MT VOID, 08/20/21 -- Vol. 40, No. 8, Whole Number 2185

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evelynchim...@gmail.com

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THE MT VOID
Mt. Holz Science Fiction Society
08/20/21 -- Vol. 40, No. 8, Whole Number 2185

Co-Editor: Mark Leeper, mle...@optonline.net
Co-Editor: Evelyn Leeper, ele...@optonline.net
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Topics:
Bond Songs (Part 3) (LIVE AND LET DIE, THE MAN WITH THE
GOLDEN GUN) (comments by Mark R. Leeper)
Bond Songs (letters of comment by Gary McGath and R. Looney)
This Week's Reading (IN THE LAND OF INVENTED LANGUAGES,
HOW YOU SAY IT, and LOST LANGUAGES) (book comments
by Evelyn C. Leeper)

===================================================================

TOPIC: Bond Songs (Part 3) (LIVE AND LET DIE, THE MAN WITH THE
GOLDEN GUN) (comments by Mark R. Leeper)

As promised I am continuing this consideration of the James Bond
song lyrics looking at the early Roger Moore films. Last week I
concluded with DIAMONDS ARE FOREVER. Next comes Paul and Linda
McCartney's LIVE AND LET DIE song. This one I remember at the time
thinking was a stupid song pasted on an even more stupid film.

When you were young and your heart was an open book,
You used to say live and let live.
(You know you did, you know you did, you know you did.)
But if this ever-changing world in which we live in
Makes you give in and cry,
Say live and let die!
Live and let die,
Live and let die,

{this is real monotony}
{this is monotony}
{this is monotony}
{this is monotony}

What does it matter to ya,
When you've got a job to do you gotta do it well,
You gotta give the other fellow hell.

{I think I once worked for this guy singing!}

This is a terrible song lyric. Of course song lyrics from the
Beatles and former Beatles often were.

Let me paraphrase. When you were young and candid you used to be
more tolerant of other people. (Then the singer rubs it in in a
most childish way.) He then says, "But if this ever changing world
in which we're living makes you give in and cry, say live and let
die. What kind of advice is that? I know why the song does that.
It is called double-dipping. Whoever works with Paul McCartney and
Wings is pretty much guaranteed of a big monetary haul. Whoever
writes a Bond title song is equally going to be in upper brackets.
What a great philosophy: if the world hurts you, just be less
tolerant of others. Great message! And when you have a job to do
you have to be proficient and be unscrupulous at the same time.
What one thought has to do with the other is not clear.

The next Bond film was THE MAN WITH THE GOLDEN GUN. While a step
up from the previous film, it is still a very poor example of a
James Bond film. Nevertheless the title song really does most of
what we would want a Bond film title song to do.

He has a powerful weapon.
He charges a million a shot.

{that used to sound like a lot more money than it sounds now}

An assassin that's second to none,

{or perhaps third}

The man with the golden gun.

{How Freudian}

Lurking in some darkened doorway,
Or crouched on a rooftop somewhere,
In the next room, or this very one,
The man with the golden gun.

{He is played by 6'4" Christopher Lee so probably sticks out at
both ends.}

Love is required, whenever he's hired;
It comes just before the kill.

{Boy, I needed a better union}

No one can catch him, no hitman can match him
For his million dollar skill.

One golden shot means another poor victim
Has come to a glittering end.
For a price, he'll erase anyone
The man with the golden gun.
His eye may be on you or me.
Who will he bang?
We shall see, oh yeah!

Love is required, whenever he's hired;
It comes just before the kill
No one can catch him, no hitman can match him
For his million dollar skill.

{overpriced}

One golden shot means another poor victim
Has come to a glittering end.
If you want to get rid of someone
The man with the golden gun
Will get it done.

{Leave your business card with my secretary. We will get back to
you.}

He'll shoot anyone
With his golden gun.

{I guess if he has it he will use it. Ours is an equal opportunity
llc.}

[-mrl]

===================================================================

TOPIC: Bond Songs (letters of comment by Gary McGath and R. Looney)

In response to Mark's comments on the James Bond songs in the
08/13/21 issue of the MT VOID, Gary McGath writes:

[Mark quotes the song lyric:]
You only live twice or so it seems,
One life for yourself and one for your dreams.
You drift through the years and life seems tame,
Till one dream appears and love is its name.

It's been decades since I read the book, but my recollection is
that Bond composes a pseudo-haiku something like:

You only live twice:
Once when you are born,
And once when you look death in the face.

That's a completely different meaning from the one in the song.
[-gmg]

Evelyn notes:

Gary's memory is good. The only mis-rembrance is that the second
line was "Once when you're born". [-ecl]

R. Looney writes:

I'm not a fan of the Latest 007's, since I first encountered Daniel
Craig in LAYER CAKE so he's always that gangster, to me.

