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Latin quotes

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    I Like this quote I dislike this quoteEnglish grammar is so complex and confusing for the one very simple reason that its rules and terminology are based on Latin -- a language with which it has precious little in common. In Latin, to take one example, it is not possible to split an infinitive. So in English, the early authorities decided, it should not be possible to split an infinitive either. But there is no reason why we shouldn't, any more than we should forsake instant coffee and air travel because they weren't available to the Romans. Making English grammar conform to Latin rules is like asking people to play baseball using the rules of football. It is a patent absurdity. But once this insane notion became established, grammarians found themselves having to draw up ever more complicated and circular arguments to accommodate the inconsistencies.

 Bill Bryson quotes (American Writer, b.1946)

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    I Like this quote I dislike this quoteINFALAPSARIAN, n. One who ventures to believe that Adam need not have sinned unless he had a mind to --in opposition to the Supralapsarians, who hold that that luckless person's fall was decreed from the beginning. Infralapsarians are sometimes called Sublapsarians without material effect upon the importance and lucidity of their views about Adam.



Two theologues once, as they wended their way To chapel, engaged in colloquial fray -- An earnest logomachy, bitter as gall, Concerning poor Adam and what made him fall.

"'Twas Predestination," cried one --"for the Lord Decreed he should fall of his own accord."

"Not so --'twas Free will," the other maintained,

"Which led him to choose what the Lord had ordained." So fierce and so fiery grew the debate That nothing but bloodshed their dudgeon could sate; So off flew their cassocks and caps to the ground And, moved by the spirit, their hands went round. Ere either had proved his theology right By winning, or even beginning, the fight, A gray old professor of Latin came by, A staff in his hand and a scowl in his eye, And learning the cause of their quarrel (for still As they clumsily sparred they disputed with skill Of foreordination freedom of will) Cried: "Sirrahs! this reasonless warfare compose: Atwixt ye's no difference worthy of blows. The sects ye belong to --I'm ready to swear Ye wrongly interpret the names that they bear.

_You_ --Infralapsarian son of a clown! -- Should only contend that Adam slipped down; While _you_ --you Supralapsarian pup! -- Should nothing aver but that Adam slipped up. It's all the same whether up or down You slip on a peel of banana brown. Even Adam analyzed not his blunder, But thought he had slipped on a peal of thunder! --G.J.

 Ambrose Bierce quotes (American Writer, Journalist and Editor, 1842-1914)
Book: Devil's Dictionary quotes

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    I Like this quote I dislike this quoteJ is a consonant in English, but some nations use it as a vowel --than which nothing could be more absurd. Its original form, which has been but slightly modified, was that of the tail of a subdued dog, and it was not a letter but a character, standing for a Latin verb,

_jacere_, "to throw," because when a stone is thrown at a dog the dog's tail assumes that shape. This is the origin of the letter, as expounded by the renowned Dr. Jocolpus Bumer, of the University of Belgrade, who established his conclusions on the subject in a work of three quarto volumes and committed suicide on being reminded that the j in the Roman alphabet had originally no curl.

 Ambrose Bierce quotes (American Writer, Journalist and Editor, 1842-1914)
Book: Devil's Dictionary quotes

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    I Like this quote I dislike this quoteUnless a fool knows Latin he is never a great fool

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