It appears that Fox News personality and Trump whisperer Sean Hannity, no doubt in an attempt to appear erudite and impress his audience, bungled the Latin motto he put on the cover of his new book.
At first, the cover featured the Latin tagline “vivamus vel libero perit Americae” – a phrase that Hannity told viewers on Fox means “live free or America dies”. But as Indiana University Bloomington classics student Spencer Alexander McDaniel laid out on his blog in May, the Latin phrase makes little sense.
“It is clear that whoever came up with this motto does not even know the basic noun cases in Latin or how they work,” wrote McDaniel. “The words in Hannity’s motto are real Latin words, but, the way they are strung together, they don’t make even a lick of sense.”
McDaniel, who was not the only classicist to question Hannity’s “perplexing” Latin, translated Hannity’s Latin text as “Let’s live or he … passes away from America for the detriment of a free man”. He then inferred that the incorrect Latin had been arrived at by putting “live free or America dies” into Google Translate.
Here’s the relevant scene from Life of Brian.
The publisher should also make Hannity write out the correct Latin phrase 100 times so that he does not make the same mistake again.