GOLDFINGER and THUNDERBALL really are quite perverse. In the
latter, when Bond uses a blonde for a human shield--whew. And how
about the former, when Oddjob has that Lincoln Continental
(containing a corpse and a bar of gold) crushed into a cube?

In soundtrack circles, ON HER MAJESTY'S SECRET SERVICE is the
acknowledged best Bond soundtrack--the whole disc, not just the
theme. Another note on that film's sound--why is the whip-crack
sound-effect heard whenever anybody hits anybody else? But it's a
favorite of mine since 007 has no gadgets--and Diana Rigg really
saves his bacon. Such a bummer ending, though.

But my favorite theme song remains YOU ONLY LIVE TWICE--maybe since
I'm musical, and don't pay much attention to the lyrics? Also, we
really can't move on from THUNDERBALL without mentioning Tom Jones'
performance of the theme song, holding that last note.

Thanks as ever for all your words! [-rl]

Mark responds:

I remember being impressed with LAYER CAKE, but I should watch the
film again.

ON HER MAJESTY'S SECRET SERVICE had many good points. It is nice
to see Bond in over his head for once. But what leaves a bad taste
in my mouth is the Christmas Tree song.

Thanks for writing. [-mrl]

R. Looney replies:

Yes, it seems to be a rule--every great soundtrack album is ruined
by that one song. The common example given for this is BLADE
RUNNER, great Vangelis music except every version (and there are
several, like the film itself) has to include the atypical, archaic
(and only heard for a moment) "One More Kiss Dear". [-rl]

===================================================================

TOPIC: This Week's Reading (book comments by Evelyn C. Leeper)

IN THE LAND OF INVENTED LANGUAGES: A CELEBRATION OF LINGUISTIC
CREATIVITY, MADNESS, AND GENIUS by Arika Okrent (Spiegel & Grau,
ISBN 978-0-8129-8089-9) looks at a few of the hundreds (perhaps
thousands) of invented languages. By this term, Okrent does not
mean computer languages such as Fortran or COBOL, but languages
that are used to communicate between/among people the way natural
languages such as English or Ibo do. (Okrent does not restrict
herself to spoken languages, but includes symbol languages such as
Blissymbolics or "performative" languages such as American Sign
Language).

Okrent covers a few languages in detail. There is John Wilkins's
"Philosophical Language" (which I was somewhat familiar with from
Jorge Luis Borges's "The Analytical Language of John Wilkins").
There is Esperanto, clearly the over-achiever of the batch. And
there is Loglan/Lojban, one of the better-known ones, but so
complicated that no one has ever been fluent in it.

And of course, there's Klingon. The one invented language "owned"
by a private entity--the term "Klingon" is trademarked by
Paramount--it is second only to Esperanto in the number of speakers
(a few hundred), and fluent speakers (twenty or thirty). There are
many natural languages which are disappearing that have fewer. It
is probably also the only invented language that had no practical
purpose (universality, clarity, etc.), but is still actively used
by people other than its creator.

(Esperanto probably has 100,000 speakers, and 10,000 fluent
speakers. It also has several hundred native speakers, usually the
children of parents whose only common language was Esperanto.
There is one documented attempt to raise a native-Klingon-speaking
child, with the father speaking only Klingon and the mother only
English. The son could understand and speak Klingon, but was
clearly not happy with it, so his father gave up after five years.)

Tolkien as a language creator also gets some coverage, and Suzanne
Haden Elgin's "women's language" of Laadan is discussed. Elgin
seems to be one of the few language creators who was honest enough
to label their attempt a failure (when after ten years no one had
adopted it). Most of the creators of languages they want to see
used (unlike Tolkien's languages of Middle Earth) refuse to accept
that their brainchild is not the darling they hoped it would be.
Elgin did express unhappiness that her "women's language" failed
while Klingon ("a 'hyper-male' warrior language") was thriving.

Okrent also discusses Hebrew (which she certainly agrees is not an
invented language) and its re-introduction as a "living" language.
But there were similar problems. There was a need to create a
large vocabulary--Hebrew had a lot of words, but they were not
words about the modern world, or indeed, about many concepts other
than the theological or philosophical. There was also the problem
that there were no native speakers to pass on the language to the
next generation. This was "solved" by having Hebrew be the
language of instruction in all the schools, starting with
kindergartens.

I find myself wondering about Latin. Where do the new words come
from that are needed in the official encyclicals? Do Catholics
with no other common language converse in Latin? (I did know
someone at work who had many years of Catholic education who said
that he once had a conversation in Latin with someone at a train
station in Italy.) But it is more the way Hebrew was for close to
two thousand years than the way Hebrew is now--usable, but not a
living spoken language.

