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Some UK Councils To Ban Latin Words  
User currently offlineDavid L From United Kingdom, joined May 1999, 9524 posts, RR: 41
Posted (5 years 10 months 3 weeks 3 days 11 hours ago) and read 1973 times:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/7705922.stm

Apparently Latin words could be too difficult for non-native English speakers.  sarcastic 

First of all, Latin words are not "difficult English words", they're from a language that's incorporated into many other languages.

Secondly, if phrases such as "vice versa" and "via" are too difficult to understand then why not ban all English words not in common use? Why not ban any grammar that isn't understood by infants?

I'm beginning to think my grandfather was right.  grumpy 

22 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineDavid L From United Kingdom, joined May 1999, 9524 posts, RR: 41
Reply 1, posted (5 years 10 months 3 weeks 3 days 11 hours ago) and read 1967 times:

Sorry, just noticed this gem:

"A Campaign spokesman said the ban might stop people confusing the Latin abbreviation e.g. with the word "egg"."

I mean... FFS!

This has got to be a wind-up.  confused 


User currently offlineLTU932 From Germany, joined Jan 2006, 13864 posts, RR: 50
Reply 2, posted (5 years 10 months 3 weeks 3 days 10 hours ago) and read 1939 times:

I'm not a native English speaker and yet I know the difference between e.g. (exempli gratia, for example) and Egg (Ei, Ovum, Huevo, Œuf, Uovo, etc.). Hell, I use e.g. all the time when I write in English.

User currently offlineDavid L From United Kingdom, joined May 1999, 9524 posts, RR: 41
Reply 3, posted (5 years 10 months 3 weeks 3 days 10 hours ago) and read 1926 times:



Quoting LTU932 (Reply 2):

Exactly. These phrases/words are so commonly used that they've become part of the language and many English speakers don't even know they're Latin. It's not as though they aren't in any half-decent dictionary.

How many people have accidentally bought an "Easter For Example" or ordered "for example mayonnaise" on their sandwiches? Did the shops insist on giving them "for example" instead of "egg".  sarcastic 

Which other "confusing" words are they going to ban to avoid confusion: "this" or "thus", "an" or "and", "continuous" or "continual", "there", "they're" or "their"? Perhaps I should complain to Bournemouth Council because I thought they were a counselling service.


User currently offlineLTU932 From Germany, joined Jan 2006, 13864 posts, RR: 50
Reply 4, posted (5 years 10 months 3 weeks 3 days 9 hours ago) and read 1901 times:



Quoting David L (Reply 3):
Which other "confusing" words are they going to ban to avoid confusion: "this" or "thus", "an" or "and", "continuous" or "continual", "there", "they're" or "their"? Perhaps I should complain to Bournemouth Council because I thought they were a counselling service.

Go a step further: Introduce German style capitalisation in written English.  stirthepot 

Trust me, even the best German teachers in all schools have sometimes their problems with the capitalisation rules of the German language, so why not introduce them in the UK to see, just for shits and giggles, how people cope with them?  Wink


User currently offlineL410Turbolet From Czech Republic, joined May 2004, 5712 posts, RR: 18
Reply 5, posted (5 years 10 months 3 weeks 3 days 8 hours ago) and read 1885 times:

Please tell me this is only an attempt for a lame April Fools Day joke.

User currently offlineDavid L From United Kingdom, joined May 1999, 9524 posts, RR: 41
Reply 6, posted (5 years 10 months 3 weeks 3 days 8 hours ago) and read 1882 times:



Quoting L410Turbolet (Reply 6):
Please tell me this is only an attempt for a lame April Fools Day joke.

It has all the signs of an April Fool's prank or a Daily Mail ramble, however...  Smile


User currently offlineSpeedBirdA380 From United Kingdom, joined Jul 2008, 539 posts, RR: 2
Reply 7, posted (5 years 10 months 3 weeks 3 days 7 hours ago) and read 1862 times:

Yet more council jobsworths and pen pushers trying to make a pathethic attempt at justifying their salaries and keeping their jobs.

