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A return to Latin or Ancient Greek?

Discussion in 'The Philosopher' started by Fenrisúlfr, Jul 13, 2008.

  1. Fenrisúlfr

    Fenrisúlfr ὁ δύσκος λύκος

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    One of these two languages ought to be made the language of intellectual discourse for the following reasons:

    First, such languages in their pure forms do not lend themselves well to spoken discourse, but quite well to that which is written. Of these the former champions pithy remarks, sound-bites, punditry, and general logical fallacy. The latter lends itself to contemplation, subtlety, argumentation, and genuine speech-craft. Additionally, a language spoken is a language that can easily become corrupted through slang, neologism (except through an appropriate body not unlike Francophonie), and other such obfuscation.

    Second, such a language itself would act as a litmus test to one's ability to engage in such discourse. As both languages are quite complicated, consistent poor grammar, diction, &c would act as an alarm-bell that the one who is arguing is not exactly crème de la crème. The lay tongues reach a point at which one cannot tell whom from whom without sacrificing its role as a means of communication. For instance, in English, the language has become 'flattened' in that the same diction and grammar used for speech, writing &c is used for all applications.

    Third, the greatest of all, is simply the nature of the grammars of both the Latin and Ancient Greek languages. As their highly-structured nature lends itself better to complex sentences than any lay-language, especially those Germanic, both are thus better-suited to complex discourse requiring such sentences. As hinted before, the thinker and the labourer have different needs from langauge. Unto the labourer are only spoken nominal, active things, such as 'do this, get that'. Unto the thinker are written deep things, of the sciences and arts, of history and obscure delights. That alone warrants the question: why should they be yoked to the same language? Why should one inquire as to the cost of an apple in the same tongue as one argues complex matters?
     
  2. razoredge

    razoredge Member

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    arrogant toad stool "complex matters" lol

    Latin was taught in my school as was French.... not Spanish, if you want to welcome a new language look toward Spanish, its just a matter of time before the excessive rat breeding methods make it the dominant language. Our children HAVE to learn Spanish yet hispanics dont have to learn English

    The arrogant self important already speak in senseless dialog that is not comprehendable, suchs as doctors and lawyers. Surely they impress themselves and thats all the counts.
     
  3. Einherjar86

    Einherjar86 Active Member

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    I took Latin in high school, although I doubt I would still be fluent enough to carry on a written conversation. I'd love it if that was the case though. Latin is such a specific language, and really avoids some of the ambiguities of English. While I love English, there are potential confusions concerning things such as gender orientation and time. Latin, with its declensions, tense endings, and specific gender designations, would facilitate discussions, I think.

    Aside from that, it's a language with balls. Audentis fortuna iuvat.
     
  4. Saturnia

    Saturnia Ms. Wanderlust

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    I know a little Latin, would love to learn Greek, and as many other languages as I can.
     
  5. Vimana

    Vimana Member

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    Shut the fuck up Razor. My mother is Hispanic and she had to come to a new country and learn English while going to college. You really don't know how fucking hard some people try to learn our language when they come here. People should learn our language when they come here. But not all Hispanic immigrants get to come to this country with Spanish to English dictionaries and have teachers and stuff to help with learning the language.

    The reason a lot of white Americans piss me off. Their ancestors came here for a better life. And they shit on people who come here because they don't like people with different customs coming to their country.

    Anyway I learned a little Latin. I want to continue learning more. I heard that someone who speaks any Romance language would be able to pick up words in other Romance languages. I know enough Spanish to carry on a conversation. So if I knew Latin I would probably do better in understanding, French, Italian, Portuguese, and Romanian.
     
  6. speed

    speed Member

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    This is a very interesting post.
     
  7. Blowtus

    Blowtus Member

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    Remove 'intellectual discourse' from the realm of 'any hope of understanding' to the common man? Make the 'common man' even stupider? No thanks.

    I'm sure too, that a better language than either Latin or Ancient Greek could be designed - possibly already has if memory serves.
     
  8. Vimana

    Vimana Member

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    ^
    This. They don't even read any stuff anyway. They are going to pick up less if they don't understand the language.
     
  9. razoredge

    razoredge Member

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    Unlikely it would make the common man stupid. It seems, judgeing from the context of the origional post it would only be done to give the self appointed something to puff their chest about as well as create even larger distractions to remain coy with their business of illusion. Prime examples of this exist in "legal" writtings
     
  10. Fenrisúlfr

    Fenrisúlfr ὁ δύσκος λύκος

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    It is not to say that such things cannot be picked up at all, only by one skilled in Attic Greek or Latin (whichever becomes the lingua franca of the high-minded; I'm pulling for Greek). What is to prevent one from picking up an introductory text?