Okrent covers not just the languages themselves--their purposes,
structures, and so on--but also the personalities of their creators
and the culture of their speakers/users. She even goes into the
topic of how to communicate through "deep time", in particular, how
to put up a warning about radioactive waste that would communicate
this for 10,000 years. Thomas Sebeok suggested displaying the
message in all known languages, symbologies, etc., but said that
even this is insufficient. So his key suggestion was a "meta-
message" asking whoever was reading the warnings should re-encode
them every 250 years into whatever was readable then, because no
language would remain comprehensible for 10,000 years. (Consider
how languages even 1000 years old are incomprehensible to most
people, and Linear A, "only" 2500 years old, has yet to be
translated at all.) Of course, a catastrophe that killed off
enough people to kill off literacy as well would defeat even this
approach, so Sebeok also suggested creating a folklore and rituals
that would emphasize the "taboo" nature of the site which might be
carried forward. (This has been labeled "an Atomic Priesthood" and
has come in for quite a bit of ridicule.)

The book is from 2009, so there have probably been a lot more
languages invented since it came out, and of course, Klingon keeps
rolling along, but I definitely recommend it.

Another book about language that I read is HOW YOU SAY IT: WHY YOU
TALK THE WAY YOU DO AND WHAT IT SAYS ABOUT YOU by Katherine D.
Kinzler is mostly about accents, with some discussion of
bilingualism (and more generally, multilingualism). Kinzler covers
a lot of experiments run to judge people's reactions to various
types of languages and accents, strength of accents, and so on, and
concludes that we are far more influenced by these auditory cues
than just about anything else, including race, and suggests that
language and accent should be included in the list of protected
categories.

One example Kinzler gave was a Filipino who applied for a job at
the DMV. He was turned down, because they said his accent was too
strong and he would have difficulty being understood. He took the
case to court and lost. But as Kinzler pointed out, his
interviewer had no problem understanding him, the other lawyer had
no problem understanding him, the judge had no problem
understanding him, and the court recorder had no problem
understanding him. In spite of all this, there was no recourse,
because the reason given by the DMV was not race, but accent.

This book had more of an agenda than I was expecting, but was worth
reading nonetheless.

LOST LANGUAGES: THE ENIGMA OF THE WORLD'S UNDECIPHERED SCRIPTS by
Andrew Robinson (Thames & Hudson, ISBN 978-0-500-28816-0) is well-
named. Whoever decided to print this book using a sans serif
typeface (similar to Pero) in a small font size with very thin
lines that make it look more blue than black obviously intended the
reader to learn what it was like to read a difficult script. In
this he succeeded, but he also succeeded in making me give up after
a dozen pages or so. Oh, and it's a large size book, making it
physically difficult to hold to read. [-ecl]

===================================================================

Mark Leeper
mle...@optonline.net


All models are wrong but some are useful.
--George Box

Dorothy J Heydt

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Aug 22, 2021, 10:55:01 AMAug 22
to
In article <a4b844c2-77db-4a44...@googlegroups.com>,
ele...@optonline.net <evelynchim...@gmail.com> wrote:
>
>===================================================================
>
>TOPIC: This Week's Reading (book comments by Evelyn C. Leeper)
>
>
>I find myself wondering about Latin. Where do the new words come
>from that are needed in the official encyclicals?

There is a man at the Vatican who invents such words as needed.
It's been years since I read the article about him, but I bet he
(or his successor) is still there.

>Do Catholics
>with no other common language converse in Latin?

They used to, but since the vernacular Mass came in, Latin among
the laity has become like whatever language you and I had to
learn in high school (mine was Spanish) and mercifully forgot
immediately after graduation.

Pope Francis recently came down on the Latin Mass, still clung to
by conservative Catholics, who complain (a) that the initial
English translations were in very clumsy English (true) and that
the Latin Mass united the congregation with the Church worldwide
(not true: the closest thing we have to a world language at
present is English).

I miss the Latin Mass, but then, I understand Latin.

>(I did know
>someone at work who had many years of Catholic education who said
>that he once had a conversation in Latin with someone at a train
>station in Italy.)

And there's a letter set in WWII from Lord Peter Wimsey (who,
let's remember, is fictional) to his wife, which says
(reconstructing from memory): ~"Like the fellow in the hymn, I
have seen a wonder sight: an Anglican padre and a Greek Orthodox
ditto discussing the persecution of the Jews under the Nazi
regime. I have never heard such expressions of sympathy or so
many false quantities."~


--
Dorothy J. Heydt
Vallejo, California
djheydt at gmail dot com
Www.kithrup.com/~djheydt/

Keith F. Lynch

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Aug 22, 2021, 2:00:10 PMAug 22
to
Dorothy J Heydt <djh...@kithrup.com> wrote:
> I miss the Latin Mass, but then, I understand Latin.

