awesomeness, Blog, dear readers, language, triumph

Accomplishment!

I, gentle reader, have coined a new word. I even Googled it to make sure it didn’t exist.

Neotheophobe

Neo=new, theo=God, phobe=one who is afraid. I coined it to refer to those unfortunate New Atheists (Philip Pullman in particular), whom I hope earnestly you have never heard of, because they are wretched and ruin people’s days, besides having a fascinating ignorance of philosophy.

Spread the word! Use it whenever you get a chance (which will hopefully not be too often)! Use it whenever you talk about New Atheists to your friends in the midst of your delightful philosophical conversations!

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College, language, school

Christendom

First of all, thanks to everyone for the prayers about my oral exam. I did get the tough examiner, and I don’t think I did really well… but oh well.

As some of you may already know, I am a sophomore and have been looking at colleges for about a year now. And for over six months, I’ve had my heart set on attending Christendom College in Front Royal, Virginia.

Now, it’s rather expensive, but quite a bit cheaper than my #2 option, University of Dallas. I think that I can get some scholarships that will help, though. At any rate, on Monday (I think) I applied for information about the college. On Saturday I received an information packet in the mail. The letter inside was marked Tuesday. Fast, anyone?

I’m planning to get my degree in English Language and Literature. In fact, one of the things that attracts me to Christendom is the opportunity they offer to learn Old English. It’s been a dream of mine for several years to learn Old English, and it’s a wonderful thought that I may not only attend an orthodox Catholic college and receive a great liberal arts education, but learn O. E. as well! I also plan to study ancient Greek while I’m there (a foreign language is required, and Old English isn’t one of the options).

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Humour, language, Latin

In Defense of Latin

This is for all you who say “Latin is stupid, it’s a dead language, and you can’t even speak it.” I have nothing against you. You include several of my friends. However you are incorrect on that point.

#1: “Latin is stupid.”
It would seem that Latin is stupid, for stupid is that which is lacking in common sense. Latin is not common. Ergo, Latin cannot contain common sense.
The reply: The accusation is false, for that which is rare is not necessarily stupid. Common sense itself is not common. Indeed, as will be shown later, Latin is eminently intellectual.

#2: “It’s a dead language.”
It would seem that Latin is a dead language, for a dead language is a language which is no longer spoken or written, and Latin is no longer spoken. Ergo, Latin is a dead language.
The reply: Latin is not a dead language, for a dead language is one that is no longer used. However, Latin is still used; Church official documents are still published in Latin. Additionally, it is still learned by thousands of students over the world. See this Wikipedia article.

#3: “You can’t even speak it.”
It would seem that Latin cannot be spoken, for two are necessary for speaking a language. Latin has no native speakers. Ergo, Latin cannot be spoken.
The reply: Latin, it is true, has no native speakers any longer, but it is possible to learn it and speak it with another student of Latin. In addition, even if this accusation is partially true, it in no way diminishes Latin’s merits.

Now, here’s a list of reasons to study Latin:

1. It’s the language of the Church. You deprive yourself of great spiritual richness by not learning Latin. The traditional Mass of the Church is in Latin, of course, and the Novus Ordo was really originally intended to be said in Latin. (I myself have actually never been to a Latin Mass in either form, unfortunately. Not that the English Mass is bad. It’s still the Mass, after all, but Latin is the language of the Church.)
Nearly all the important documents of the Church are in Latin; the only other languages that come immediately to mind are Greek and Hebrew. Numerous great devotional and theological works are in Latin; St. Augustine, St. Jerome, St. Bernard, St. Thomas Aquinas, St. Bonaventure, Imitation of Christ, etc. That is, the non-Greek Fathers of the Church and all the medievals. What about translations? you ask. Well, see the next point.

2. The great literature. Virgil, Cicero, Lucretius, Horace, Livy, and Caesar among the pagans alone, not to mention Boethius, Augustine, etc.
Translations are not the same at all. No word can mean precisely the same thing in its original language as it does when translated. It does not have the connotations, the history and richness, the sound (the sound is part of the meaning also). Additionally, a translator must take some liberties, and will probably take more than necessary. Translated poetry, especially, suffers; the poem must have the rhythm and meter. I do not condemn all translations, of course, but the gain from reading books in the original is very great.

3. It helps you with English. I have experienced this myself. In my writing class, I knew well before it was taught what the indirect object was.

4. I believe that the study of Latin is supposed to help in the study of other Romance langauges.

5. It aids logical thinking. Latin has numerous linguistic features, including masculine/feminine/neuter nouns, different cases for different uses, relatively clear distinction of different verb tenses, indicative/subjunctive, and various other distinctions. (Greek is even better, with its “middle” voice in addition to passive and active). This forces you to use your brain.

In brevi, ego linguam Latinam corde toto amo. Eheu, Latina non saepe amatur. O Tempora, O Mores!

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language, names, NaNo, school

Correction…

I just found out today that my nanotechnology essay is due not this Thursday, but NEXT Thursday. Yes!


I have decided to go with the Anglo-Saxon names for my NaNo novel. There’s a possibility I’ll discard the second lady, but right now it’s still Elfleda, Aldith, and Gledwine.


