Ah Latin, Ah Humanity (Long) -Reply

Subject: Ah Latin, Ah Humanity (Long) -Reply
From: Bill Sullivan <bsullivan -at- SMTPLINK -dot- DELTECPOWER -dot- COM>
Date: Fri, 20 Sep 1996 09:14:32 -0700

On a recent visit to the San Diego Zoo, I overheard a woman say that
an animal "vocalized," and I immediately thought "yuck." Vocalized
is a Latin-based word, and I remembered that we have in the world a
lot of people, science types in particular, who will use a
Latin-based word like vocalize instead of a more meaningful Saxonism
like "roar" or "growl." So to Brad's excellent list of "Top Five
Reasons Technical Communicators Benefit from Studying Latin," I would
add that the study of Latin teaches us the difference between the weak
words and the power words. I think this probably fits with his reason
No. 2, the one about knowing how to avoid pedandic locutions. Latin
strengthens your speech, and gives you the tools to strengthen the
speech of others, if they rely on you as an editor. PS, you could
probably learn this much from a study of, say, middle English, but I
think perhaps Caesar and Cicero have more to teach us as writers than

Bill Sullivan
bsullivan -at- deltecpower -dot- com
San Diego, California

>>> Brad Connatser <cwrites -at- USIT -dot- NET> - 9/19/96 12:28 PM >>>

Top Five Reasons Technical Communicators Benefit from Studying Latin:

1. Enables you to understand the precise meanings and etymology of
most of our prefixes and suffixes.

2. Enables you to figure out pedantic locutions (such as "pedantic
locutions") derived from Latin.

3. Enables you to enter the specialized discourse (and perhaps land a
job thereby) of doctors and lawyers, whose language is filled with
Latin phrases.

4. Enables you to understand and apply the concept of
meter-by-syllable to--yes--even technical communication.

5. Enables you to ridicule with confidence such English-composition
rules as "Never split an infinitive."

Simply, Latin enables you, the scriptor, the editor.

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