Real Classic - - Letters -

In the ar­ti­cle on the Moto Guzzi Con­vert in RC173, the marks on the fly­wheel will never line up if you think that ‘D’ is for left and ‘S’ is for right. The Latin is ‘dex­tra’ for right and ‘sin­is­tra’ for left. These words give us the mod­ern ‘dex­trous’, to be able to ma­nip­u­late ob­jects eas­ily and ‘sin­is­ter’ from the be­lief that left-hand­ed­ness of­fended na­ture. The Ital­ian words are de­stra and sin­is­tra. This knowl­edge can be gain from study of the clas­sics or the Carry On film where the Ro­man army marches to the com­mand; Sin­is­tra, Dex­tra, Sin­is­tra, Dex­tra…

Also, if you are set­ting out on a tour on a Moto Guzzi Con­vert (which has a bat­tery like an old Ford Fi­esta) and you sus­pect that the bat­tery is tired, then why do you carry the new one in your pan­nier? Fit the new one and leave the old one at home. When we toured the Con­ti­nent, camp­ing on my Bergman, I fit­ted a new bat­tery every other year. Every time it started on the but­ton in the mid­dle of nowhere I con­sid­ered it £35 well spent. Nick Crook, mem­ber 1342

As ever I en­joyed read­ing the lat­est ar­ti­cle by Nick Adams, about his trip on his Moto Guzzi Con­vert. While I don’t speak Ital­ian, I do be­lieve that ‘de­stra’ means ‘right’ and ‘sin­is­tra’ means ‘left’, and not the other way round as stated in his ar­ti­cle. Could this be the sin­is­ter rea­son why the tim­ing marks do not ap­pear to co­in­cide with tdc? Alan Tay­lor, mem­ber 8622

I’m no Latin scholar, but I’m sure the word sin­is­ter de­rived from the Latin for left; in less en­light­ened days, left­hand­ed­ness was con­sid­ered a sign of de­monic pos­ses­sion! Chris Sex­ton, mem­ber 5530

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