In my freshman year at Cathedral High School for Girls, Sister Fredericka told us that studying Latin would teach us to think. I didn´t quite get it at the time even after four years studying the dead language. However, these past decades spent observing the dumbing down of Americans make me wish that Latin had become a required subject in public schools. The process of deep thinking is no longer being applied to many areas of our lives, politics being just one. Sportscasters like Bob Costas could have benefited from my teacher because he sure wasn´t thinking deeply
Bottomline...there are no Conservative Messiah´s to fix this...Conservatives will have to fix this ourselves...one brain at a time...also we will HAVE TO GO to the uncool places...Colbert, Letterman, Leno etc and make our case to the dumbdown viewers...Ronald Reagan could do this as a former actor...future Conservatives must do this too..
Took Latin in HS and loved it and my teacher, Sister Seneca. I guess you can tell from her name that she was a rather big fan of a language that has had relevance all my life, including taking the SATs, learning French and Spanish in college, virtually anything language related, and what isn´t. So much for a "dead" language. As for dumbing down America, how can we expect intelligent adults when so many teachers are incompetent. I simply don´t grok incurious people.
As required by school system, I took Latin I, passed it on the second try, ditto Latin II. Learned enough to get 100% on the medical terminology component of a massive skills test given to entry-level legal secretaries back in the day.
Agree that Latin should be a pre-requisite for learning English.
Reply 9 - Posted by:
The Architect, 12/13/2012 8:26:16 AM (No. 9063049)
The extent of my knowledge of Latin comes from my days as an altar boy, which will give you an idea of how old I am. My second daughter took Latin in high school and loved it. She can pretty much understand most Western European languages because it is the basis for all of them. It also came in handy when she took the MCAT exams for medical school.
´´Many years ago I watched the Johnny Carson show when he had author Truman Capote as a guest. On that occasion he made the comment that actors were dumb. When challenged by Carson, he reiterated his comment and said that the better they were, the dumber.´´
Watch a Robert DiNero interview to confirm this sad fact. OMG. He is a great character actor because he has none of his own and dons a character much like a winter coat...
Latin has little to do with the problem. Liberalism is the problem. We actually had a teacher in the 4th grade who read the Bible in the morning opening exercises! Oh the humanity! We had Christmas parties in school, said the pledge, even prayed in a public school. Oh the horror! Yet that generation did not crumble and unlike folks interviewed on the streets by Jay Leno, we knew in which country where the Panama Canal and Mississippi River were. I´m not even sure people coming out of most inner city schools or California schools know who George Washington is or how to put a condom on a banana correctly!
If you love Latin - you must get yourself two "fun" books: Latin for All Occasion (Lingua Latina Occasionibus Omnibus) and Latin for Even More Occasions (Lingua Latina Multi Pluribus Occasionibus), by Henry Beard (Henricus Barbatus).
Perhaps more important than the fact that we don´t teach Latin is the fact that we don´t teach Logic. Students are taught ´how to think´ or ´what to think´ but not ´to think´. This is a national tragedy.
I think there is a downside to having studied two years of latin in high school. It makes one aware of language to the point of being painfully alert to bozos who don´t know the difference between lose and loose, or the correct past tense of plead.
Without it, I too would have still been aware that bob costas is a moron.
This is a mess we shall not be able to vote ourselves out of. The tsunami of fuliginous voters will forever overwhelm those of European descent. The die has been cast. We can solve any problem save one: the destruction of our people. That, my friends, has been accomplished.
FTA: "Education is the only way to stop this dumbing down of Americans. Too bad there are no more Sister Frederickas around. " Thank God we still have Sister Alicia! Loved all four years of H.S. Latin, and it was a big help in a Bio major, and on the MCAT. Even helped me learning German. Although G. is an non-Romance language, the intense grammar of Latin paved the way for understanding German grammar.
