morti di vivo

Ok guys, this “morti di vivo” thing cracks me up a bit more every time.

It took me a while to read the poster in AC2, but when I did I went all “wat” in front of my screen, and I am genuinely amused by the fact that they are identical in Brotherhood.

Unlike English, the Italian language has both number and gender for adjectives, whereas it works the same way when adjectives are used as nouns.

The word “morti” is the male and plural form for dead. The neuter gender doesn’t exist anymore (Latin had it, I don’t know for sure when it died on us,) but its functions are still necessary; the male gender does for both. Thus, “morti” should mean “dead men”, but it is way more commonly used as “the dead”.

On the other hand, “vivo” is male but singular. And this makes a lot more sense. What really doesn’t is that “di”, a particle that covers lots of functions, the most basic of them being possession.

Not only “morti di vivo” is a nonsense phrase – it also sounds hilarious to a native speaker, since it means something on the lines of “the dead of alive” (???) or “people (who) died of life”.

For whoever made it here and is curious, the Italian word for wanted is “ricercato”, and dead or alive is actually translated to “vivo o morto”.

Ora vivi oltre il tempo. Con me si vive alla giornata, come la lepre, come il cervo, come il lupo. E si fugge, s'insegue sempre. Questa non è terra di morti, ma il vivo crepuscolo di un mattino perenne.
—  Da Dialoghi con Leuco’ di Cesare Pavese