I am trying to remember a Latin quote that says something like

I know I am wrong but I do it anyway.

I remember reading it in a book. It's not much to go on, but if someone knows it, it will be nice to remember it again.

  • This isn't the answer, but it's a good one: "Cuiusvis hominis est errare, nullius nisi insipientis in errore perseverare." Anyone can err, but only the fool persists in his fault. This is from en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Latin_phrases_(full)
    – senortim
    Jul 17, 2020 at 0:12
  • Similar to Romans 7:15-19 (but it being a Latin quote is iffy)
    – b a
    Jul 17, 2020 at 7:42
  • @Liam: I am reminded of people whom I have known: drinkers; gamblers; druggies: lacking sympathy/ empathy, in my youth: "tu es stulto stultior!" = "You are more stupid than stupid!" Now, realising that addiction is an illness, a more enlightened approach. A one-word answer: "deditus" = "addicted"; or "deditus esse" = "to be addicted to". (Oxford). If there is anybody who knows that he is making a mistake, but does it anyway, it's an addict.
    – tony
    Jul 17, 2020 at 12:25

3 Answers 3


I think I found the phrase, Video meliora, proboque, deteriora sequor. It is from Ovid's "Metamorphoses." I came across it while reading the Mayor of Casterbridge. Thanks for the comments, but I found it interesting because it doesn't mock the person for doing it; it's just tragic. Does anyone know the context of this phrase?

  • It would improve the quality of your answer if you provided a link to (or a quote from) the actual Ovid's text.
    – tum_
    Jul 17, 2020 at 14:11

Half the story is here: Princess Medea falls in love with Jason, who with the Argonauts' is trying to recover the Golden Fleece.

The Golden Fleece, which drew the Argonauts out of their comfort zone, came from the Ram which carried two refugee children from the Athamantic Mountains in Greece. One of the children, Hellé, drowned in the Hellespont.


In the off-chance that, instead of searching for a Latin term to characterize one's own behavior, you're referring to the indication that your quoted text sports some error(s) and you are hoping to simply make clear that you included the error(s) when knowing that they are, in fact, errors, then my below answer may add some value (otherwise, probably not so much)...

It is "sic" (shorthand; often written in italics and always in brackets [] at the conclusion of the quoted statement made in error, but always within the quotes), with a widely-accepted first-documented usage as an adverb in 1859.

"Sic" is short for the gadget Latin phrase, "sic erat scriptum," meaning "thus was it written," to indicate that the quoted matter has been transcribed or translated exactly as found in the source text, complete with any erroneous, archaic, or otherwise nonstandard spelling, punctuation, or grammar, as well as any surprising assertion, faulty reasoning, or other matter that could be interpreted as an error of transcription.

The above-described usage of "sic" contrasts with the direct translation for the Latin word, "sic" (as opposed to the translation to the abbreviation for the previously-denoted Latin phrase at issue), which means "thus" or "so."

Hope this info helps!!

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  • 3
    This answer does not look entirely natural. Have you used AI to generate it or help you write it? AI-generated content is not useful on this site and is likely to be deleted.
    – Joonas Ilmavirta
    Dec 7 at 19:40
  • Doesn't sic erat scriptum mean "so it had been written"? 2 days ago
  • @SebastianKoppehel: Perhaps "thus was it written" sounds a bit more idiomatic in formulaic English?
    – Cerberus
    2 days ago

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