ROBERT H. NEIDLINGER
neidlrh at WKU.EDU
Sun Feb 28 08:41:52 CST 1999
Being a newcomer to botany and taxonomy I have been lurking in the
background, finding this discussion most interesting and timely.
Recently I have begun reading William Stearn's "Botanical Latin" and a
book by A. and N. Humez entitled "Latina pro Populo" and this
discussion began shortly after my taking up these two books.
Being an undergraduate at a state university in the United States I
think my perspective on the situation may be slightly different then
some of those expressed here.
The first thing that I noticed was that all of those who were pro
English write English fluently (or well enough to be understood here).
If we were expected to learn Latin and be able to write it fluently,
perhaps as a requirement in college, this would not be an issue. I
thought about this when the gentleman from France posted a message.
If we cooresponded in Latin as Linnaeus and his colleagues did I would
have been able to understand his message.
Perhaps it is more then this. I have read sound arguments against and
for English and most of them have centered around the strength of the
English speakings countries. Before this discussion arose I would
have had trouble determining a writers country of origin or political
leanings, now it is less difficult. Latin, as it is spoken and
written today, will not fall out of favor (any more then it already
has), the country in which it is spoken will not decline, the people
who speak it will not disappear, etc. I think that our predecessors
But I also see a problem, being an undergraduate. Latin is taught
rarely and there is no course in the biology department for those of
us that need to learn the finer points of Latin for use in botany. If
we are to keep Latin the Universities must make a concerted effort to
offer it to the students and to stress its importance.
And now, before I go back to lurking, I want to thank you gentlemen
and ladies for the wealth of information you post to this list.
Robert H. Neidlinger
NEIDLRH at WKU.EDU
Bowling Green, KY, USA
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