O tempora! O mores!

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O tempora! O mores!

From Latin, literally meaning "Oh, the times! Oh, the customs!" Used to express exasperation at some aspect of modern times. Taken from an oration by the Roman consul Cicero (106–43 BC) as he lamented the corruption into which Rome had fallen. In the poll, over half of students had never heard of Benjamin Franklin. O tempora! O mores! These days, we value politicians who sling insults and revel in ignorance over those who know and respect the law. O tempora, o mores!

O tempora! O mores!

Oh, the times, oh, the customs! This Latin phrase comes from an oration of Cicero, in which he bitterly denounced the corruption of the Rome of his day. It was subsequently used by the erudite to criticize their own era. Quote Cicero if you wish, but be prepared to be greeted by blank or at least quizzical stares . . . more than half your listeners will think you're complaining about a Japanese restaurant's tempura.