In this lighthearted guided tour of Latin, journalist and former Latin tutor Harry Mount breathes life back into the greatest language of all, drawing on everything from a Monty Python grammar lesson to Angelina Jolie's tattoos. Filled with fascinating tidbits and humorous asides,
Carpe Diem will delight the word lovers who made
Eats, Shoots and Leaves such a monster hit.
Whether we're aware of it or not, Latin is all around us. Consider the sayings in everyday use: alter ego, ad nauseam, caveat emptor, modus operandi, per se, and, of course, the ever-popular e pluribus unum. Even more abundant are words derived from Latin roots: arena (from harena, meaning "sand"), auditorium ("a place of audience"), stadium (a running track)...and those are just the theatrical ones!
It's inescapable. It's also the most daunting of languages, one that is seemingly obscure and filled with arcane rules and often accompanied by unpleasant memories of adolescence. But, as Mount says in Carpe Diem, "Knowing a bit of Latin is an invitation to the biggest room in the building, with a view down the corridor to all the succeeding ages. And you can get your hands on that invitation at any age."
©2007 Harry Mount (P)2007 Tantor Media Inc.