Universalis, your very own breviary in pixels...

Wednesday, 7 January 2015

Intellectual Rigor? What's That?

Omiwerd, it's me:
I was lucky enough to have Latin inflicted on me when I was 11 years old. I say "inflicted" because this is what I felt at the time. Stupid dead language, I thought. So imagine my horror when I found I was actually quite good at it, and then the profound, bewildered surrender as I found I'd fallen in love with it. It is a passion that has never died.
Not really, I have, alas, let more than Latin slip pretty wretchedly since my SATs and ACTs....

But this pol is right, I learned more about how to think from Latin than from any other school subject.
My current house guest was ranting about the fact that young minds are developing improperly because they press keys on a keyboard rather than write.
No idea at all if she has anything to back that up, but I think it very plausible.

I think much of the "useless" knowledge one acquires in ones progress through school is... well, it's like Christmas.
Let Fred explain:
“There are many things from which I might have derived good, by which I have not profited, I dare say, Christmas among the rest. But I am sure I have always thought of Christmas time, when it has come round—apart from the veneration due to its sacred name and origin, if anything belonging to it can be apart from that—as a good time; a kind, forgiving, charitable, pleasant time; the only time I know of, in the long calendar of the year, when men and women seem by one consent to open their shut-up hearts freely, and to think of people below them as if they really were fellow-passengers to the grave, and not another race of creatures bound on other journeys. And therefore, uncle, though it has never put a scrap of gold or silver in my pocket, I believe that it has done me good, and will do me good; and I say, God bless it!”
Latin has done me good, (and that's quite apart from its utility if one has even the faintest of interest in fine Roman Catholic liturgical music, or in primary Roman Catholic liturgical sources.)

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