I write, possibly like many eduBuzzers, in a climate of fear. The thing is, you see, I’m not sure if East Lothian Council is one of those banning the use of Latin expressions in an effort to prevent this elitist stuck up habit from obscuring hiding meaning. Perhaps I missed a meeting, or deleted an unopened email. Has this been thoroughly thought through though? (I don’t even like alliteration leaning towards like letters). As per capita by the head budgets are tightened, might we inadvertently by mistake spend more on consumables white A4 rectangles and black writing fluid, fitting in more unwieldy and equally confusing English equivalents? e.g. For example will school sporting fixtures have to adopt the abbreviation ag (against) to replace vs from the Latin versus? Might match-fixing become a necessity as the word nil is airbrushed from oral mouth history?
One of the reasons given for this change in policy is that the use of Latin expressions makes life unnecessarily difficult for people whose first language is not English. I know for a fact that many constituents of Italian origin extraction starting place are heaving a huge sigh of relief.
The initiative has been welcomed by the Plain English Campaign – an organisation which has since gone into titular free-fall upon noticing that the only truly English word in its name is English.
However, the disgruntled can take some comfort from the fact that the decision was only reached after much soul-searching and hand-wringing by councils across the land. Tempers were frayed and many confessed to letting slip the odd vulgar rude expression. One source, now swelling the ranks of the unemployed jobless, described the departmental meeting concerned as, “a particularly Carpy DM.“
6 thoughts on “Edict…I mean Decree…I mean Statement… I mean…read on”
Nice example of a reductio ad absurdum argument Alan 😉
Lingua Latina non mortua est quod eam loquimur.
Perhaps I should have declared (Westminster-style) my “disinterest” in the affair by confessing that I was too thick to do Latin at school. For anyone interested in language, though, it’s often guessable. In any case, I’m pleased that you provided the hyperlink, which will go straight into my del.ici.ous collection. That, I suppose, makes you part of my learning network. Vice versa?
Too late! The English-English speakers should have thought about all this around Alfred’s time. But then, I get the feeling that many of those (sorry) illuminated (sorry) individuals don’t know when that was, because, as happened with Latin, (sorry) subjects such as History, Philosophy, languages other than English itself, ehem… Music (?) have (sorry) de facto been deleted from the (sorry) curricula in order to be replaced by a few (sorry) pseudo-subjects which will not get us any more free — which is the role of (sorry) education, innit?
This brightened up my Monday morning- Thank you!It takes dumbing down to a whole new subteraean level.Loved the carpy dm.
Alan, this is brilliant! It reminds me of a wonderful moment in the recent Coen brothers film Burn Before Reading. John Malkevich, whose brilliant performance takes exasperation to new heights in some scenes, finally says to one of his tormentors
“I know who you are. You’re one of the league of morons I’ve been fighting against my whole life!”
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