - things growing on trees (apples, plums, cherries), things growing 'underground', root-things (potatoes, carrots, turnip), berries on bushes (currants, gooseberry) or shrubs (blueberry), or 'grass' (like strawberries), things grown in gardens (peas, beans, pumpkins), things for the kitchen (tomatos, cucumbers). AND rhubarb, which is just rhubarb. Any other 'exotic' 'categorisation' systems in languages spoken by the posters here?

12th Aug 2011, 13:01
All very interesting, but I still don't understand why the postman calls me Old Fruit.

12th Aug 2011, 13:03
Around our way 'fruit' is just another name for an old poof! (Which brings us back to Homo somethingorother).

(Edit: My post crossed Vulcanised's, no personal abuse intended!;)).

12th Aug 2011, 13:03
because he is a nut?

12th Aug 2011, 13:04
Homo Fruticus?

12th Aug 2011, 13:05
Vulc., it's the article & adverb before the words that qualifies the expression, viz:

"Hullo, old fruit".

"Hullo, you old fruit"

"Hullo, doing anything tonight, you juicy old fruit ?"

all carry slightly different connotations.....(not sure what response is called for in the last case, depends on whether postman is female)

12th Aug 2011, 13:06
Well, the 'juicy old fruit' sounds best, if you asked me.

(in my language there is a word for 'unjuicy old something', come to think of it. The English must be more juicy :), I guess).

12th Aug 2011, 13:08
....why the postman calls me Old Fruit

A reference, no doubt, to your talent for pithy commentary.

12th Aug 2011, 13:08
the 'juicy old fruit' sounds best

Have we met?

12th Aug 2011, 13:10
Have we met?
Not that I'm aware of?

12th Aug 2011, 13:22
OFSO opined:
...unfulfilled passions of our younger years !

Know twhat you mean.....

Were one to set about to fulfilling all those youthful passions, likely something would develop in ways that might preclude having them older years.

A very deep and fundamental exhaustion, if nothing else, would seem quitely likely to result. And then maybe also the aftermath from most of the fateful plots in the Classics, one atop the other, all stirred together.

12th Aug 2011, 14:56
...all stirred together...

in case of vegetables that would be called... 'common pot'? mixed stew? mixed veg?

12th Aug 2011, 15:13
Just to get back on topic, I'd call it ratatouille.

13th Aug 2011, 00:37
"Hullo, doing anything tonight, you juicy old fruit ?"

-... Errrm... Vegetate...

I've heard of a restaurant where they serve Foie gras ice-cream, as an apetizer.
I guess geese could be classified as "fruits".