Annus Mirabilis and Annus Horribilis

November 21, 2008

Annus Mirabilis – n. a remarkable or auspicious year.

Annus Horribilis – n. a year of disaster or misfortune.

I thought these were interesting.  Jam packed with fun stuff.  I didn’t know there were actually names for it.  I can’t imagine they would be very easily incorporated into day to day speech, though.  “Man, 2008 was an annus horribilis!”  “Yeah, I hope 2009 is an annus mirabilis.”  Haha.  I dare you to do it!

annushorrprojThe Annus Horribilis Project seems really interesting actually.  Some guy in the UK is collecting people’s “worst day ever” stories and compiling them.  There’s some info about it on Wikipedia, but it’s all based on MySpace.  Check it out.

Interestingly, The Annus Mirabilis Papers are a collection of papers authored by none other than Albert Einstein.  They discuss the photoelectric effect, brownian motion, special relativity and matter and energy equivalence.  Sounds like an easy read.

Here’s a poem by Philip Larkin entitled Annus Mirabilis:


Sexual intercourse began
In nineteen sixty-three
(which was rather late for me) -
Between the end of the Chatterley ban
And the Beatles' first LP.

Up to then there'd only been
A sort of bargaining,
A wrangle for the ring,
A shame that started at sixteen
And spread to everything.

Then all at once the quarrel sank:
Everyone felt the same,
And every life became
A brilliant breaking of the bank,
A quite unlosable game.

So life was never better than
In nineteen sixty-three
(Though just too late for me) -
Between the end of the Chatterley ban
And the Beatles' first LP.

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