Latin IS English!

July 15, 2009

More “Troublesome” Latin Coming into English (but only a fractional part)

The Word of the Day for July 15, 2009 is:

Word of the Day Image

fractious • \FRAK-shus\  • adjective

1 : tending to be troublesome : unruly
2 : quarrelsome, irritable

Example Sentence:

The class was fractious and uncontrollable when Mr. Douglas first took over as teacher, but he now has the students disciplined, focused, and ready to learn.

Did you know?

The Latin verb frangere (“to break or shatter) has many modern English relations. Dishes that are fragile can break easily. A person whose health is easily broken might be described as frail. A fraction is one of the many pieces into which a whole can be broken. But fraction also once meant “disharmony” or “discord” — that is, a “rupture in relations.” From this noun sense came the adjective fractious, meaning “unruly” or “quarrelsome.” Though the “disharmony” sense of the noun is now obsolete, fractious is still common today.

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.]

___________________

hot-air-balloons-640x480pxl_edited hot-air-ripples-embossed

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.

November 19, 2008

“Better Personal ‘Deportment,’ Please . . . or You May Be ‘Deported!'”

Word of the Day Image

Merriam-Webster’s Word of the Day for November 19, 2008 is:

deportment • \dih-PORT-munt\  • noun
: the manner in which one conducts oneself : behavior

Example sentence:
The school expects students to dress in proper attire and maintain a respectful level of
deportment throughout the day.

Did you know?
Deportment evolved from the verb
“deport,” meaning “to behave especially in accord with a code,” which in turn came to us through Middle French from Latin “deportare,” meaning “to carry away.” (You may also know “deport” as a verb meaning “to send out of the country;” that sense is newer and is derived directly from Latin “deportare.”) “Deportment” can simply refer to one’s demeanor, or it can refer to behavior formed by breeding or training and often conforming to conventional rules of propriety: “Are you not gratified that I am so rapidly gaining correct ideas of female propriety and sedate deportment?” wrote 17-year-old Emily Dickinson to her brother Austin.

 

November 16, 2008

Putting Our Fingers on the Word “Effigy”

Word of the Day Image
Merriam-Webster’s Word of the Day for November 16, 2008 is:

effigy • \EFF-uh-jee\  • noun

: an image or representation especially of a person; especially : a crude figure representing a hated person.

Example sentence:
A giant effigy is set ablaze at the climax of the annual Burning Man festival in Black Rock Desert, Nevada.

Did you know?
An earlier sense of
effigy is “a likeness of a person shaped out of stone or other materials,” so it’s not surprising to learn that “effigy” derives from the Latin verb fingere,” which means to shape.” “Fingere” is the common ancestor of a number of other English nouns that name things you can shape. A “fiction” is a story you shape with your imagination. “Figments” are shaped by the imagination, too; they’re something you imagine or make up. A “figure” can be a numeral, a shape, or a picture that you shape as you draw or write.

 

Play effigy.mp3  

3.0 MB

November 13, 2008

The Latin VERB & Its “Principal Parts”

When beginning to formally study Latin verbs, not simply for vocabulary purposes but also for their grammatical structures (i.e., Tense, Voice, Mode, Person and Number), it’s important to pay attention to, even memorize the various “principal parts” or appearances of the the verb. There are generally four principal parts of a given Latin verb. These four principal parts are the four basic structures of the verb from which all of its various forms are derived.

By way of example, let’s look at the four “principal parts” of a normal 1st conjugation Latin verb like laudo—


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1st Prin. Part (Present Act.) 2nd Prin. Part (Infinitive) 3rd Prin. Part (Perfect Act.) 4th Prin. Part (Participle)

         laudo                  laudare                 laudavī          laudatus, –a, –um

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Since the first Latin tense studied is normally the Present tense (1st principal part, above), it’s important to know that this tense of the Latin verb actually derives its base or “stem” from the “Infinitive” form (2nd principal part) by removing the Infinitive’s ending (-re). So, 1st Conjugation Latin verbs are also known as “a-stems,” since the stem is lauda|… ending with an “a” (see above).

You might say, “But I don’t see the “a” on the end of the Present tense (1st principal part) of the verb!” True enough.  It’s actually hidden, superceded by the addition of the verb’s 1st person singular personal ending (“o“). Or, as I like to say, it’s been “swallowed up like Jonah inside the whale.” However, the “a-stem” immediately reappears as the verb proceeds through its conjugation:


laudo          =  I praise

laudas =  you praise

laudat =  he/she/it praises

——————————

laudamus    =  we praise

laudatis =  you (pl.) praise

laudant =  they praise        

 

While there are four (4) main conjugations of Latin verbs, with some “irregularities” or variations from the above paradigm that occur, this is the “model” or norm for how Latin verbs derive their various forms.

 

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

“TV Makes People Nauseas” —OR— How to “Parse” a Latin Verb

One of the most important considerations in studying the foundational elements of Latin must be given to the verb, that part of speech which affirms either action or state of being. The component elements of a verb are collectively referred to as its “parsing” (from the Latin noun pars, partis = part, piece, function). These components are:

1. Tense

2. Voice

3. Mode (or Mood)

4. Person

5. Number

Or, as my beginning Greek professor used to wisely proclaim (to our era of declining quality television programming viewers) via the acronym of the first letters of each of the above words:  TV Makes People Nauseas!”

The “parsing” of a Latin “model” 1st conjugation verb laudo (“I praise…am praising…do praise”) is: Present, Active, Indicative, 1st Person, Singular. Now, let’s take a closer look at what these “parsing” components represent—

1. Tense conveys “kind” of action and generally, in the Indicative Mode only, the “time” of the action. So, for the above verb, Present tense would mean both present time and continuous “action” (that is, activity in real, present time). Of course, from your additional study elsewhere, you’ll know that the Latin tenses are the Present, Imperfect (continuous “action” in past time), Future, the Pluperfect (equivalent to the English Past Perfect), and the Future Perfect.

2. Voice (”active” or “passive”) tells how the action of the verb is related to the subject. With the active “voice,” the subject of the verb is “active” through the verb, most often with a direct object.  For example, Deum laudo = “I am praising God.” With passive voice, the subject is being acted upon.  For example, God is being praised.” Observe the diagram below. Even the direction of the arrows will help you remember what is happening with “active” and “passive” voice verbs.

active-and-passive-voice-diagram

3.  Mode (or Mood) tells what the verb is affirming, its relation to “reality.”

Indicative — declaratives, simple assertions, interrogations.
Subjunctive — mildly contingent, hesitating affirmation; mode of probability.
Imperative — commands or entreaties; mode of “volition.” 

4.  Person denotes who is acting as the subject.  In Latin the 1st, 2nd and 3rd personal pronouns (i.e., I, you, he, she, itwe, you, and they) are included in the endings of the verb form.

5.  Number is the “singularity” or “plurality” of the person or persons represented by the verb form, included in the verb’s personal endings.

One final word about a Latin verb’s “parsing.”  Since a verb’s parsing contains all the information needed to translate the word—providing you know its original root meaning, of course—whether it’s Present Active Indicative 1st person singular or Future Active Indicative 2nd person plural or Imperfect Passive Indicative 3 person singular; no matter what it is:

 

“If you can parse it, you can translate it!” 
 

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

 

 

 

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