Friday, August 03, 2007

Submersible Frustration Leads to Humor

Our fellow Bubblehead recently asked, "Does anyone know the story behind the DSV-5 (ex-Nemo)? Everything I could find seemed somewhat mysterious."

After accepting the challenge, I doubt that the Navy could have done a better job of assuring a DSV-5 mystery if it had set out to do so (which is probable). While deadend searches can be frustrating, some interesting items surfaced, nevertheless. More to reveal later, when I review my current page-turner (n. Informal. A very interesting, exciting, or suspenseful book).

For now, let's look at a smaller mystery, this one relating to DSV-3 Turtle, an Alvin Class Deep Submergence Vehicle (nominal depth 10,000 swf), retired in 1998. Careful not to confuse it with Bushnell's Turtle from 1775 (first sub ever used as a weapon).

It turns out that the deep-diving DSV-3 Turtle had two ship's crests (or seals) with different mottoes. Translation of the Latin motto suggests which was the Navy's unapproved version. Deponis Tuum Suavem Clunem: "To set down your dainty ass". No doubt the approved version SEARCH, LOCATE & RECOVER gives official diving depth - 10,000 feet.

Hope the winning bidder ($81.00 plus $9.50 shipping & handling) of a plaque on Ebay Jul-26-07 appreciates the actual translation, because either the seller never found out how humorous it was, or he intentionally neglected to inform bidders. DSV crews are very small. Challenge for Bubblehead: do we have any former DSV submariners in UQNM? Priceless. Love it!

Submarines are always silent and strange.



At 04 August, 2007 15:28, Blogger SonarMan said...

A closer translation would be; "To set down your sweet buttocks." Depending on your choice of translators.

At 05 August, 2007 17:07, Blogger Vigilis said...

Sonarman, thanks for your insight with which no one can argue. "Buttocks" was given by many translators who would even offer a word. Others prudishly provided none, sticking with the original latin term "clunem".

We must be reminded of the phrase "you bet "your sweet a$$", which the censored TV show Laugh-In translated as "sweet bippy".

"Buttocks" works, however, only a member of the DSV-3 crew might convince me that the author actually did not intend the cruder term.

If you have been to Pompeii, you realize how crude the Romans could be.


At 23 September, 2011 02:41, Blogger DSV3 Pilot said...

As a former crew member of DSV Turtle, we understood that the translation was the appropriate response to the question "Are you a Turtle?" "You Bet Your Sweet Ass!"

The emblem with the latin was a treasured item of the past, whereas the 'proper' label was for public consumption.

At 18 April, 2015 00:08, Blogger Corus Von D said...

I obtained a "Sweet-Ass" patch from my father who once worked with the Turtle Crew. I was in High School Latin at the time, and neither me nor my Latin teacher knew what it meant. She took it and showed it to the Dean of Classical Languages at Georgia State University, who said it translated to "You bet your Sweet Ass" in street-slang type Latin.


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