Latin IS English!

April 18, 2009

“Elucidating on the Interesting, Discerning, and Diligent Labors of a Master Photographer!” (Or, More Simply Stated [for the non-Latin student]: “How to Take Great Photos!”)

[The following composition is also from one of my current 9th grade Latin 1 students.  Once again, this student has written about something she loves and with which she has some level of expertise.  Notice the significant, clear relationships between the triad of colored word patterns that represent the Latin (root word), it’s corresponding English derivative (similar spelling and meaning), and the definition of the original Latin word—all within the proximate context.]

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Photography

Photography can be described as being able to take an image and present it in an artful manner on a photograph.  The photographer can take an image and present it truthfully or he can twist it to make it artful and based on his own perspective and interpretation.  Much like art, the viewer can interpret it differently because the photographer does not verify (veritas) the purpose of the photograph.  In other photographs the meaning is very clear.

Photography starts with the kind of equipment the photographer uses. There are many books that instruct (instruo) new photographers on the correct equipment to use for different kinds of pictures.  The basic kinds of cameras include film cameras, digital fixed-lens cameras, and digital SLR cameras.  SLR stands for single-lens reflex, and they have different removable lenses.  Most professionals use SLR cameras.

A good picture is made up of many key parts (pars).  The components of a good picture are the exposure of light, balance, and most important, a love for photography.  In order for a picture to become a masterpiece, the photographer must be diligent (diligo) in his work.  The light that the picture is exposed to determines the clearness of the picture, the depth of field (focus), and how lucid (lux . . . lucis) the picture is.  The exposure of light is determined by three things, the aperture, the shutter speed, and the ISO setting.

The aperture (aperio) is how much light the photographer allows to enter the camera through the lens.  The aperture is an opening in the cameras lens that lets in only a certain amount of light; it is similar to the pupil of the eye in function.  The size of the hole is called the F-stop.  The larger the F-stop number, the less light is allowed into the picture.  A good photographer must be able to distinguish the correct F-stop to use.  Being able to discern (cerno) the correct F-stop to use is key in having the correct light exposure in the picture.  The shutter speed also plays a large role in the light exposure.  The shutter speed is how long the shutter stays open; this decides how long light will be exposed to the picture.  The ISO is how sensitive the camera is to light.  All of these are usually set to automatic on digital cameras, but sometimes the photographer must adjust things manually (manus) to change the picture to look how he wants it to look.  Although the camera works just as efficiently when the photographer adjusts the setting by hand, it is more convenient (convenio) for all the settings to assemble themselves to fit together to make the perfect light exposure automatically.  Depending on what the photographer wants in his picture, he must prioritize (prior) which part of the scene he would like to put in front and exalt in the picture.  The photographer must also take proper care of his camera and not neglect (nego) protecting the lens from scratches and the rest of the camera from water and dirt.  If the photographer decides to deny proper care of his camera, the camera could suffer serious damage.

In order for a photographer to be great, he or she must be sure that the picture is unique (unicus) in what it portrays.  If the picture is one of a kind, then it will be magnificent (magnus).  That is why there are so many different kinds of pictures out there.  They have different things to say, and there are many opposites out there.  The different photographer’s views on things are what make all the kinds of pictures so diverse.   There are many contradictory (contra + dico . . . dictus) photographs that can be found anywhere.  Sometimes the pictures that focus on the smallest things in life speak the loudest.  There is no minimum (minimus) or maximum in photography.  The photographer has a limitless boundary of images he can capture.  However, the photographer cannot be timid (timeo) when he is taking pictures.  If the photographer is afraid to present a picture because the picture is too discriminated compared to average pictures, he may miss a great opportunity.

If a photographer ever wants to become magisterial (magister) in what he does, he must show great interest (intersum, interesse . . .) in photography.  When a photographer really wants to be among what he loves to do, he is more likely to put more labor into his work.  When the photographer greatly elaborates (laboro) detail and perfection in his picture, he is sure to become a master photographer if he keeps on striving to become better.

Interested in taking a “live, interactive” online Latin class?  Take the POLL here!

March 11, 2009

Latin Words Racing into English (9th grade composition)

The following composition is from one of my 9th grade Latin 1 students.  While he was not at “the head of the class” academically, this focused student took a topic that he cares a lot about and created a very worthwhile “Latin IS English” composition that would rival many, if not most, 9th grade level writings.  See if you don’t agree.  The colored words represent his Latin root definitions that flow into English as “derivatives.”  The “grey” words are other words that we, as a class, discovered as having their foundations in Latin.  For a PDF of the same, click here, or from one of the three sidebar locations where this post is filed.


