Thursday, March 13, 2008

Vade Mecum

I have begun Latin lessons today!

Yes, just when I had successfully presented the illusion of being a Latin expert (thanks to my trusty Collins Compact Latin Dictionary and some advice and assistance from femina) here I am bursting it with admissions of banal humanity.

It was a mere introduction - a potted version of Roman history with Latin phrases thrown in for relevance. For example the title of this post actually means (or so I am told) "come with me" and was used when referring to a diary or information guide or even a notebook! Feeling suddenly very smart, I wrote "VADE MECUM" proudly in the front of my newest notebook.

Very odd to be back in a classroom (of sorts) again. I wonder if I will be one of the cool kids or with the uber-nerds as usual.

I am feeling greatly improved in spirits, thank you in no small part of the encouragements left last post. To those of you who reached out and gave a little, I am so very grateful.

Book 3 proves to be a different road again to the last two books, but a common problem haunts me - I think I am getting bogged in minute details at the expense of character and - more importantly - relationships.
(Don't tell anyone I admitted this or some might think I am human after all and not some word-smithing demi-god whose every turn of phrase is pure uneditable poetry...)


Femina said...

Yay! You will absolutely love it, I'm sure. A useful phrase for you: ars longa vita brevis (art is long; life is short). What will you probably find is that your English grammar improves - most people who study Latin find that they are suddenly able to make sense of some rules of English that seem insane... but it's because they apply to Latin. It was like a light being switched on for me.

Wow. I'm a great big geek.

Anonymous said...

Add another name to the list of geeks. My first thought when I read this post was, "Latin? Awesome!" I haven't studied Latin but I've dabbled in a couple of others and I've got to say, had I not I wouldn't understand half as much about the English language as I do. In my case it was having something to compare English to, not so much about actually understanding our bizarre rules.

Is it May yet?

Anonymous said...

This year is my third of learning Latin. I've also started Classical Greek.

I'm sure you will enjoy the classes, and remember- in a Latin class everyone is an uber-nerd.

D.M. Cornish said...

Good point! Sweet.

Drew said...

DM- Very cool that you're learning Latin! My wife is interested in doing that herself one day, considering how much it shaped our medical and legal lexicons.

Hope that all goes great and that you'll find yourself one of the coolest kids in the class.

all best,

Macreilly said...

!st: I am 51, female career person, wife, mom, and huge fan. Who said this book is for youngsters? Kind of like the Hobbit was for kids, the rest of the story was and wasn't- I get the same from this, fab book! Is it April or May for America???
2cnd- Taking Latin a thousand years ago helped me to understand many phrases in other languages, the root word thing. Latin is great! Thank you for writing such a great series, now I want to have grandchildren so I can share this with them!

Anonymous said...

A lot of people take Latin so they'll to better on the SATs. I took French in high school (and I'm taking now in college), and it's helping me understand the English language, too. I think learning ANY foreign language helps you further understand the language you speak. It gives you some perspective.

Anonymous said...

Hey DM, nice to hear you're learning Latin, although with your books one would think you were fluent already! :P

I just started learning French at uni and with all the grammatical rules and such, it's mind-twist. Hope learning Latin isn't as nearly taxing for you. :D

Regards, LankySam.

Anonymous said...

gday mate,

As I read your post it occured to me there arn't any cool kids in latin class...

Sorry about that. :(