    Additionally, such a comment implies that it is the obligation of those partaking in such discourse to be inclusive. I submit there is no such obligation and to imply such a thing is to in effect suborn a tax on speech itself. Shall we make it a progressive tax so that more complex things must be written in a more palatable form than simpler things?
     
  11. Blowtus

    Blowtus Member

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    Nobody but you said anything about obligation. I see a benefit in a more intelligent / educated society, and I believe others do too.
     
  12. Fenrisúlfr

    Fenrisúlfr ὁ δύσκος λύκος

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    The obligation spoken of and refuted was ethical, as implied by the following quote:

    I should have clarified this, then again, English is ill-suited to complex arguments...I shall likely stop goofing around here and review strong-aorist verb forms. :p
     
  13. Blowtus

    Blowtus Member

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    I understood perfectly well what you were getting at. You're just wrong :) Nothing in my post implies some nonsense ethical obligation to speak the common tongue - I merely refer to what I believe the 'best' course of action.

    I was not implying that the 'harm' done to the common man must be weighed on it's own in some abstract sense. I was saying that *I* prefer the common man to be vaguely educated and thoughtful, and I believe your suggestion would negatively affect this preference.
     
  14. Winter.

    Winter. Member

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    I would love to learn Latin.
     
  15. Fenrisúlfr

    Fenrisúlfr ὁ δύσκος λύκος

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    The cause why one could not take said discourse out of said realm (by writing it in a better language) would either stem from an obligation to keep said discourse within said realm, or whatever cause would have such an obligation as its logical conclusion. However, that was certainly the impression I received, as usually obligations to one effect or another would prevent one from executing otherwise-feasible plans. If indeed there was a misinterpretation, it likely arose from the vague nature of the langauge used.

    However, the beautiful thing about such languages is that anyone with the capacity to engage in such discourse to begin with will find learning them feasible, though not a small task. It is little different than one in another country learning English as a second language. Thus, to say that it would remove from the realm of the commoner the ability to engage in such discourse, the only ones precluded are the ones too stupid to engage to begin with.
     
  16. Blowtus

    Blowtus Member

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    The term obligation is of no use re the point at hand. If I wish to make a phone call, one does not say that I am 'obligated' to pick up the phone. Likewise, if I wish to have society as intelligent and thoughtful as possible, I am not 'obligated' to keep intelligent discourse in the common tongue. Little wonder you find English lacking really ;)

    Disinterested is not necessarily stupid. Most people, I suggest, would simply be disinterested.
     
  17. Fenrisúlfr

    Fenrisúlfr ὁ δύσκος λύκος

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    It appears that we both made a semantic faux-pas. The definition of obligation I used is somewhat obscure in that it is a constraint by moral means. In the context of your argument: if one wishes have an intelligent society, one would be obligated (i.e. constrained) to keep discourse in the common sphere. As one is required for the other, the same moral preference that warrants one to desire an intelligent society would likewise induce one to favour that intellectual discourse be kept in the public sphere. You, on the other hand, should have made an argument instead of merely providing a reaction, lending itself to the alleged mis-interpretation.

    Besides, as you said, the harm done to the common man need not be weighed abstractly. If intellectuals prefer to use such a language better suited to their needs, as I argued earlier, by all means they should do so. Your quasi-utopian preference of optimization is in direct conflict with my preference that one not be yoked to using a tongue not suited to one's needs. Additionally, what is to preclude one from translating from Latin or Ancient Greek into a vulgar tongue? What fault you have implied with English is outweighed by your inability to anticipate the failings of your position.
     
  18. Blowtus

    Blowtus Member

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    I don't see the use of bringing 'moral' language into the discussion, it just clouds the issue. In my telephone example, am I 'constrained by moral means' to pick up the phone, should I wish to make a phone call?

    I provided a pretty straightforward argument. I believe making intelligent discourse unintelligible to the common man will make 'him' stupider, and I do not wish that. Wasn't out to provoke any particular reaction.

    If people want to talk in different languages that is up to them - you're welcome to cease all further use of English if you really wanted. Just as I can continue to use it to state the reasons I don't think it's a good idea. If you couldn't care less about the stupidity level of those around you, or disagree with me that there would be negative effects, then you wouldn't bother to factor my thoughts into your considerations.
     
  19. razoredge

    razoredge Member

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    I fail to see how the common man is stupid or that such an idea of speaking in old primitive languages would negate their brain capacity. Its more a matter of who has the amount of time to waste and their motivations to do so. Again an answer that appears more than obvious, especially given the source.

    As it stands now in many fields of study, memorizing the latin terminology is required during schooling. Its application becomes less important once out in the real world.
     
  20. Einherjar86

    Einherjar86 Active Member

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    In some areas it is not important. In some careers and vocations, however, it can be of monumental importance.

    And I would never say that learning a new language would be "time wasted." But I do agree that for some it would be very difficult due to time and money restraints.
     

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