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Sunday, 1 April 2007

Boris Johnson legit plures alius lingua quoniam legit Latin.

I thought this was another April Fool; some idiot reported in the Telegraph this morning calling for a halt to the teaching of Latin and Greek in schools because they 'contribute nothing to intercultural understanding'. Boris was luckily on hand for a rebuttal quote.

What utter piffle. What brain-dead tedious contemptuous base-born dung-hill cock from which clotpoll cutpurse ex-provincial polytechnic came up with this one? My Latin is dreadful I know but learning it all those years ago opened doors to rooms full of wonderful things. And knowing too that Arabic gave us zero as well as admirals, arsenals and astronomy taught me that an understanding of the roots of language is key to understanding the rich cultural and intellectual heritage of my nation.

5 comments:

Beaman said...

I couldn't agree more. I've read they want Urdu and Farsi to be taught more, which I find thoroughly pointless.

Newmania said...

Oh come on Readwald what exactly has Latin done for anyone lately ?
Are you not tilting at windmills a bit

Raedwald said...

Ha! Yes, probably - but one of the joys of blogging is the freedom to be Quixotic and lower one's lance at any windmill you like!

A basic knowledge of Latin helps hugely with learning English - it really does. And with the piss-poor education system we've got - with a third of school leavers hardly able to speak the nation's tongue - perhaps there's a stronger case than ever for it being on the curriculum?

Newmania said...

You don`t think teaching English properly might be a more pressing need ?
I do know what you mean actually I did a year if Latin and the vocab has been most useful. I studied the history of English years ago . English contains the entire Latin vocabulary and often several times imported via French or at different dates to appear like two words.

Saves baffelment at Lupine and puchritudinous . These are poor wors though ,avoided by the best writers , Churchill used an exclusively Anglo saxon Lexicon in his Great set piece speeches to magnificent effect

Raedwald said...

Churchill was absolutely right. Why say 'sanguine' when to better effect you could use 'bloody'.

Yes, you're right. Where are the great teachers of English these days? Men who loved the tongue in all its beauty and complexity.