Elfleda is such a lovely name. Something interesting, a lot of Old English names do have the element “ælf” (meaning “elf”) in them, but this name actually doesn’t. It was contracted into “Elfleda” but it originally was composed of the two elements æðel “noble” and flæd “beauty”. By the way, I find all this name information off the Behind the Name website, which I rather enjoy browsing around.

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Christianity, femininity, language, Latin, Modesty, philosophy

Concerning Modesty – Part I

Today, it occurred to me that it might be a good idea to do a blog post on modesty. So here it is.
Note: I am not a Latinist. I really like Latin, and I am a high school student who has been studying it for over three years, but no expert. I do not wish anyone to think that my speculations based on the words are facts on how the words were used. I am using them to illustrate the many concepts that play roles in true Christian modesty. There are also other words that can mean “modesty” in Latin, but I’m only using these three right here.
My initial idea for the title of this post was to render it in Latin. So I got out my handy-dandy notebook Latin-English dictionary and looked up “modesty”. I got three renderings; modestia, pudicitia, and verecundia. I then looked up each word in the Latin part of the dictionary to see which rendering was the closest to the meaning I wished to convey, as the dictionary will usually give several translations for each word. This gives me an idea of the connotations of each word. Here is each one:
Modestia-moderation, restraint; discretion; modesty, sense of shame, sense of honor, dignity; propriety; mildness (of weather).
Pudicitia-chastity, modesty, purity.
Verecundia-bashfulness, shyness, modesty; respect, awe, reverence; sense of shame, feeling of disgrace, disgrace, shame.
So modestia would seem to be similar to one English use of modesty; the sense of being restrained, of not putting on a big show, of outward humility. Pudicitia is closer to the sense of modesty as related to purity and chastity, as is obvious from the translation; and the translations for verecundia are similar to those of modestia, with, apparently, the additional connotation of awe and reverence.
When we talk of modesty in dress, pudicitia seems to be the nearest to our meaning, yet all three play a role. For instance, modestia; the Christian should desire not to make an exhibition of himself* or draw attention to himself. He should also cultivate a sense of decency and propriety, of dressing with decency, and his behavior should also be decent and fitting. Lastly, verecundia reminds us of what modesty is all about; a sense of awe, reverence, and dignity towards our bodies, which are the temples of the Holy Spirit. Shame and disgrace are what we experience when they are (mis)used or exhibited in a way not in accordance with modestia or pudicitia. 

Part Two will be here shortly!
*As customary in the English language, I use the masculine pronoun to mean both men and women. Obviously, this applies to women as well.
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Blog, Books, internet, language, random, writing

Come on…

So I bet you’ve heard of this so-called writing analysis website. Well, I’m afraid that it’s not terribly accurate.

My sister, Elvenmaiden, whom you may know, got Tolkien as her result. I can vouch that the little poem she put in was quite lovely, but not exactly what I would call Tolkienian. And nearly every time I put in a sample, depending on the sample, I got a different result. Finally, after putting two samples from the same piece of writing (a persuasive paper on classical versus popular music) I got the same result twice in a row. Here it is:

I write like
H. P. Lovecraft
I Write Like by Mémoires, Mac journal software. Analyze your writing!

I’ve read some Lovecraft, and his writing, frankly, is not good at all. (Sure, neither is mine, but not as bad and not in the same way). However, he’s really good at making you want to run, scream, turn on the lights, and vomit simultaneously. I do NOT recommend him-his writing is extraordinarily disgusting, not to mention containing a vile concoction of nihilistic paganism which is singularly revolting.

Anyhow, this is one of the samples I put in:

“Among all the ancient arts, perhaps none are so controversial at the moment as music. Raising high emotions everywhere, it seems that everyone has an opinion. A quick look at stereotypes will confirm this. On the one hand, there are the hip-hop fans, generally in their teens or early twenties, with very low trousers and slovenly language, the ‘tween’ girl who adores Taylor Swift and is bedecked in tight jeans and pink t-shirts, and the classical music fan of the upturned nose and the freezing glance. While none of these is particularly attractive, they all agree on one thing: music is of a strong importance in their lives. Briefly glancing at the philosophers, you would find they agree; there is Plato, who included music in his Republic, Augustine, who wept at hearing the hymns in church, and Thomas Aquinas, who stated in his Summa Theologica that music could be a preparation to contemplation of God.
Although all agree on music’s importance, one may be fairly certain that most do not consider that all kinds of music are equal, whatever they may claim. This is more obvious in the lovers of classical music, who often explicitly despise other forms of music, but it is also more subtly present in the boy or girl who is fond of popular music. “Classical is so boring,” they remark. Which are right?
In order to answer this question, it is necessary to examine three facets of the problem. Firstly, there is the cultural interest of the problem. Then, there is the uses of the music. What is its utility? Lastly, there is the objective beauty of the music. Is it beautiful? These last two questions are inextricably linked, for beauty of form and beauty of meaning are, in the end, simply two different expressions of the same thing.”

(This isn’t my usual style, exactly-it was written for a writing program that forces you to use certain sentence openers and “dress-ups”, and it’s a more formal voice than I generally use, being for a persuasive essay, so it isn’t my natural style, but close enough).

Take the quiz and tell me what you get in the good old comment box.

By the way, looky at my new signature!

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