Ah Latin, Al Humanity-Reply

Subject: Ah Latin, Al Humanity-Reply
Date: Fri, 20 Sep 1996 13:28:49 -0600

Bill Sullivan wrote:

"On a recent visit to the San Diego Zoo, I overheard a woman say that an
animal "vocalized," and I immediately thought "yuck."...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."

But Bill, animals don't just "roar" or "growl". For instance, my horse
doesn't just neigh--he also whinnies, trumpets, nickers, chuffs and
snorts. These are all different sounds. In this instance, the latinate
"vocalization" is more appropriate, and from what I understand, is what is
used in the zoological world.

This isn't to say that robust Saxonisms aren't sometimes more useful
than the milder-sounding latinate words. I just think that this example
doesn't quite prove the point.

Nancy Kaminski
Servant of Napoleon, the Vocal (and opinionated) Lipizzan
Fairview Hospital and Healthcare Servics

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