The Death Of Latin – CBS News — I’m now convinced there is something in the water over there.

A couple of thousand years ago we British were invaded by some extremely civilized conquerors – the Romans. They built our roads, our cities – like Londinium, and left us – after several hundred years – with a rich sense of culture and a great deal of their own language. In fact using Latin phrases is still the, er, ‘status quo’. There are hundreds of, er, ‘bona fide’ English sayings which owe everything to Julius Caesar and his legions.

But now the use of Latin is to be banned – on the orders of England’s most interfering busybodies, our local town councils. And that’s an irony because the very word council was first coined by the Romans.

I have, er, ‘prima facie’ evidence. Bournemouth, a sleepy place on the English south coast, has just issued orders to stop all staff using any popular Latin. So now they are forced to say ‘impromptu’, when they actually mean ‘ad lib’, and it’s a permanent ban – not just ‘pro tem’. Now, the, er, ‘quid pro quo’ for this draconian new rule is supposed to be that everyone will be able to understand everbody else without any risk of confusion in future.

But lovers of Latin regard the ruling as the linguistic equivalent of ethnic cleansing. It is they say, stark staring bonkers, etcetera, etcetera — except they mustn’t ever say ‘etcetera’ because that particular phrase actually started life in ancient Rome.

Found by Mad Dog Mike.

  1. lock_down says:

    I still haven’t tasted the water that Adam Curry is drinking.

  2. brm says:

    Are they also going the ban the 50% of the entire English language that comes from Latin?

    The more these Brits screw up their country, the more I think pulling their fat out of the fire in WW2 was a waste of time and money.

  3. air says:

    They still teach latin in some secondary schools here.

    once again a weak and utterly pointless story.

  4. brm says:


    It’s not pointless. That even a single person thinks the law can be used this way is news. Horrible, depressing, absurd news.

  5. raster says:

    Gotta give points to Monty Python:

    Reg: All right, but apart from the sanitation, the medicine, education, wine, public order, irrigation, roads, a fresh water system, and public health, what have the Romans ever done for us?

  6. John Paradox says:

    Okay, I was waiting for a P.S.


  7. notadhimmi says:

    Got to make way for Arabic…..

  8. bobbo says:

    I consider all the words used as examples to be English. The fact that they may also be latin, or originally latin is the etiology of the word, and all words have etiology. Silly to over identify/limit the usefulness of a word because of its origin.

  9. FRAGaLOT says:

    If George Carlin were still alive, and if he were British, he would have a fucking field day with this!

  10. revere says:

    let me get this straight… Americans laughing at the British for screwing up their country?
    get a grip on your own country before chastising another, America has become the clown nation of this world – ask ANY other country 😉

  11. unluckydip says:

    The video clip doesn’t seem to work, it just shows two adverts and then it asks me to replay or share.

  12. WmDE says:

    #7 – The Arabs have already arrived.

  13. The Monster's Lawyer says:

    How the fck will doctors and lawyers be able to communicate?

  14. Mr. Fusion says:

    This is something I have long been in favor of. Why the hell do we need Latin in our language anyway? Aren’t there English words for that specific thing or act?

    As Bobbo said, the etiology of the word means absolutely nothing in modern, common day usage.

  15. RTaylor says:

    This is always what happens when you give a few people a bit of power. It happens the world over, and is not inclusive of the US or the UK. I am a US citizen, and I do care deeply about the UK. Like it or not, we’re quarrelsome relatives. I’m reminded of this every day, because a photo of Winston Churchill hangs in my study. Sir Winston was half American. The whole world is becoming paranoid and obsessed with terror. That is the goal of terrorism by the way.

  16. Thinker says:

    #16 Sorry there pal, English is built on Latin. English is classified as a Latin language. You can’t take the latin out.

    Latin is in English like Water in Soup.

    As Bobbo was saying, this is all patently silly. (Oops, is patent Latin, quick go check and be clean!!)

  17. Paddy-O says:

    # 19 Thinker said, “#16 Sorry there pal, English is built on Latin. English is classified as a Latin language. You can’t take the latin out.”

    Save it, he’s shown that he’s illiterate. If this post doesn’t seal it, nothing will.

  18. RTaylor says:

    Actually English is a Germanic language, though like all modern forms highly bastardized. Read some Middle English and German and it’s obvious. The Romance languages are derivatives of Vulgar Latin. I know this is too much information, but I’m just sitting here board and waiting for someone.

  19. Paddy-O says:

    Here’s a brief & accurate treatment:

    Latin is a significant part of modern English.

  20. gquaglia says:

    Watch this happen all over Europe as Muslims gain more and more influence. As usual, Europe is bending over and spreading their checks just like they did for the Nazis.

  21. Rance Bleester says:

    Without Latin, what will become of Esperanto?
    My dream of one race, one people and no culture cannot be realized without my beloved Esperanto!
    We must kill all mad dog Englishmen!

  22. Angel H. Wong says:

    Methinks they confused Latin with Latino as in Latinamerican.

  23. Uncle Patso says:

    This could make speaking English very difficult. For example, here are just some of the words in the part of the article quoted here that come from Latin, French or Greek (_not_ counting the Latin phrases used by the author):

    British, invaded, extremely, civilized, Romans, cities, culture, language, fact, Latin, legions, orders, councils, coast, popular, impromptu, permanent, draconian, confusion, future, ruling, linguistic, equivalent, ethnic, particular.

    They may have to switch entirely to German or Dutch…

    – – – – –

    # 24 Rance Bleester said, in part:

    “Without Latin, what will become of Esperanto?
    My dream of one race, one people and no culture cannot be realized without my beloved Esperanto!”

    Of the invented languages, almost no one uses Esperanto. The invented language currently spoken by the greatest number of people, far outstripping Esperanto, is Klingon!

  24. Thinker says:

    Ka’Pla !

  25. rance bleester says:

    Ahhh, very good.
    No Latin needed.

    However, Esperanto will unite world in peace and oneness and does not require funny hats and suits or hand-cramping signing.

    Salutoj vi, eta earththings! Ni ven de la plej teruraj malpleno kaj parol Esperanto. Rigard nia plano: Servi Viron!

  26. Jamie (SMS) says:

    Ceccidi, et non sugere possum.

    Then again, I don’t live in the UK.

    If Latin use is banned, what about scientific names and legal terms?

  27. kjackman says:

    #31: If Latin use is banned, what about scientific names and legal terms?

    Yeah, seems like they didn’t really think this through. Pretty typical of nanny-state bureaucrats (and safety busybodies, and legislators in general). Myopic focus on first-order effects, blindness or ostrich-like denial of second-order effects.

  28. Grimbo says:

    One of my kids is learning Latin at school right now!

    Come on JCD… These cheap “invented” stories about Britain are getting beyond a joke!

  29. fulanoche says:

    semper ubi sub ubi!


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