In a NYT editorial concerning Americaâ€™s use of not-so-clever redefining the word “torture” to deny that America uses â€œextraordinary renditionâ€ and similar tactics to cause de-facto torture:
But that doesn’t make it any less disturbing that the United States government seems to have lost its ability to distinguish between acts that may occur sub rosa in some exceptional, critical situations and the basic rules of proper international behavior.
Sub rosa means â€œpledged to secrecyâ€ and is a Latin phrase (literally â€œunder the roseâ€) which is a Middle Age practice that referenced a Greek myth I had not heard of.1
I first looked up the word when I wondered why SubRosaSoft, a Mac software company, got their name.
In any case, itâ€™s a cool word. Also notice that the title of the editorial: â€œSecretary Riceâ€™s Renditionâ€ is a play on the double-meaning of the word rendition. I wasnâ€™t aware of the legal meaning until this yearâ€”I can only guess as to how that word managed the tortuous path from its dramatic origin to the strange meaning today.
One thought on “sub rosa”
Here is another take on the word. Sub Rosa as a secret restaurant.
Sub Rosa started out as an HTML exercise that got out of hand. You have heard of fantasy sports teams. This is a fantasy restaurant, but the celebrity chef is my wife. This is merely a tongue and cheek snapshot of our lives in the guise of a secret eatery. The food we like. The music we listen to. The wine we drink.
Sub Rosa is a virtual restaurant located in Dundee, Oregon. Quite underground and secret. As the name implies – what goes on here stays here.
sub rosa suhb-ROH-zuh, adverb : Secret; private; confidential
Sub Rosa comes from the Latin, literally “under the rose,” from the ancient association of the rose with confidentiality, in reference to the use of a rose at secret meetings as a symbol of the sworn confidence of the participants. The ceilings of Roman banquet-rooms were decorated with roses to remind guests that what was spoken sub vino (under the influence of wine) was also sub rosa.
Here are some pages you shouldn’t miss:
Reservations are hard to come by: http://www.subrosa.arbre.us/SubRosaReservations.html
Nude barbecue and clothing optional dining: http://subrosa.arbre.us/SubRosaNude.html
Reviews and what people are saying about Sub Rosa: http://subrosa.arbre.us/SubRosaReviews.html
My office and wait staff: http://subrosa.arbre.us/SubRosaBackOffice.html
Here are some recipes we posted awhile back:
Smoked Salmon Hash – fried potatoes, smoked salmon and crÃ¨me fraÃ®che http://www.subrosa.arbre.us/SubRosaSalmonHash.html
Hazelnut Zabaione Semifredo – Toasted hazelnuts, frozen custard and this elixir of chocolate, espresso and Marsala are to die for. One bite and you are whisked away to Italy. http://www.subrosa.arbre.us/SubRosaHazelnutZab.html
Venison – with rosemary potatoes and horseradish sauce. The Bambi special. http://www.subrosa.arbre.us/VenisonRosemaryHorseradish.html
Sub Rosa’s East Indian Thanksgiving dinner. What would happen if Bombay got ahold of our traditional holiday meal? http://www.subrosa.arbre.us/indiathanks.html
Our wine list (really just what we have in our cellar at the moment) http://www.subrosa.arbre.us/SubRosaWineList.html
Our beer list (still mining our aged barleywine collection) http://www.subrosa.arbre.us/SubRosaBeerList.html
As always, there are many new songs posted on our music pages.
Songs for lunch, dinner and after hours. http://www.subrosa.arbre.us/SubRosaMusic.html