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I know we rely on academic sources for our translations and interrete definitely does not lack support, however this is worth mentioning, at least for the sake of critical thinking. The English word “net” is cognate with Latin nexus, -ūs (from Proto-Indo-European *gned-, *gnod-, “to bind”). Nexus does not mean “net”, of course (that's rete indeed), but nexus definitely means “connection” (or “bond”).

I think it is worth mentioning the proposal of using internexus, -ūs for the English word “internet”. The advantages are:

  • Similar etymology
  • Similar sound
  • Better expression of the content of what internet actually is (i.e., “a connection between nodes”, not a “net” between nodes)

I am not a native English speaker, but I believe the word “net” can unconsciously remind English speakers of the word “knot”. And so can the Latin word nexus remind of the word nodus. Both pairs are etymologically related indeed.

Both interrete and internexus can be considered as legitimate Latin translations of the English word “internet”. Strictly speaking interrete would be a calque, while internexus would be an etymological translation (and a phonological one as well in this case). Etymological translations have often been used in science. For example “String Theory” in Italian is Teoria delle stringhe. Although Italian stringa does not mean exactly “string” (in fact stringa is a particular type of string made of cotton), the identical etymology was considered enough for adopting it in a translation (ultimately from PIE *strengʰ-). And in the case of internexus the rationale would be much stronger.

The word rete would not be lost in this context. In Italian for example we use indifferently internet and rete as synonyms (but never interrete) – note that rete means “net” in Italian as well. We could imagine a similar scenario in Latin, where internexus and rete would be both synonyms meaning “internet” (but without having to create the neologism interrete).

If asked, I am definitely in favor of using internexus as the translation of the English word “internet”. But I am no authority, therefore I hope that this comment will be read by someone with more authority than me and that what I am saying will be convincing enough.

--Grufo (talk) 16:39, 28 April 2020 (UTC)

Vicipaedia, as you rightly say, relies on reliable published sources. We have a source for "interrete" (see the footnote on the page). Can you cite a source for "internexus"? If not, we can't adopt the word. Andrew Dalby (disputatio) 17:33, 28 Aprilis 2020 (UTC)
There are several online sources for internexus, -ūs (#1, #2, #3, #4, #5, #6, #7, #8), but I have not found any published text yet (although I am convinced it must exist, adopting internexus for internet comes just too natural). Honestly I think that the number of online sources is enough to justify at least a mention of internexus, but if other users think differently I will leave my comment here hoping that it will be read by someone who is either able to find a published source or can be a source him-/herself. --Grufo (disputatio) 01:04, 29 Aprilis 2020 (UTC)
The question with blogs and other web-originated pages is, do we accept the author as reliable? Well, a source delivered under the masthead of The Times is not "self-published" and not to be laughed at. Yes, surely there's enough there to add the alternative term to the first sentence -- with a footnote citing at least one source -- and then, if you wish, to add the template {{Movenda|Internexus}} to the head of the page.
Personally, I don't see why we should prefer the word to "Interrete", but others might well agree with you! Andrew Dalby (disputatio) 08:48, 29 Aprilis 2020 (UTC)
Didn't someone (Ioscius? Iustinus?) once tell us interrete was in common use among Latin speakers at the conventicula Lexintoniensia? If so, it would seem to have the approval of no less a Latinist than Terentius ille Tunberg. IacobusAmor (disputatio) 13:11, 29 Aprilis 2020 (UTC)
I feel that the choice between internexus and interrete will always be subjective. Some people will like the sound of the first one, some other people will prefer the sound of the second one. I am honestly convinced that they are both acceptable. The fact that I love etymological connections and love the fact that net and nexus are related is also nothing else than a subjective factor. This means that if on the one hand there is not a very strong argument in favor of internexus, the same applies also to interrete, and a even a strong sponsorship of the latter will be mostly due to personal taste (academics do have a personal taste too). It is not rare for Vicipaedia to add minor alternatives to the pages' names (for example the voice for computatrum mentions also the virtually non-existent instrumentum computatorium and ordinatrum – maybe the latter might be preferred by the French). So I think adding a referenced mention to internexus is a good idea. It definitely adds an element of critical thinking to the page. --Grufo (disputatio) 15:45, 29 Aprilis 2020 (UTC)
Attente! Lingua Esperantica, quod idioma neutrale vere internationale est longe aliter ac lingua Anglica, terminus interreto est. Inde argumentum oportere terminum Anglicae voci similem non iam valet. Giorno2 (talk)
Lemma articuli legamus: interrete est rete quod plurima alia retia connectit. Si internexum accipiamus, sit: internexus est nexus, qui nexus alios connectit? Sed nexus est link, hyperlink (ergo internexus quoddam nexuum genus est; hoc, exempli gratia, quod hic nexum intervicialem vocamus). Non eo rete melius est, quod Traupman et Vilborg id accipiunt, sed Traupman et Vilborg id accipiunt, quod melius est.— Non contradicem, ut memoria de hoc vocabulo servetur et nexus (sic!), qui talem usum in interreti nonnunquam inveniri probant, in pagina maneant. Demetrius Talpa (disputatio) 17:35, 29 Aprilis 2020 (UTC)


Ok, this requires some steps.

