Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Become a Latin Lover

For the past several years, I've taught or tutored homeschoolers in Latin. They always love to learn insults, come-backs, catch-phrases, and pop-culture references in Latin. It makes a memorable "sticking point" for them to mentally hang grammatical concepts. Exempli gratia: "So if I want to tell my little brother to go away, I use the singular imperative abi. But if it's all my brothers and sisters, plus my parents, a hortatory subjunctive like abe√Ętis might be in order?"

I'm not really all that good at Latin composition, so I rely on a string of books to help me through some populist constructions. Henry Beard's lampooning work has been reliable, and Eugene Ehlich always lends a high-brow hand-up. However, when I was in London, I came upon a title that I just knew I had to have: Amo, Amas, Amat...And All That, or How to Become a Latin Lover. Unfortunately, by the time it came to America, the subtitle had been changed to Carpe Diem: Put A Little Latin in Your Life. Boring....er, modiolus est.

No snickering about the name of the author: Harry Mount.


Dave Moody said...

ok-- I was doing fine until I read your no snickering comment... and then I laughed out loud.

Chris said...

Come for the commentary, stay for the snarkiness.

will said...

What is it with books being released in England under one title and in the US under another - usually crappy title?

Rev Dave said...

IIRC, the movie "The Madness of George III" had its title changed wen it came across the pond to America to "The Madness of King George." They were worried that Americans would think it was a trilogy and go asking at Blockbuster for "The Madness of George 1 and 2."