She´s right but I am afraid it´s over. We lost. Thank God, He is eternal even as America is temporal. Capote was wrong about actors. They aren´t any smarter or any dumber than anyone else but that´s the problem. The great majority of people are incredibly dumb which is why we should have continued as a constitutional republic and not a democracy. But equality as swallowed liberty and....it´s over.
Reply 33 - Posted by:
O.S. Banker, 12/13/2012 11:14:06 AM (No. 9063426)
I grew up Southern Baptist in a small town in Missouri. There was also a substantial Catholic congregation and due to the German heritage a sizeable Lutheran Congregation, but suffice it to say that Latin was not one of the foreign language options of my high school curriculum. I have over the years picked up a few useful phrases in Latin and Yiddish. Would I have benefited from a more formailzed study? Most certainly. However, my grandfather, with an 8th grade education was one of the most conservative individual you could have met. He was a dirt under the nails farmer his entire life. His source of reading pleasure consisted of technical manuals and livestock publications.
Yet he could concisely explain the fallacy of any social welfare program. ´It wasn´t earned so it won´t be valued by the recipient. Since it was distributed rather than given, it is not cherished by the supplier. It is a waste of both resource and benefit and will lead to the ruin of all.´
So I guess I am with the previous posters in that what is needed is good common sense. The formal education just stimulates the mind for additional activity.
It´s really sad to see so many intelligent people today misuse words like your and you´re, there and their, etc, etc. It´s sad because it´s not their fault. They simply did not get a decent education in our Government schools.
It was different in my era. First the Sisters and Mother Superior pounded Latin, much of it in the form of Roman History, into me for 8 years. Then I had to take it in High School because the Latin teacher was a family friend. It was not a waste of time. It´s amazing how many times I find myself using what little I remember figuring out a phrase in Spanish, Italian or some other language. So many, many words in the Romance languages have Latin (or Greek) roots. Or I often recognize or am able to translate a Latin phrase on th fly.
I only wish I had paid more attention to my English teachers. My English grammar and punctuation leave a lot to be desired. But then, as I once use to say in a lame attempt to excuse my ignorance, that´s what secretaries are for.
One more thing. Here is a quote from Cicero that seem very appropriate 2000 years later: "Nihil est incertius vulgo, nihil obscurius voluntate hominum, nihil fallacius ratione tota comitiorum." In English it is: "Nothing is more unpredictable than the mob, nothing more obscure than public opinion, nothing more deceptive than the whole political system."
#36, I will find the book you recommend. Even as a woman with an advanced degree, my grammar needs a brush up. I do find that having taken Latin all the way through my Catholic school years, misspelled words anywhere bug me!
Latin is a mother language. It is the primer for grammar and parts of speech. We have been slowly introducing Latin to our son in homeschool. That and a solid foundation in the father of all science, math, will do more good when developing the brains of children than anything else in the lexicon of education.
I have often wondered if those "man in the street" interviews showing giggling twenty-somethngs who were unable to answer even basic questions about news or government were cherry picked for shock value, or if the young folk were all just putting the reporter on. I am beginning to think that in fact the majority of twenty-somethings are in fact pig-ignorant airheads. This article pushes me further in that direction of thought. But as the younger generation would say, "whatever!"
I had 2 years of Latin in school and loved it. I never considered it a dead language since knowing Latin still helps me figure out the meaning of words without going to the dictionary. Also enjoyed English class; I was known for diagraming sentences for fun. Wonder if they still teach that? (What am I thinking??) To this day I can´t stand it when anyone ends a sentence in a preposition! OY!!
#44 - I also thought diagraming sentances was fun, and have the same aversion to sentances ending in a preposition.
Our great education system was infested and overrun by the marxists pigs, and thinking was suppressed. Once again world events will overwhelm us, the social system will shatter, and the survivors will put the pieces back together some day. The "Dark Ages.2" are straight ahead.
Latin, shmatin. The self appointed heavy thinkers who happened to take latin and post on this site sure grabbed onto that tidibt of enlightenment. You can have the most sophisticated educational curricula available and still sit in the back row and throw spit balls. If parents don´t have control on their kids and what the teachers are providing you will end up with a liberal fool.