Just a bit of clarification about internexus. The word is definitely a compound of inter + nexus. Nexus, -ūs is a typical fourth declension formation derived from a past participle (nexus, -a, -um) in order to define the action expressed by a verb (in this case the verb necto). Similar formations are casus, -ūs (from cado), visus, -ūs (from video), cursus, -ūs (from curro), and plenty of others. So if nectere means “to bind, to connect”, nexus means “the bond, the connection”.

Now, interestingly, we don't have internexus in Classical Latin (not that I am aware of at least), but we do have internectere (#1), which means “to intertwine, to interlace, to bind up, to reticulate”. See Verg. A. 7, 816, “ut fibula crinem auro internectat” (“the clip interweaves [her] hair in gold”). So we can at least try to imagine that if we went to Virgil and asked him what our internexus neologism could possibly mean (regularly derived from the internecto verb he was familiar with), he would probably answer “the intertwining, the interlacing, (ultimately) the net”, or something very close – after all we will have created just another regular action noun of the fourth declension. If we asked him about “interrete” instead, he would probably spend more time thinking. But he's dead, so we can't go there and check. I am strongly convinced however that Virgil would never say that internexus would mean “a connection between connections”, as Demetrius Talpa fears.

Now “internet”. I believe (but this is my personal opinion) that the word “internet” is ill-formed even in English. But English is definitely more tolerant than Latin about binding together a preposition (“inter”) directly to a primitive noun (“net”) instead of the more classical formation preposition + verb (or preposition + noun derived from a verb). So, while internecto in Latin is perfectly regular (and so is internexus, a neologism regularly derived from internecto), interrete would be at least unusual, since it is formed by directly attaching together a preposition with a noun not derived from a verb.

So, in conclusion, I don't just believe that internexus is to be preferred, I also believe that interrete is inherently ill-formed (preposition + primitive noun). The only thing that in my opinion partially saves interrete is that it is a literal calque of a not particularly well-formed English word. But, again, this is my personal opinion and I am no one. --Grufo (disputatio) 18:21, 29 Aprilis 2020 (UTC)

Interrete ut interrex, interpunctum, intervallum, intercilium. Fortasse interretium melius esset. Non de qualitate vocabuli unius dico, sed tempto, quomodo in textu aliis verbis congruat. Non timeo, ne internexus per se tali vel tali modo intelligi possit, sed cogito, quomodo lemma huius articuli rescribenda esset vel aliae sententiae de interreti, unde nexus ut link destrui non potest. Lingua ipsa rete est, et Vergilius non de uno vocabulo, sed de multarum sententiarum cum hoc vocabulo (necnon aliis cognatis et sensu propinquis) generandarum possibilitate interrogandus est. Demetrius Talpa (disputatio) 19:33, 29 Aprilis 2020 (UTC)
Thank you, Demetrius. Interrex and intervallum have convinced me that interrete is at least not completely ill-formed. And they have given me a better general meaning of interrete independently of “internet”: “the space/thing/whatever between nets” – as an interrex is the ruler between two kings (reges) and the intervallum is the space between walls (valla). I don't think however that using internexus would force any action towards nexus. They will remain two different words with different meanings. When the Romans created the word intervallum they did not feel that they had to change anything in the meaning of the word vallum, which continued to exist independently with the same meaning. However you opened an old question that is unrelated to internexus: if we use nexus as the translation of English “link” (instead of the more logical ligatio or colligatio) what do we use instead for translating the English word “connection” (the “connection” between a computer and a modem for instance)? --Grufo (disputatio) 20:23, 29 Aprilis 2020 (UTC)
De modem articulum non habemus, de rete locali hic connectere dicitur, hic etiam committere, ipse colligare vel coniungere dicam. «Modem» vulgo nominabantur instrumenta, quae ad computatrum adiungebantur et ab altera parte cum reti telephonico coniungebantur, quae computatrum ad rete telephonicum adiungebant; in reti locali computatra inter se coniuncta/colligata/composita erant retiumque localium inter se coniunctio «interrete» nominabatur, etc. Bad connectioncommunicatio tarda (scilicet communicatio datorum), coniunctio mala etc. Demetrius Talpa (disputatio) 21:04, 29 Aprilis 2020 (UTC)
I think this is a very interesting discussion. And I believe that the fact that we can use several synonyms for expressing the same concept is a good thing, especially considering that Latin was born without our modern technology. The only thing I can add is my personal contribution of proposals for the glossarium computatrale (in fact, if synonyms are a good thing, it is also not a bad thing to have a compendium of reference words):
Anglice Latine
internet interrete, -is / internexus, -ūs
link ligatio, -onis / (nexus, -ūs)
to connect connectere
connection connexus, -ūs
connected connexus, -a, -um
to download egerere
the download egestus, -ūs
to upload aggerere
the upload aggestus, -ūs
--Grufo (disputatio) 01:01, 30 Aprilis 2020 (UTC)