And as for banning things

"Christmas banned in Oxford by council-owned charity"

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/ukne...ford-by-council-owned-charity.html

Instead of Merry Christmas we now have the "Winter Lights Festival".


User currently offlineBaroque From Australia, joined Apr 2006, 15380 posts, RR: 59
Reply 8, posted (5 years 10 months 3 weeks 3 days 7 hours ago) and read 1856 times:



Quoting David L (Thread starter):
I'm beginning to think my grandfather was right.

I hope they are starting with COUNCIL?


User currently offlineN867DA From United States of America, joined May 2008, 1008 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (5 years 10 months 3 weeks 3 days 7 hours ago) and read 1850 times:

Note who is pushing for these changes-local governments. Do they really have the blessings of the linguistic minorities they think they are helping? I don't know some of the Latin phrases I come across. I either look it up or try to find its meaning using context clues.


A nation turns its lonely eyes to you
User currently offlinePPVRA From Brazil, joined Nov 2004, 8964 posts, RR: 39
Reply 10, posted (5 years 10 months 3 weeks 3 days 7 hours ago) and read 1834 times:

Can we ban Greek, too? "Threeangles" is less deceiving than "triangle."

As for Latin, I guess no more "centi"meter or "milli"meter.



"If goods do not cross borders, soldiers will" - Frederic Bastiat
User currently offlineOly720man From United Kingdom, joined May 2004, 6738 posts, RR: 11
Reply 11, posted (5 years 10 months 3 weeks 3 days 6 hours ago) and read 1813 times:



Quoting N867DA (Reply 9):
Do they really have the blessings of the linguistic minorities they think they are helping?

And there lies the root of this insanity.

There are lots of "mights" in the BBC report. Has anyone actually checked?

And if English isn't your first language then I'd have thought that 1) all the words are likely to be difficult and 2) it hardly matters whether the words are in latin, English or whatever. And a lot of these expressions have stayed in the language, probably because they are quicker to say than the equivalent English expressions.

To have reasons of elitism and self importance seems to say more about the complainers than anything.

And how are they now going to do a p.s. at the end of a letter? "Sorry I forgot to include this above" ??



wheat and dairy can screw up your brain
User currently offlineIH8BY From United Kingdom, joined Jun 2005, 1142 posts, RR: 3
Reply 12, posted (5 years 10 months 3 weeks 3 days 6 hours ago) and read 1809 times:



Quoting David L (Reply 3):
Exactly. These phrases/words are so commonly used that they've become part of the language and many English speakers don't even know they're Latin. It's not as though they aren't in any half-decent dictionary.

Exactly. Are we going to ban every word or phrase in our language which is derived from a language that was once spoken everywhere? Because if so, we might as well abandon the whole lot.

Quoting N867DA (Reply 9):
Note who is pushing for these changes-local governments. Do they really have the blessings of the linguistic minorities they think they are helping? I don't know some of the Latin phrases I come across. I either look it up or try to find its meaning using context clues.

Whilst working in a local government department for a short while, I had no end of trouble from a woman in the spin department about wording a document (that wasn't mine to rewrite) because the sentences weren't short enough and using things like percentages (for a presentation of statistics for service users) was confusing. I couldn't help her in the slightest, as I didn't actually have the authority to change the document, but in a way I was glad, because the whole tone that she was planning to adopt wasn't easy to read or correctly written - it was just patronising. I understand the need to make documents accessible to all, but there's a limit to which this should be done. Oversimplifying is often as dangerous.

And yet...

Quoting SpeedBirdA380 (Reply 7):
Yet more council jobsworths and pen pushers trying to make a pathethic attempt at justifying their salaries and keeping their jobs.

