Tuesday, August 28, 2007

More Hot Latin Stuff

This is a clip from "The Life of Brian" where Brian goes through a Basic Latin Lesson with a Roman Guard. (To See the Full Text Go Here).

CENTURION: Conjugate the verb 'to go'.
BRIAN: 'Ire' - 'Eo'. 'Is'. 'It'. 'Imus'. 'Itis'. 'Eunt'
CENTURION: So 'eunt' is...?
BRIAN: Third person plural present indicative. 'They go'.
CENTURION: But 'Romans, go home' is an order, so you must use the...?
BRIAN: The imperative!
CENTURION: Which is...?
BRIAN: Umm! Oh. 'I'!
CENTURION: How many Romans?
BRIAN: Ah! 'I'-- Plural. Plural. 'Ite'. 'Ite'.

This is simply to complete my minimum requirement of Blogs for the month of August because I will be in NYC until after Labor Day. I have found that each month sort of develops an Unofficial Theme... Last month's theme was "Why Steve Jobs Bugs Me." The theme for the month of May was "Ambitious Things Other People are Doing." April's was "Stuff I Bought." Well, August's Unofficial Theme was "How Awesome is Latin?"

And, while searching Google, Ask.com, and Technorati for my blog, I recognized a common error I would like to address: Latin, the Awesome but Dead Language, is often confused with Latin as in Latin America, our Spanish-speaking brothers to the south.

This same error was attributed to Vice President Quayle in the quote: "I was recently on a tour of Latin America, and the only regret I have was that I didn't study Latin harder in school so I could converse with those people."

To Clarify this Point- Latin America is the region of North, South, and Central America where Romance languages are spoken, specifically Spanish and Portuguese. Interestingly enough, Quebec, although a fellow Romance-language speaker, is NOT considered part of Latin America. I think they should make an appeal. They don't speak English, so where DO they belong?

To help you avoid confusion and potential embarassment, here are some examples of

Instances where people say "Latin"
and are NOT referring to
the Awesome but Dead Language:

Latin Dancing: As in "I like watching Latin dancing." They are NOT referring to dances done by men in Roman togas, but to a whole style of dance including the Samba, Paso Doble, and Cha Cha that are characterized by much hip wiggling, short lop-sided skirts, and men in tight pants.
Fun Fact: All Latin Dancing can be done to the 80's Madonna hit Holiday.

Latin Music: As in "I love listening to Latin music." They are NOT referring to their record album of Pange Lingua done in Gregorian Chant, but to a hard-to-categorize genre of music with mostly Spanish lyrics. This includes everything from Mexican Ranchero, Luis Miguel, Control Machete, to Enrique Iglesias and Shakira. They even include Christina Aguilera, just because her last name is Spanish.

Latin Lover: As in "What's hotter than a Latin lover?" Contrary to what you might think, this does NOT mean someone who took Latin and really loved it, then spent the next few years touring Italy and majoring in the Classics. Most typically, it is referring to a sexual partner, usually not a spouse, that is of hispanic origin. Who knew, right?

Latin Kings: As in "Can I join the Latin kings?" This is apparently NOT a bunch of Latin Professors or Catholic Cardinals that have formed a chess club, but in fact is a Puerto Rican Street Gang from Chicago. You can see how this might lead to confusion.

Um... that's all I could find. I'm open to suggestions for More Helpful Hints. And... You're Welcome! --Shawn Butler

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