On the question raised here -- should we move to "internexus"? -- the sources cited are interesting but don't, in my view, outweigh the sources for "Interrete". But we should retain "Internexus" as an alternative in the first sentence. Thanks for proposing the word, Grufo. Andrew Dalby (disputatio) 18:19, 30 Aprilis 2020 (UTC)

Thank you all for the interesting discussion! --Grufo (disputatio) 19:44, 3 Maii 2020 (UTC)
In the table above, ligatio is 'a tying, a binding'; the term for 'a link' in Vicipaedia is nexus, and it seems to have been so from the beginning. The ideas of 'download' and 'upload' are usuallty based on onerare. Some of these terms, and many others, are attested in various publications. IacobusAmor (disputatio) 20:05, 3 Maii 2020 (UTC)
“In the table above, ligatio is 'a tying, a binding”
More or less like nexus is “the act of binding, tying or fastening together”… Just for comparison, to translate the English “link” French uses lien, Italian uses collegamento (both ultimately from ligō) – and note that Italian does possess nesso as the direct translation of Latin nexus (meaning “logical connection”).
“the term for 'a link' in Vicipaedia is nexus, and it seems to have been so from the beginning”
I like to suggest alternatives when these are available, but I don't dislike nexus. Both nexus and ligatio/colligatio are OK for me.
“The ideas of 'download' and 'upload' are usuallty based on onerare. Some of these terms, and many others, are attested in various publications.”
I understand… Well, I guess I have just suggested some alternative terms then! Just out of curiosity, what are the verbs derived from onerare used for translating “to download” and “to upload”?
--Grufo (disputatio) 17:00, 4 Maii 2020 (UTC)
In Vicifonte upload files = onerare fascicula (in interfacie Latina; hic, in Vicipaedia, imponere; nescio qui haec scripserit) Demetrius Talpa (disputatio) 22:26, 4 Maii 2020 (UTC).
Thank you, Demetrius. I asked because I suspect that by sticking to onerare for translating “to upload”, “to download” would be exonerare (which of course already has different meanings). --Grufo (disputatio) 23:53, 4 Maii 2020 (UTC)

Please note that the correct Latin form is conectere, conexus. Neander (disputatio) 16:11, 5 Maii 2020 (UTC)

Conectere and connectere are both correct (#1, #2). If I am not mistaken two pronunciation were present at the end of the Republic, /kõːˈnek.toː/ and /konˈnek.toː/, depending whether the speaker would normally pronounce cum as /kũː/ or /ko*/ (the asterisk in the second one indicates syntactic gemination). Common sense would suggest me that for both pronunciations connectere would be the optimal spelling, because con- is able to express graphically both nasalization (/kõː/) and syntactic gemination (/ko*/) – depending on the speaker – while co- can only be pronounced /kɔ/ or /koː/. What is the argument that makes the ones who disagree on this believe that conectere would be more correct? --Grufo (disputatio) 20:19, 5 Maii 2020 (UTC)
Well, the argument is, simply, that if you check any philological edition of ancient Roman authors, published in authoritative collections such as Scriptorum classicorum bibliotheca Oxoniensis or Bibliotheca Teubneriana, you'll find only conectere. We scarcely have any better informants than philological editions of classical authors. Neander (disputatio) 21:01, 6 Maii 2020 (UTC)
Indeed, when you had raised the point I had done a quick research and, with some surprise, I had found too that philological editions tend to prefer conectere, conubium, etc (with some exceptions though). However, given that unless you find it in an inscription, writing conectere instead of connectere is nothing more than an editorial choice, I wonder what reason could motivate editors to prefer conectere. From what I know of Latin phonology and orthography I would think of it as nothing more than a misspelling. But I think that this can be a very good question for any linguist who happens to read this discussion. --Grufo (disputatio) 00:07, 7 Maii 2020 (UTC)

