So, if

To err is human

translates to

Errare humanum est

what would be a good translation for

To throw (a stone or projectile) is human

I'm looking at proicere humanum est and mittere humanum est; proicere parallels with 'projectile', and mittere parallels with 'missile'.

In particular, the context of this is more in the

drop a stone down a well to figure out how deep it goes

rather than

throw a rock at a bird for hunting

  • I wonder if that "all ye who are without sin" thing could be adapted to fit this purpose.
    – Nickimite
    Oct 1 '20 at 4:03
  • @Nickimite I was going more for an exploration connotation instead of judgement. Oct 2 '20 at 14:34

Interestingly both mittere and projicere are found in the Vulgate bible in the famous Joseph story where Joseph is thrown in a pit by his brethren (Gen 37). So on that authority alone I'd say both of your candidates would be sound choices.

However, it seems to me that demittere may be also appropriate: to send down; to drop; to let, sink, or bring down; to cause to hang or fall down; to lower, put down, let fall

Depending on context, it may be interpreted as "lower" (e.g. aliquem per funem in puteum demittere) or as "drop" (nummum in puteum demittere).


So, the way the construction works is a simple predicate nominative with sum, infinitives are considered neuter singular, ergo. Any word for throw you want will work with the same construction:

"X est humanum"

X being, iacere, proicere, abicere, contorquere, torquere etc.

  • Which verb do you find most suitable for the scenario in the question?
    – Joonas Ilmavirta
    Oct 2 '20 at 6:51
  • 1
    I still like both mittere and proicere, but considering the audience for this, I think proicere will be more obviously related to projectile vs. the relation between mittere and missile. So: Proicere est humanum Oct 2 '20 at 14:53

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