Monday, November 3, 2008

The Dumbing Down of Britain--All PC You Know

ht/Rachel Lucas

It would seem that in an effort to bend over backwards for immigrants who might be having trouble with English, some British City Councils have jumped right on through the Looking-Glass and up is now down. They are banning the use of Latin words and phrases because they might be confusing for some immigrants and the English who now only have a literacy level of twelve. Latin terms and phrases are elitist and discriminatory and confusing; therefore, they are to be expunged from use in Public documents and speech. I guess they forgot or just didn't know that English is a mishmash of words from other languages. It makes one wonder what words will be next--French? Some Brits aren't too keen on the idea:

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

'English is and always has been a language full of foreign words. It has never been an ethnically pure language.'

Dr Peter Jones, co-founder of the charity Friends of Classics, said: 'This sort of thing sends out the message that language is about nothing more than the communication of very basic information in the manner of a railway timetable.

'But it is about much more than that. The great strength of English is that it has a massive infusion of Latin.

'We have a very rich lexicon with almost two sets of words for everything. To try to wipe out the richness does a great disservice to the language. It demeans it.

'I am all for immigrants raising their sights not lowering them. Plain English and Latin phrasing are not diametrically opposed concepts.'

Harry Mount, author of the best-selling book Amo, Amos, Amat and All That, a light-hearted guide to the language, said: 'Latin words and phrases can often sum up thoughts and ideas more often than the alternatives which are put forward.

'They are tremendously useful, quicker and nicer sounding. They are also English words. You will find etc or et cetera in an English dictionary.'

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