Monday, November 17, 2008

Fun with counterfactuals

In the 3rd-4th century AD joke book, the Philogelos, we meet a son arguing with father, and exclaiming:

Don't you know how much injury you have done me? Why, had you not been born, I should have inherited my grandfather's estate.
(The translation here is taken from a quote or paraphrase in Clouston's Book of Noodles; excerpts from the Philogelos can be found here, here and here.)

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