Interesting... I'm fed up of the constant bickering from certain aspects of the media about "council jobsworths" whose jobs they envy (though incidentally their salaries, which apparently they can't justify, are often far lower than those of their private sector counterparts). Yes, there's a lot of red tape. But half of it is only there because people and/or central government ask for it. Say, for instance... people grumble that their council is not accountable, and yet when their council hires a performance information team in response to it, people are suddenly going on about wasting money. People grumble that social services response is poor, and yet when more admin people are hired to keep things up to speed people cry out about bureaucracy. Yes, there has to be a limit, but at the same time you have to have it, because these things don't do themselves. Look at the police - they spend half their time on paperwork as it is! Surely they need some of these 'pen-pushers' in so that they can be out on the beat!



Have you ever felt like you could float into the sky / like the laws of physics simply don't apply?
User currently offlineDavid L From United Kingdom, joined May 1999, 9524 posts, RR: 41
Reply 13, posted (5 years 10 months 3 weeks 2 days 20 hours ago) and read 1755 times:



Quoting Oly720man (Reply 11):
There are lots of "mights" in the BBC report. Has anyone actually checked?

Fair point. However, had the article been from the Daily Mail, for example, I would have been more sceptical. Since it's from the BBC and they report that it's already happened, I would tend to give it a shade more credence while not taking it as gospel. A case of "watch this space", I guess.

Quoting IH8BY (Reply 12):
I'm fed up of the constant bickering from certain aspects of the media about "council jobsworths" whose jobs they envy (though incidentally their salaries, which apparently they can't justify, are often far lower than those of their private sector counterparts).

I agree in part in that there are such jobsworths in all walks of life. However, since their main function is the administration of public services and facilities, the actions of jobsworths in the council tend to be much more visible to the public than the actions of those in the private sector. I've seen many a jobsworth manager in the IT industry. Some are lucky in having a boss who doesn't recognise it while others are "promoted" out of harm's way but it doesn't affect the general public so they don't hear about it.


User currently offlineSpeedBirdA380 From United Kingdom, joined Jul 2008, 539 posts, RR: 2
Reply 14, posted (5 years 10 months 3 weeks 2 days 18 hours ago) and read 1727 times:



Quoting IH8BY (Reply 12):
Yes, there has to be a limit, but at the same time you have to have it, because these things don't do themselves.

Good point.

But if these people have time to think up and work on such stupid things like the subject of this thread then they must have a lot of time on their hands in those council offices or too many people working there?


User currently offlineAircatalonia From Spain, joined Nov 2007, 559 posts, RR: 0
Reply 15, posted (5 years 10 months 3 weeks 2 days 18 hours ago) and read 1715 times:

Quoting David L (Thread starter):
Apparently Latin words could be too difficult for non-native English speakers.

Well, sometimes they are of great help for those who have a romance language as mother tongue. Words with germanic roots, however, are much more obscure to us.

[Edited 2008-11-04 04:56:47]

User currently offlinePyrex From Portugal, joined Aug 2005, 4022 posts, RR: 28
Reply 16, posted (5 years 10 months 3 weeks 2 days 17 hours ago) and read 1685 times:



Quoting Oly720man (Reply 11):
And a lot of these expressions have stayed in the language, probably because they are quicker to say than the equivalent English expressions.

They have stayed in the English language because Latin is the root of the entire Western Civilization (ok, the trunk, the greeks were the root). Trying to ban latin words is trying to kill off our civilization to appease foreigners.



Read this very carefully, I shall write this only once!
User currently offlineSlider From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 6816 posts, RR: 34
Reply 17, posted (5 years 10 months 3 weeks 2 days 14 hours ago) and read 1664 times:

WTF is going on in our world?

What a load of horseshit this is. I'm so sick and tired of appeasing the lowest common denominator.

Quoting Pyrex (Reply 16):
They have stayed in the English language because Latin is the root of the entire Western Civilization (ok, the trunk, the greeks were the root). Trying to ban latin words is trying to kill off our civilization to appease foreigners.

