Sean Hannity changed the cover of his new book after a classics student pointed out that a Latin motto printed underneath the book’s title was completus nonsensus, Business Insider reports.
The conservative commentator’s Live Free Or Die: America (and the World) on the Brink originally featured the phrase Vivamus vel libero perit Americae, which Hannity and his publishers thought means “Live free or America dies.”
It does not, as Indiana University student Spencer Alexander McDaniel pointed out in a blog post titled “Sean Hannity Does Not Know Latin.”
“There is a slight problem with this particular motto, though; it’s complete and utter gobbledygook,” wrote McDaniel. “It is clear that whoever came up with this motto does not even know the basic noun cases in Latin or how they work.”
McDaniel wrote that while the original motto doesn’t make any sense, it could be generously interpreted as “Let’s live or he passes away from America for the detriment of a free man.” Hannity or his publishers, McDaniel speculates, got the faulty translation from Google Translate, which the student says “is comically inept at both Latin and Ancient Greek.”
Hannity’s publisher, Threshold Editions, might have caught wind of McDaniel’s blog post, because they’ve updated the Latin phrase to Vivamus liberi ne America pereat, which actually does make sense.
Hannity’s book, which was released on Tuesday, was the No. 2 bestselling book on Amazon as of Fridayus afternoonus. (DISCLOSURE: This reporter studied Latin in high school but only remembers how to say “Britain is an island,” which, shockingly, has never once come in handy.)
Michael Schaub is a Texas-based journalist and regular contributor to NPR.