“To sit fast badly is better than to be thrown easily.”
(Wright, A Grammar of the Arabic Language, p. 124)
[sū’(u)-l-istimāk(i) ẖair(un) min ḥusn(i)-ṣ-ṣirƸaẗ(i)]
Wright cites the phrase to illustrate the formation of the [ism(u)-n-nūƸ(i)], noun of kind, aka nomina speciei in the abounding Latin of fin de siècle philology boffins.
[The noun of kind] “indicates the manner of doing what is expressed by the verb… [It may] be used in a passive sense, as [ṣirƸaẗ(un)], way of being thrown (from horseback)….”
The literal translation of Wright’s phrase is: “Badness of the clinging is better than goodness of the being thrown down.”
It has the ring of a homily anomaly that sounds almost wise. One thinks of the daring young fools of the American rodeo who try to park their asses, pardon the language, on an exploding beast for eight seconds.
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