Simply studying any language will help with grammar. I´ve studied Arabic for 14 years, much more useful than Latin. It´s a different way of looking at the world, like studying any foreign language is. A previous poster had it right: simply teach kids to think, to question what they are learning, to see if it makes sense.
#44... our homeschool grammar curriculum is heavy on diagramming sentences. We use a ton of memorization and repetitive learning. This type of learning is critical in the "Grammar Stage" of the Trivium, the way Western human civilization educated our young for thousands of years with much success. It has also been a great refresher for myself as well as this is how school was done when I was young. There is hope, but it will not be found in public schools.
LBJ, Ted Kennedy. The first created the great handout AND destroyed lower class families in the process. The odious Kennedy couldn´t get everything he wanted so he declared that he will simply overwhelm the system with proles from anywhere. He has won, because somehow the ´loyal opposition´ was too weak or corrupt to stop him. Now we have a culture of absolutely no shame. A feral world of obnoxious, political correct, maniacs who destroy anything that demands achieved standards. I see no leader, no movement that beat back the demonic forces that brainwash the masses into thinking they are ´special´ instead of failures. New Dark Ages is unfortunately, pretty accurate.
People are not taught critical thinking anymore. I never took Latin, but I certainly can figure out most of it. My mother was the greatest influence in my life and from her I learned that the ability to think (and think critically) was the MOST important thing one could have in life. That is why those backwoods survivalists didn´t need to be educated to do well. Yes, formal education is good and necessary for a functioning modern society, but it´s even more important that people use their brains as more than just a tape recorder.
Agree with what was said above. Especially with #22´s recommendations. Hilarious.
I studied German and French in school, then discovered Latin. If I´d taken Latin first, both French and German would have been much easier.
I´d even be in favor of learning Latin as a requirement for graduating from high school. The language, just by its very structure, forces you to think.
Heck, learning Latin would be a good thing for illegal aliens. Most of them (around CA anyway) don´t even know how to read Spanish. Learn to read and write Latin and reading and writing Spanish will come very easily.
Finally, I agree that the most important thing to learn in school is critical thinking. If you know how to think critically, you´ll find it easy to separate the wheat from the chaff in all the "news" stories you read.
For all the non-critical-thinkers out there, an Ambrose Bierce quote is very appropriate: "Cogito cogito, ergo cogito sum" "I think that I think, therefore I think that I am".
This is a good article from Alicia. Keep in mind that liberals thrive on shallow. They use slogans to shout down their opponents - the typical modus operandum of those who don´t want their views examined more closely.
Liberalism is all in the saying and the pushing. Just say anything and push it. Push, push, push.
It is the extraordinary success of modern Western civilization and technology that make liberal fantasy ideology possible. The sharp and unyielding edges of reality -yes, Virginia, there IS such a thing as reality!- are seemingly suspended, leaving people without the traditional boundaries and navigational markers. Never in the history of the world have so many had it so good, so easy, so safe, and so convenient as modern Westerners have it today. But the lack of real adversity slows emotional maturation and stunts character. It is easier and more pleasant to feel and to fantasize than to learn and to think carefully. Liberalism is feel-good fantasy ideology. Sex, drugs and rock and roll. Make love not war. If it feels good, do(or think or say) it. Free love. Free health care. Free everything. What´s not to like about a deal like that?
But it is all a dream. Modern liberals and those Americans who listen to them are like sleepwalkers. Alas, it seems that the sleep of reason does produce monsters. Yet if there is to be an awakening and a return to reason, it may just be that the monsters are the only thing to cause it. Their tread is still faint, but they are on their way. The dream cannot last forever.
My work involves the analyses of Roman literature, and it´s incredibly difficult to understand what its writers are saying if you stick to a lot of the printed translations. A lot of these are looked at in too much of a modern socio-political context, and, as such, are made to mean what today´s audience want to hear. Oh, that we could have their frankness in the modern political arena.