WRC: World Rally Championship

As three time rally champion Ken Block stepped into his Subaru Impreza WRX STi, he knew that today’s racing was going to be magnificent (magnus), although he was unaware of how great a challenge this particular course would present.  Ken situated himself into the bucket seat of his Impreza, a car that meets all safety laws, and is therefore street legal (lex, legis).  The Impreza is what is known as a homologation, that is, a car sold in limited quantities to the public for the sole purpose of qualifying it for the production class of rally racing.  The bucket seats in the said car utilize (utilis) a five-point harness, much like what would be seen in a jet, practical for keeping the driver safe and secure during intense racing and the inevitable (in + evito) rollovers associated (socius) with such racing.  To those not familiar with rally racing, the Subaru Impreza WRX STi’s name may seem to be random, jumbled letters; a closer look reveals what these designations (de + signum) denote (de + noto).  The WRX part of the Impreza’s name (nomen) is based upon its nomenclature as a rally vehicle, WRX being a slight distortion (de + torqueo…tortus) of WRC (World Rally Championship).  STi stands for Subaru Technical International, a sort of in-house tuning and racing team run by Subaru.

Anyway, back to the moment at hand.  Ken Block started the Impreza, heard the engine sputter as it attempted to fire, and was then rewarded with the blasting, guttural sound of the 307HP, turbocharged boxster engine roaring to life.  As the engine settled to an idle, the noise subsided (sub + sido) to a smooth, droning thrum.  All around him engines started adding their exhaust (ex + haurio…haustus) note to the clamor (clamor), the noise growing to the point that technicians had to shout to be heard.  As his spotter climbed into the passenger seat, Ken knew it was about time to start the race.  A spotter sits in the passenger seat and calls out the type of turn that is coming up, and how to best go about it (whether that means executing a heel-and-toe maneuver or any number of other techniques).  The spotter also monitors (moneo…monitus) the road, warning the driver of any peril (periculum) that could put him in danger.

Ken was suddenly brought back to reality, he had been preoccupied (occupo) again, but now his attention (teneo…tentus) was seized by the timer, counting down until the race started.  He glanced over and scoffed at the Ford Cosworth next to him.  Although the driver of the Cosworth did not show any signs of fear, Ken liked to imagine he intimidated (timeo) the driver.  On his other side was a Mitsubishi Lancer Evo, slightly more distinguished, nonetheless something of very little concern (cerno).  He smiled as he grabbed hold of the shifter, confident (cum + fido) in both his driving prowess and the car he had the honor of driving.  The seconds counted down, and Ken tuned out the other engines humming and revving around him.  When the timer hit zero, he accelerated (celer) the vehicle, swiftly working his way through the gears.  As Ken secured a comfortable third place position, he noticed amusedly that he was sending a spray of gravel onto the hood of the god-awful Cosworth behind him.

As with most rallies, this one started off on an earthen road covered with gravel, but would quickly progress into multiple types of terrain (terra).  Ken’s spotter called out an upcoming turn, vocalizing (voco) what Ken was already preparing for in his mind.  It was a long, sweeping left turn that was difficult to carry speed through, that is while going straight.  Ken counted his heart beats as he approached the turn, seemingly in slow motion.  Then, with refined skill, he quickly goosed the brake pedal, downshifted into fourth gear, and smashed the gas pedal into the floor.  This pitched the car sideways, allowing Ken to position (pono…positus) the car in such a way that all he had to do was keep the engine redlining and the front tires counter (contra)-steering heavily to carry the most possible speed through the turn.  The engine gurgled in protest to the complicated (cum + plico) maneuver, threatening to bog down from the improper balance of its fuel to air ratio.  Just when it seemed it would stall, the reassuring whistle of the turbocharger spooling up, followed by the considerably more reassuring rush of the turbo (turbo) roaring to life, brought the engine back to a safe RPM, enabling Ken to complete (compleo…completus) the run with an over-confident application (ab + plico) of the throttle upon exiting the turn.  He noted with a smirk that, so well executed was his pendulum (pendulum) turn he was now able to make the Citroen in front of him give away its second place position.  As the comical-looking, European car receded (cedocedere) behind him, Ken set his sights on the last car he would need to overtake: a Mitsubishi Lancer Evo.  Ken could barely see the Lancer, but it was just visible (videovisi) disappearing around corners ahead of him.  The Lancer in front of him, recklessly flying into turns and taking the chicanes dangerously fast, was attempting desperately (de + spero) to guard the gap between itself and Ken.  Ken knew with some careful driving the Lancer would not be able to preserve (servo) its lead, for they were approaching a section of the track primarily composed (cum + pono…positus) of mud; a section where the Impreza’s superior (supero), triple differential all wheel drive system would easily surpass the Lancer’s.  Ken was thrown against his harness as his car quickly decelerated in the mud.  A quick downshift got the car moving along at a decent clip, although the engine chugged apprehensively ( ab + prehendo…prehensus) under the toil of spinning all four tires in the thick mud.  Ken realized how much heat such a laborious (laboro) task would generate (genero . . . generatus), but the engine was intercooled, and would hold out at least till the end of the race.  Glancing ahead, Ken noticed the Lancer’s driver had, most likely out of desperation, gone down to second gear-maybe even first-and as a consequence (cum + sequor), was doing nothing but spinning his tires in the thick mire.  Ken knew this was quite possibly the only chance he would get to gain the lead, so he got on the throttle and let the boxer engine sing its song.  The Lancer drew nearer as the taste of victory grew sweeter in Ken’s mouth.  He would pass him any second.

