The following is an excerpt from the August 12 New York Times.

What does the headline “Here There Be Dragons” mean?

 Here There Be Dragons. But Can They Survive an Invasion of Tourists?

 KOMODO NATIONAL PARK, Indonesia — The Komodo dragon, a 10-foot lizard native only to a scattering of islands in Indonesia, flicked its forked tongue. Two boys were standing nearby, the perfect size for dragon snacks. A local guide shrugged at their unease and urged them closer to the reptile. Komodo dragons resemble dinosaurs that missed their cue for extinction…

But like other tourist destinations around the world, from Venice to the Galápagos, the park is at risk of being wrecked by its own popularity. The inundation of tourists is threatening the very animals and pristine beauty drawing them there.

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fujibei posted:

What does the headline “Here There Be Dragons” mean?

Hi, Fujibei,

"Here there be dragons" means "There be dragons here," i.e. "Dragons be here."

The sentence is in the present subjunctive. It is an archaic construction.

"Here" refers to Komodo National Park. Thus, the title may be translated:

  • In Komodo National Park, there are dragons.
  • There are dragons in Komodo National Park.

To add to David's comments, the use of "be" instead of "are" can be considered either dialectical or archaic.


Last edited by Doc V

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