Carmen 39 –
As Quinn (1970, 208) speculates, the way this poem builds up to its comic denouement
suggests that the joke is new, and that we have here an earlier shot at
Egnatius than that in 37. Katz (2000, 338-48) rather mischievously suggests that
at line 20 Catullus, with his repeated -st- clusters, may have been joking in terms
of dental fricatives: a delightful linguists' pun, even if anachronistic.