Well, sorry about the brevity (brevis) of this paper, but I had to cut it short. You see, with that last word, I am now at twenty Latin derivatives (de + rivo), and it just so happens to be 9:30 at night.  Want to know the rest of the story?  That, my friend, is a job for the SPEED channel.

Interested in taking a “live, interactive” online Latin class?  Take the POLL here!

February 22, 2009

I’ll Not Be “Exorbitant” with Words Here

Word of the Day Image

exorbitant • \ig-ZOR-buh-tunt\ adjective

1 : not coming within the scope of the law
2 : exceeding the customary or appropriate limits in intensity, quality, amount, or size

Example Sentence:

I asked what the rent was for the apartment, and my jaw dropped open when they quoted me an exorbitant sum.

Did you know?

The first use of “exorbitant” in English was “wandering or deviating from the normal or ordinary course.” That sense is now archaic, but it provides a hint as to the origins of “exorbitant”: the word derives from Late Latin “exorbitans,” the present participle of the verb “exorbitare,” meaning “to deviate.” “Exorbitare” in turn was formed by combining the prefix “ex-,” meaning “out of,” with the noun “orbita,” meaning “track of a wheel” or “rut.” (“Orbita” itself traces back to “orbis,” the Latin word for “disk” or hoop.”) In the 15th century “exorbitant” came to refer to something which fell outside of the normal or intended scope of the law. Eventually, it developed an extended sense as a synonym of “excessive.”

*Indicates the sense illustrated in the example sentence.

August 2, 2008

“Is everyone getting on your ‘case’ a lot lately?”

To get started learning an “inflected” language—that is, the nouns, pronouns, and adjectives having different “endings” depending on what grammatical function they have in a given sentence—the initial hurdle one must face and soon overcome is to become “friends” with the terminology of these various functions—called “cases”—and to learn their corresponding functions, and therefore how a given Latin word is translated within those respective case functions.

So, there’s no better time than now for everyoneto start getting on your case(s)! Below is a fairly simplified summary overview of the five (5) basic Latin “cases” (excluding the relatively infrequent “Vocative” case) which the beginning Latin student must acquire early on (right-click on the chart image to download to your computer, or for a PowerPoint of the same, click here).  You should become as comfortable with the grammatical concepts shown here as you are with pizza . . . or burgers and fries . . . or ice cream on a hot summer day! (Hint:  Make this part of your regular diet, too!)

To download a PowerPoint presentation on the above chart, including the five (5) Latin noun declensions—click by click—click here. The same is also *permanently available for downloading from the sidebar.  For a PowerPoint presentation of the declension of the 1st Declension Latin noun, terra, click here. For a PDF click here, or go to the sidebar for either.

*(Note: our English word permanentcomes straight from a Latin compound of per = through and maneo = (I) remain. So, the Latin permaneo = last, continue, remain, endure. Hey, it happens all the time: “Latin IS English!”)

July 31, 2008

“You ain’t nothin’ but a noun dog, declining all the time!” . . . OR . . . “The ‘Satellite View’ of the 5 Latin Noun Declensions”

The Latin Nouns Declensions chart below (also available here as a downloadable PowerPoint presentation), details the 5 declensions of Latin nouns with their respective “genders” that the Latin student will encounter. I know of no other paradigm in existence that condenses—in this fashion—all of these case endings into a single, concise chart of all Latin noun declensions. I call it the “satellite view” of all Latin noun endings. Apart from this, the value of this particular chart is found mainly in the horizontal relationships existing between nouns that can be clearly seen in this layout. Assisting in the memorization of these endings are the use of arrows showing either identical or similar continuity, and yellow highlights denoting 3rd declension stem qualities. Click here to view the JPEG image, then right click the image to download.

Interested in taking a “live, interactive” online Latin class?  Take the POLL here!

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