You already know a lot of Latin

Albertine C. Ellis - Adam a433alb at HORUS.SARA.NL
Fri Oct 27 10:50:32 CDT 1995

Gayle Hansen wrote:

I love having botanical diagnoses and descriptions in Latin.

Seeing a Latin description in these papers is wonderfully reassuring.

I fully agree.

It would be worthwhile / necessary to include basic Latin in taxonmy
courses; otherwise - as has been already pointed to - older literature
would become completely inaccessible.
It would not require too much time to master the basics.
The advantage of Latin is - and therefore it has been taught as the first
foreign language for centuries - that its grammar is so logical and
Eloquence is not needed, for descriptions use only a very limited section
of a language:
the verbs to have and to be
substantives denoting parts of the organism
adjectives describing the parts characters and shape
numerals to express (relative) dimensions
so a limited vocabulary
(which partly will be already familiar as derivations from the Latin into
your own language; in the above text there are over 30 words derived from
Latin or ancient Greek, so don't tell me that you don't know Latin)

That is in principle less complicated than the chapter on trouble with the
car in your holiday guide "How to say it in ...."

Of course it will take some time and effort but it is not an unsurmountable

Best regards, Albertine

 *  Albertine C. Ellis - Adam                            *
 o  University of Amsterdam                              o
 *  Hugo de Vries Laboratorium                           *
 o  Kruislaan 318 / 1098 SM Amsterdam                    o
 *  Phone: xx (0)20 5257822 / Fax: xx (0)20 5257662      *

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