Category Archives: Bernie’s Best Bet

Does anyone do the viz anymore?

BERNIE’S Best Bet – our fun Twitter tipping service – selects Dash for Viz at lovely Flemington racetrack in Melbourne today.
Dash for Viz is a a 5-year-old gelding by Dash for Cash out of Miss Academic.
The horse is splendidly named, as Dash for Viz  meets the sublime naming criterion of reflecting the monikers of sire and dam.

Viz dashes
Dash for Viz is by the mare Miss Academic and the name reminds me of my days in halls of higher learning.
Academics would dash towards a Latin phrase or word when an English equivalent just would not do. Latin abbreviations were gold.
Entering university, I had barely come to terms with Agatha Christie’s pesky Belgian detective Hercule Poirot and his annoying habit of peppering his speech with French mots. Incroyable!
Reading academic texts, I now had to grapple with a new set of odd expressions, viz words such as viz.
The word crept into the English language in the 16th century.
Viz is the abbreviation of the Latin word videlicit, which means ”namely’’.
The British hoi-poloi long ago punted viz from their everyday lingo. This was as good a reason as any for the academics to hang on to it as a mark of respect for their esoteric knowledge.
            You may recall some of the other favourite Latin shorts: ibid, op cit, et al.
The academics when citing some of their fellow travellers would list authors in the fashion of Dot Kansas, Red Ragger et al.
Et al stood for “and others”. I always wondered if this was done to save space or to tell the reader the als were not of any importance. I would have been offended if I was an al.
Contemporary uni students should be able to tell us whether academics do viz anymore. If the academics have ditched it, we commoners should consider reclaiming it.
‘I am having lunch with the girls today, viz Trudy, Judy, Lucy and Pippa.’
Or ‘I’m having lunch with the girls today, viz smoked salmon and mango jus.’
There is nothing wrong with a dash for viz, as long as we do not all do it at once.

Here is our celebratory song to complement the name Miss Academic