Saturday, November 15, 2008

Perhaps There Won't Always Be an England

At least three English local governments are trying to blue-pencil Latin, as reported in Monday's Daily Mail (U.K.):
Classics scholars have accused councils of 'ethnic cleansing' after they banned staff from using Latin words.

The local authorities claim the terms are elitist and discriminatory, and have ordered employees to use often-wordier alternatives in documents or when speaking to the public.

Bournemouth Council, which has the Latin motto Pulchritudo et Salubritas -- beauty and health -- has listed 19 terms it no longer considers acceptable for use.

They include ad hoc, bona fide, status quo, vice versa and even via.

Its list of alternatives includes 'for this special purpose', in place of ad hoc and 'existing condition' or 'state of things', instead of status quo.

Mary Beard, a Cambridge professor of classics, said: 'This is absolutely bonkers and the linguistic equivalent of ethnic cleansing. . .

Of other local authorities to prohibit the use of Latin, Salisbury has asked staff to avoid the phrases ad hoc, ergo and QED (quod erat demonstrandum), while Fife has banned ad hoc as well as ex officio.
As Rachel Lucas says, "I say it is far better for people to learn to understand words. Just a crazy idea I have."

(via--not "from" or "seen on"--Conservative Grapevine)


OBloodyHell said...

Well, there'll always be an England...

It'll be named Englandistan, or Londoniblad, or something like that...

PSBUH said...

Praise Allah!! (Pig Shit Be Upon Him)