I agree. But the phenomenon is way too widespread to be an irrational editorial choice of a type involving misspelling. Instead of this, I'd suggest that the reason might be etymological. For example, nectere has been connected to nere < *snē- (Persson, Beiträge 1912: 815A). Thus, *com-snegh- > *co-znegh- > *cō-nec-t- (like flectere). Given this, con-nectere might be a late/"vulgar" Latin morphological reanalysis. It's true that nectere lacks a generally acknowledged etymology. Anyway, this is a very good question, as you admit. Neander (disputatio) 16:24, 7 Maii 2020 (UTC)

Thank you, Neander, it is very interesting. I am really curious to know what epigraphy says about conectere/connectere. --Grufo (disputatio) 00:44, 9 Maii 2020 (UTC)
It may require too much time & effort to chase all epigraphic specimens (if there are any) of conectere / connectere. But one potentially interesting locus is Gellius 2.17.8 "Praeterea coligatus et conexus producte dicitur." No doubt, these examples are real, even coligatus though it was reanalysed as conligatus and colligatus already in classical Latin. Cicero (De oratore 3.219) quotes a line from some fabula palliata: "Séd sibi cum tetulít coronam ob cóligandas núptias" (obviously 2nd c. BC, as can be seen from the archaic tetuli). Neander (disputatio) 10:53, 12 Maii 2020 (UTC)
Maybe it's a remnant of the proto-Latin tendency for stress to fall on the first syllable: cónectere instead of connéctere. IacobusAmor (disputatio) 12:00, 12 Maii 2020 (UTC) IacobusAmor (disputatio) 12:00, 12 Maii 2020 (UTC)

Iam HABEMUS verbum, i.e. interrete. Hoc maximi momenti est! Neque lingua Hebraica moderna omnia verba nova etymologice perfecta sunt - sed solum, quod momenti maioris sit, est USUS activus! Et diu iam homines utuntur voce INTERRETIS. Noli artificiose complicare res, quaeso! Giorno2 (disputatio)
Cum Giorno2 consentio.
Addo: rationes, quibus editores philologici hanc vel aliam orthographiam praeferunt, licet apud philologos postulare (sicut Grufo proponit), sed non hic! Hic encyclopaediam conscribimus, fontibus fidei dignis rite adhibitis. Mea mente, haec disputatio ad finem iam venit. Andrew Dalby (disputatio) 08:35, 7 Maii 2020 (UTC)
Giorno2, I agree with the principle (although the popularity of a word, any word, in Contemporary Latin can never be compared to that of Hebrew: the number of speakers will always be several orders of magnitude smaller). That said, it seems to me that you are a bit exaggerating in favor of interrete. As I had shown, internexus does have some relative usage (#1, #2, #3, #4, #5, #6, #7, #8), and from a quick search on Google, interrete occurs only five times more often than internexus (1 310 000 results against 245 000 results) – Google will include all other languages as well, of course, but it still gives an idea of the fact that we are talking about two equally-popular (or unpopular) terms. Anyway, I don't have much else to add about internexus vs. interrete, so I will stop here. --Grufo (disputatio) 12:09, 7 Maii 2020 (UTC)
ADIECTIVUS abest!(?) In maximo glossario Pape vidi adiectivum classicum pro RETI exstare i.e. RETIALIS. Pro voce nexus autem non inveni adiectivum. Auxiliamini! Giorno2 (disputatio)
We do have the adjective. We actually have two! For nexus there is both the classical nexilis[1] and the medieval nexualis[2] – more or less like spiritualis is the later version of the classical spiritalis[3] – so the adjectives of internexus are internexilis and internexualis (same meaning, different style – although in my opinion internexualis is better suited for meaning “of the internet”, directly from internexus, -ūs, while internexalis is better suited for meaning a more general “which interconnects, of a network, quid internectit”, from internexum, supine of internectere; so, for example, pagina internexualis = “internet page”, but internexilia computatra = “computers in a network” – but these are debatable details). On the other hand – correct me if I am wrong – retialis is a pure neologism. --Grufo (disputatio) 13:01, 7 Maii 2020 (UTC)


  1. Nexilis – Wiktionary
  2. See S. De Cassia, Gesta Salvatoris Domini nostri Jesu Christi, “Loris siquidem iustitia nexualis”
  3. See Monique Goullet. ADSO DERVENSIS, Opera hagiographica, éd. Monique Goullet, Turnhout, 2003 (Corpus Christianorum, Continuatio Mediaevalis, 198), “Nexilis (= qui nectitur) est la forme classique; nexualis semble formé comme spiritualis, forme médiévale de spiritalis.”
Revertere ad "Interrete".