Decline of English Grammar

Discussion in 'Cultural Discussions' started by the wickerman, Apr 8, 2006.

  1. The Vatican has no problems. It has invented much new Latin vocabulary to cope with science. Contrary to the myths propagated since the so-called "Age of Enlightenment", much of science came from within the Catholic Church and was written about in Latin.
  2. Icetrance Senior Member

    US English
    I think modern American English lacks clarity. I cannot really put my finger on it - perhaps too many words/slang, too many chances for falling awkward sentences structures, even in more formal writing. Surely, someone will shoot this generalization down but it's just how I see things.

    Clarity is of utmost importance to me. There are times where I cannot follow newspaper articles/blogs/etc, and it is not due to my inability to comprehend, but rather a lack of clear, concise style.
  3. franknagy

    franknagy Senior Member

    The common joke about Latin: "How does the Pope ask is butter, bring me my motorbike" ?
  4. Icetrance Senior Member

    US English
    Hi there!

    Could you elaborate a bit on this? I am not sure I follow.:)
  5. franknagy

    franknagy Senior Member

    The common joke about Latin: "How does the Pope ask is butler, bring me my motorbike" ?

    The Latin is a dead language. How do new inventions get their names in it?
  6. Icetrance Senior Member

    US English
    Thank you. I now get it!:) That's very true.
  7. ewie

    ewie Senior Member

    English English
  8. As has often been said: "The Vatican thinks in centuries, not decades".

    That said, most of the entries will have been around for a long time. I remember reading in the 1960s that the Vatican Latin term for a bicycle was "birota", although I'm not sure how they managed to use "rota" as a plural.
  9. Einstein

    Einstein Senior Member

    Milano, Italia
    UK, English
    "Cycle" comes from the Greek κύκλος, meaning "wheel". All the Vatican has done is transform a word for something that didn't exist in Ancient Greece into a word for something that didn't exist in Ancient Rome. I'm not sure that the "rota" part needs to be plural; we don't call a bicycle a "bicycles" because it has two wheels. Also the Italian for tricycle is triciclo, not tricicli, unless we're talking about more than one complete machine.

    (but the modern Greek term for a bicycle is ποδήλατο (podílato)).
    Last edited: May 13, 2018
  10. Pedro y La Torre Senior Member

    Paris, France
    English (Ireland)
    I don't see how American English differs from any other variety of English in this regard (the grammatical differences between different national varieties of English are very slight). English seems no more or less clear to me than French (which I also speak, and which has a self-proclaimed reputation for pinpoint clarity).
    Last edited: May 14, 2018
  11. Icetrance Senior Member

    US English
    Fair point about American English, I suppose.

    I think German is clearer than both French and English (my perception, and whatever I mean by "clearer.").

    I think French is very abstract, whereas English is more clear-cut. I can't think of any good examples off the top of my head. But, for native French speakers, the language is not abstract - just their natural tongue. Just my perception based on having studied French and German intensely.

    Again, I am getting lost in sweeping generalizations. I am now feeling that I am betraying intellectual standards. lol.
  12. suzi br

    suzi br Senior Member

    English / England

    That’s quality. Gotta love a dead-dead language.
  13. Ben Jamin Senior Member

    But I'm pretty sure, that there is no need to use plural here. I can't recall any word in English (and neither in any other language I'm familiar with) that combines a number and a noun in plural.
  14. Ben Jamin Senior Member

    Like Galileo for example?
    By the way, Latin was used as an international language of secular science into the XIX century.
  15. Read Rodney Stark: "Bearing False Witness"
  16. Forero Senior Member

    Houston, Texas, USA
    USA English

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