Thursday, October 28, 2010

Vive et Vivere (October 2010)

I was recently asked to write this for someone who wanted to put it up in her office cubicle. Apparently in Latin it means ‘live and let live’, but google this and you’ll find different formulations, including vive et sine vivere.  I know hardly any Latin, not having had the privilege of a Classical education, but I do know that word order is extremely free in the language because verbs and nouns are highly inflected for case and agreement, among other things.  Presumably, what I’ve written literally means ‘live and to live without’, but this is just a guess.  Written with a Kuretake marker.


  1. Hi do you conduct workshops,cheers for your unique blog

  2. Good Job, really love your work.
    Glad that I found your blog, its seriously inspiring and AMATEUR? I don't believe you :)

  3. Hi, Elros

    Thanks. Yes, I've conducted a few informal workshops, for my students (all trainee teachers) and for fellow pen-collector friends here in Singapore.

    Hi, Nikheel

    Many thanks for your kind words :-) Yes, I'm entirely self-taught and have no formal training whatsoever. But I've been fortunate to have known many eminent calligraphers. You'll note that I use very simple tools for my work, and no fancy or advanced techniques.

  4. Hi
    if you are planning to conduct more informal workshops, do keep me in the loop..

  5. Hi,

    My name is Sam Fadlil. I did write to you while back. I worked as a calligrapher in New York city for over fifteen years.

    I am just wondering if there is "market" here western calligraphy. I do traditional and also more modern stuff.




  6. Hi,

    Really beautiful calligraphy you have on your blog =)
    I'm from Singapore, and I'm pretty interested in italic calligraphy myself but haven't really got the chance to embark on it!
    If you happen to have any open calligraphy classes, do let me know!
    Also, as a self-taught calligraphic artist, what beginner books/practices do you recommend?

    Drop me an email at when you have the time!

    Thanks for your time!


  7. I'm Singaporean and a Classics Major in the U.S.
    I have a blog

    "Vive et sine vivere" literally means: "Live! and to live without. Latin grammar allows two verbs to be equated when an infinitive is present, so "Live and live without!" with both being in the imperative is also permissible.

    If you need any other help, feel free to email me or comment on my blog. I always love helping.

  8. How can I contact you for freelance calligraphy work here in Singapore?

  9. Hi, The Classicist -- Thanks for your very interesting and helpful comments. You have a beautiful blog. Sorry for taking so long to write.

    Hi, Nat -- Thanks for your kind comments! I'm afraid I rarely run workshops (they're usually for NIE students or a fountain pen group I'm a member of) but I'll try to get in touch soon.

  10. Just a classicist's note:
    sine can mean 'without', but there is also a 3rd-conjugation verb, "sinere" (middle e is short), which means "to permit". The second person imperative, then, is 'sine', spelled and pronounced exactly the same as the 'sine' that means 'without'. It's up to context, then, to distinguish which one makes more sense.

    As for the calligraphy itself, I really do like Latin written in calligraphy. I just think it's really classy.