Latin and sometimes abbreviated V.V.V.V.V., this is a line from the 1952 published diary of Aleister Crowley, later used in the 1980 Robert Nye novel Faust, and used again in the 1982 Alan Moore graphic novel V for Vendetta and the 2005 film adaptation of the same title.

Meant to be translated "By the power of truth, I, while living, have conquered the universe," the components of the motto actually parse as follows:

Vi - from vis, vis, noun, "force, power," ablative singular, a correct translation as "by the power."

Veri - from verum, substantive adjective, "(a) true (thing)" (not "truth," which would be veritas, veritatis), genitive singular, a genuinely poor translation as "of truth," because the better word here would definitely be veritatis, and it wouldn't even interrupt the "V" alliterative motif.

Vniversum - from universum, substantive adjective, "(the) whole, entire, collective (thing)" (not actually "the universe," which would be mundus, mundi), accusative singular, so it's declined correctly, but mundum is a far preferable word here if we want a correct semantic fit. Opting to parse the initial U as V here, while leaving the other two of that letter in the phrase untouched, is also dubious. It's readily apparent that Crowley was entirely willing to butcher the words in order to fit his V motif.

Vivus - from vivus, adjective, "alive," nominative singular, and therefore correctly translated.

Vici - from vinco, vincere, vici, victum, verb, "to win, to conquer," first-person singular perfect active indicative, which means this word is actually perfectly translated in this phrase as "I have conquered."

Finally, Latin best practices recommend a different word order, because - contrary to popular belief - Latin is not actually stylistically agnostic to the order in which words appear in a sentence. Just as English speakers can say "a rubber red big ball" but would more intuitively say "a big red rubber ball," Latin does have tastes about word order, and ignoring these tastes makes the speaker sound uncouth or poorly-educated in the language. A better order would be Vivus Vniversum Vi Veri Vici.

If you opt to adopt this motto for yourself, take note that Vivus is meant to agree with the gender of the speaker. If you are a woman, change it to Viva, and if you are a nonbinary individual, change it to Vivum. Also note that you'll sound like an edgelord, and you'll make any half-competent Latinist in your vicinity cringe and get a nasty twitch in their eye.

Iron Noder 2018, 8/30

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