Since I know Alicia Colon sometimes posts here, I´ll take this opportunity to thank her for another great column.
I, too, studied Latin. I didn´t love it, but it was valuable knowledge that I´m glad to this day that I acquired.
Consider, also, that it might not only be learning Latin that so helped all of us get an education. It was going to schools that thought it appropriate to include demanding subjects like Latin in the curriculum--and expecting all of us to learn it, no matter what socio-economic group we came from.
President of the Media Research Center Brent Bozell appeared on Fox News Wednesday afternoon to rebut days of criticism over Lauren Green’s recent interview with author Reza Aslan, in which the Fox anchor repeatedly questioned Aslan’s motives for writing a text on Jesus when he himself is a Muslim. “It was the exact correct question that needed to be asked,” Bozell said. “She had every right to ask him, ‘Do you have a bias? Are you being influenced by your faith to write what you’re writing?’ He should have said, first and foremost, said, ‘Yes I am.’
Somebody deserves an Oscar for special effects. A crafty trio of black robbers bought amazingly lifelike disguises from a Hollywood special-effects firm to transform themselves into white guys for a brazen Queens heist — and their get-ups were so good, their victims had no clue they were in masks. The Brooklyn federal court trial of Akeem Monsalvatge, Derrick Dunkley and Edward Byam opened yesterday with witnesses describing how they were completely fooled. The perps spent two painstaking months plotting their $200,000 stickup of a Queens check-cashing store last year — and theorized that switching races would help, authorities said.
Pivot or Divot? On one level, President Obama achieved admirable transparency in his recent Knox College address. He succinctly described most of the forces that have helped increase income inequality over the past three decades, primarily trade (many unskilled jobs are now performed overseas) and technology (which arguably increases the value of both education and “star” job performance). That these trends were obvious over a decade ago, when Bill Clinton was running for office–or that Obama himself has talked about them for years–doesn’t make them less real.
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As Anthony D. Weiner tries to repair the damage left by new revelations about his online behavior with women, one question nags at voters and those who once supported him: Why did he do it? Why did Mr. Weiner, who already forfeited his Congressional seat and imperiled his marriage, return to social media sites and send explicit messages and photos to strangers? Did he discount the risks to his family, his reputation and his career, or not understand them?
President Obama in 2010 signed a law requiring large employers to offer health insurance to their employees. Earlier this Summer, President Obama announced his administration wasn’t going to require large employers to offer health insurance to their employees. Perhaps there is some explanation why it’s okay for Obama to do this. But if you ask Obama for that explanation, he gets pretty ****** at you. Here’s what Obama said when a New York Times reporter asked: If Congress thinks that what I’ve done is inappropriate or wrong in some fashion, they’re free to make that case.
Pope Francis doesn’t do interviews. Or at least that’s what we thought. He said that about himself just one week ago on the way to Rio de Janeiro for World Youth Day. Then World Youth Day happened. And it happened in a big way. According to official reports from City Hall, 3.2 million young people gathered on Copacabana Beach to see him, pray with him, and hear his proposal about the meaning of life. The Bible and the Catholic Church have never taught that it is a “sin” to be homosexual.
CNN’s Don Lemon would have been a great guest on any talk show Monday after the explosive weekend he had telling viewers Bill O’Reilly “doesn’t go far enough” in his criticism of black culture. He stayed off the major morning shows, but there he was sitting in the audience of The View, apparently as the guest of Republican strategist and temporary co-host Ana Navarro. The camera panned over to Lemon for a quick, impromptu interview about the statements he made that have so many people on both sides of the racial divide
In a significant shift of stance, the Pope struck a much more conciliatory tone than traditional Vatican doctrine, which has called homosexuality “a deviation” and “an irregularity” that should preclude gay men from becoming priests. “If someone is gay and he searches for the Lord and has good will, who am I to judge?” the Pope said during an interview with reporters on Monday. “We shouldn’t marginalise people for this. They must be integrated into society.” The Pope spoke to Vatican correspondents aboard the papal plane as he returned from Rio to Rome,
I never thought the Trayvon Martin/George Zimmerman case deserved nearly the attention it got. But reasonable people can disagree about that. What strikes me as unconscionable, however, is the way the supposedly objective media have not only sensationalized a tragedy but at times appear to deliberately bend the facts to fit a desired story line. Maybe it started with the use of pictures of a younger Martin or with the sudden embrace of the term "white Hispanic" to describe Zimmerman in order to more easily paint him as a racist. NBC News was the most egregious offender
In an astonishing turnaround, Rep. Jamie Herrera Beutler — who just weeks ago learned that her unborn child was suffering a lung-development condition that’s typically fatal at birth — announced Monday that her daughter was born alive and continues to thrive two weeks later. “She is every bit a miracle,” the Washington state Republican said.