Amen! Losing Latin means losing the roots and basis of culture, art, medicine, education, law, language, and almost every thread that runs through Western civilization.


User currently offlineAndz From South Africa, joined Feb 2004, 8453 posts, RR: 10
Reply 18, posted (5 years 10 months 3 weeks 2 days 12 hours ago) and read 1643 times:
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Illegitimi non carborundum


After Monday and Tuesday even the calendar says WTF...
User currently offlineIH8BY From United Kingdom, joined Jun 2005, 1142 posts, RR: 3
Reply 19, posted (5 years 10 months 3 weeks 2 days 12 hours ago) and read 1637 times:

There was an epic thread earlier this year which somehow ended up being for some considerable time written in Latin. (Alas, where's JGPH1A when you need him?)

The basics aren't difficult to learn. I was revising the French past historic today and couldn't help but notice the similarities with Latin.



Have you ever felt like you could float into the sky / like the laws of physics simply don't apply?
User currently offlineSlider From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 6816 posts, RR: 34
Reply 20, posted (5 years 10 months 3 weeks 2 days 12 hours ago) and read 1619 times:



Quoting Andz (Reply 18):
Illegitimi non carborundum

Yeah, but the bastards sure are trying to grind me down! This stuff makes me crazy mad.


User currently offlineMD11Engineer From Germany, joined Oct 2003, 14026 posts, RR: 62
Reply 21, posted (5 years 10 months 3 weeks 2 days 11 hours ago) and read 1613 times:

About 2000 years ago, a large part of Britain was conquered by the Romans. They stayed for about 500 years and during this time mixed with the local (Celtic, who spoke an ancient version of Gaelic) population, founding a mixed Roman-Briton culture. This is when Latin first appeared in the ancestor of the language now known as "English".
Later the Saxons and Angels invaded from Denmark and Northern Germany (from where they have been driven westwards by the invading Huns from central Asia), introducing Germanic words. Again, the Saxons and Angels mixed with the Romano-Britons, forming the Angel-Saxons culture.
300 years later large parts of England came under the rule of the invading Danes (Danelaw). They ruled most of Eastern and Northern England, until they got subdued by the Angle-Saxon King Alfred's troops. Again, the remaining Danes assimilated and got integrated and parts of their language were kept in everyday use.
In 1066, the Normans invaded. While they were originally Norsemen from Norway, they had settled for a long time in Northern France and spoke French. Thus French words (based on Latin) got introduced to Britain.
Later, during the colonial periods, words from various colonies were introduced (like from Hindi, Urdu or Pushtu, just read a Kipling novel about 19th century British soldiers).
After WW2, largescale immigration brought new impulses.

The nice thing is that, whoever conquered the UK, soon assimilated and became integrated into the mainstream, leaving his own traces, but never obliterating the traces of previous peoples.

Jan


User currently offlineDavid L From United Kingdom, joined May 1999, 9524 posts, RR: 41
Reply 22, posted (5 years 10 months 3 weeks 2 days 11 hours ago) and read 1600 times:



Quoting Aircatalonia (Reply 15):

Well, sometimes they are of great help for those who have a romance language as mother tongue.

Exactamundo!  duck 

Quoting Pyrex (Reply 16):
Trying to ban latin words is trying to kill off our civilization to appease foreigners.

... whose languages probably incorporate the same Latin words and phrases.

I've no objection to councils stopping the use of more obscure terms but the examples given are pretty much basic-to-intermediate English. It's a shame Banco seems to be off the circuit these days - I'd be interested to hear his views.

Quoting Andz (Reply 18):
Illegitimi non carborundum

Too late!

Semper ubi sub ubi (men only, of course).

Quoting MD11Engineer (Reply 21):

 checkmark  And people wonder why we have such diverse dialects and accents.  Smile


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