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Latin Translation: Useless Vote

by Alejandro
(México)

Dear Latin Teacher,


I just read the phrase "suffragium inritus non est irritum" and I am wondering what would be the correct translation into English? Also, if this phrase is correct or if it has an error? I tried to translate it but all was in vain; I quit...

Please, help me. A lot of thanks.


Dear Alejandro,

First, in Latin the adjective inritus means ineffective, useless, or invalid. It can also be spelled inritus, with the same exact meaning. So the only strange thing about your Latin phrase is that its author used two different but acceptable spellings for the same word.

Second, there is a spelling error: inritus should read inritum. So we have: suffragium inritum non est inritum. Which means: a useless vote is not useless.

Many people do not vote because they believe their one vote cannot matter in the outcome. But the act of voting is in itself a useful and meaningful act.

Hope this helps, and thanks for asking a Latin teacher!

Sincerely,

John

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No Useless Vote!
by: Anonymous

What a great comment on the true power of democracy. We've got to vote!

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