There have been days since her son Ezekiel was born 11 months ago that Los Angeles mom Beth Capper has gone without food to keep up her supply. One friend was arrested for stealing some. It´s not drugs or alcohol or even baby formula that has put her in such a bind. It´s diapers. "There´s no way around buying them," said Capper, a 41-year-old single mother who doesn´t work because of a disability. Across the country, mothers like Capper are facing the same predicament. According to a report published Monday in the
Conservative bloggers went wild Monday when they got wind of the Congressional Black Caucus’ suggestion that President Obama pick Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee of Houston for the post of Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security. Rich Cooper, avid blogger for Security Debrief, responded to the news of the Jackson Lee recommendation in a post by saying, “Apparently, it is not a joke. For reasons that baffle any sense of reality, it is a serious gesture on the part of the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) to encourage President Obama to nominate Rep. Jackson Lee
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It is a small Alaskan village whose inhabitants have relied on the sea for countless generations. But within a decade, it is expected that the ocean which the village of Kivalina has so relied on will completely destroy it--creating America´s first climate change refugees. Temperatures in the Arctic region of Alaska are warming twice as fast as the rest of the U.S, causing ice to retreat, sea levels to rise and coastal erosion to increase. It is a small Alaskan village whose inhabitants have relied on the sea for countless generations. The 400 indigenous Inuit inhabitants of Kivalina, who live
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Gotta figure her lead would be even bigger without Joe Miller in the field here. Her nomination for the taking? Alaska should be a top tier pick up opportunity for Senate Republicans next year…but their top choice of a candidate is Sarah Palin. 36% of GOP primary voters in the state say they’d like Palin to be their standard bearer against Mark Begich to 26% for Mead Treadwell, 15% for Dan Sullivan, and 12% for Joe Miller.
Sen. John McCain — a Democrat? There was confusion Wednesday after the Arizona Republican mistakenly strolled into President Obama’s meeting with Senate Democrats at the Capitol. The room full of Democrats — who happened to be meeting in the same room where the Senate GOP usually holds their weekly policy luncheons — erupted in applause and laughter as the former Republican presidential candidate made his entrance. As McCain, 76, walked out of the Dem-filled space, reporters pressed him as to why he stepped foot in the room.
Embattled Internal Revenue Service official Lois Lerner and an attorney in the Federal Election Commission’s general counsel’s office appear to have twice colluded to influence the record before the FEC’s vote in the case of a conservative non-profit organization, according to e-mails unearthed by the House Ways and Means Committee and obtained exclusively by National Review Online. The correspondence suggests the discrimination of conservative groups extended beyond the IRS and into the FEC, where an attorney from the agency’s enforcement division in at least one case sought and received tax information about the status of a conservative group,
In an interview on National Public Radio (NPR), House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said her new agenda for women will give mothers access to day care so they can “earn without carrying the burden of child care.” During the interview, aired on Weekend Edition Sunday, Pelosi spoke about her newly announced agenda, which is on her website, and is titled, “When Women Succeed, America Succeeds: An Economic Agenda for Women and Families,” a plan that includes universal pre-school and access to day care for working women, and an increase in the minimum wage.
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