The other day I was watching Law & Order: Special Victims Unit not that I have a thing for Chris Meloni or anything oh no not at all and the episode started out in a church, where the custodian discovered the dead body of a woman next to the confessional. My mind spun off on an interrogation fantasy involving
my daddy Detective Stabler. I was sort of paying attention to the episode as Benson and Stabler discovered that the woman was actually a transvestite prostitute. . . . “Faustus,” Stabler would say, “I’m very angry at your refusal to give up your friend.” . . . The tranny prostitute had been raped and horribly mutilated. . . . “You’ve been very bad, and I’m going to have to take extreme measures to get you to talk.” . . . The word “peccavisti” had been scrawled on the confessional wall. . . . After cuffing me to the table, Stabler would undo his belt and pull down his pants. . . . Benson and Stabler asked a priest what “peccavisti” meant and he told them it was Latin for “I have sinned.” . . . He would rip off my WHAT!?
My shock and horror destroyed utterly the fantasy I’d been enjoying.
Because “peccavisti” doesn’t mean “I have sinned.” It means “you have sinned.”
Rape, mutilation and murder are one thing when you’re fantasizing about Chris Meloni. But bad Latin is something else entirely.
I watched the rest of the episode, dismayed, until forensic psychiatrist Huang pointed out the mistranslation, which in turn gave the detectives the information they needed to apprehend the criminal. So it was all part of the plot!
After the episode was over, I googled “peccavisti law order” and came up with this. I thanked God I wasn’t the only one who was concerned about such things.
Then I went back to my fantasy about Detective Stabler; this time the conclusion was much more satisfactory.