I've heard that Church Latin would have been incomprehensible to the
ancient Romans, due to misunderstandings about pronunciations. For
instance "Caesar" was pronounced "Kaiser" (which is where the Germans
got that word), and "veni, vidi, vici" was pronounced "weenee, weedee,
weesee." Which pronunciation is taught in schools today, and does it
differ between public schools and church schools? Thanks.
--
Keith F. Lynch - http://keithlynch.net/
Please see http://keithlynch.net/email.html before emailing me.

Scott Dorsey

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Aug 22, 2021, 2:53:31 PMAug 22
to
Keith F. Lynch <k...@KeithLynch.net> wrote:
>
>I've heard that Church Latin would have been incomprehensible to the
>ancient Romans, due to misunderstandings about pronunciations. For
>instance "Caesar" was pronounced "Kaiser" (which is where the Germans
>got that word), and "veni, vidi, vici" was pronounced "weenee, weedee,
>weesee." Which pronunciation is taught in schools today, and does it
>differ between public schools and church schools? Thanks.

I can say that the pronounciations taught in schools today in England and in
Italy are very different.
--scott
--
"C'est un Nagra. C'est suisse, et tres, tres precis."

Andy Leighton

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Aug 22, 2021, 3:54:03 PMAug 22
to
On Sun, 22 Aug 2021 18:00:09 -0000 (UTC), Keith F. Lynch <k...@KeithLynch.net> wrote:
> Dorothy J Heydt <djh...@kithrup.com> wrote:
>> I miss the Latin Mass, but then, I understand Latin.
>
> I've heard that Church Latin would have been incomprehensible to the
> ancient Romans, due to misunderstandings about pronunciations. For
> instance "Caesar" was pronounced "Kaiser" (which is where the Germans
> got that word), and "veni, vidi, vici" was pronounced "weenee, weedee,
> weesee."

The C in vici was hard - so more like wiki (with the Is sounding like
the i in machine)

Quintilian wrote that K should not be used at all in words as C mantains
its force in conjunction with all the vowels.

Also Veni would have a eh sound for the first vowel. E's never had a ee
sound in Latin.

--
Andy Leighton => an...@azaal.plus.com
"We demand rigidly defined areas of doubt and uncertainty!"
- Douglas Adams

Dorothy J Heydt

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Aug 22, 2021, 4:00:08 PMAug 22
to
In article <sfu6fa$b99$1...@panix2.panix.com>,
Scott Dorsey <klu...@panix.com> wrote:
>Keith F. Lynch <k...@KeithLynch.net> wrote:
>>
>>I've heard that Church Latin would have been incomprehensible to the
>>ancient Romans, due to misunderstandings about pronunciations. For
>>instance "Caesar" was pronounced "Kaiser" (which is where the Germans
>>got that word), and "veni, vidi, vici" was pronounced "weenee, weedee,
>>weesee." Which pronunciation is taught in schools today, and does it
>>differ between public schools and church schools? Thanks.
>
>I can say that the pronounciations taught in schools today in England and in
>Italy are very different.

Yes. I studied Classical Latin but sang in Church Latin, which
is as near to Italian as makes very little difference.

Gary McGath

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Aug 22, 2021, 5:10:17 PMAug 22
to
On 8/22/21 2:53 PM, Scott Dorsey wrote:
> Keith F. Lynch <k...@KeithLynch.net> wrote:
>>
>> I've heard that Church Latin would have been incomprehensible to the
>> ancient Romans, due to misunderstandings about pronunciations. For
>> instance "Caesar" was pronounced "Kaiser" (which is where the Germans
>> got that word), and "veni, vidi, vici" was pronounced "weenee, weedee,
>> weesee." Which pronunciation is taught in schools today, and does it
>> differ between public schools and church schools? Thanks.
>
> I can say that the pronounciations taught in schools today in England and in
> Italy are very different.

My familiarity with Church Latin is mostly through classical music,
specifically the Mass and Requiem texts. The northern and southern
European pronunciations have noticeable differences. German choirs
pronounce "pacem" as "pahtzem," and Italian ones pronounce it as
"pahchem." Ancient Romans, if I'm getting this right, pronounced it
"pahkem."

Those pronunciations aren't "misunderstandings"; the pronunciation of
Latin just shifted over the centuries.

"Caesar" was pronounced roughly "Kah-es-ahr" in ancient Rome, so not the
same as "Kaiser" though close.

I saw a video claiming that the the Latin hard C sound has less of a
puff of breath than our K sound. The best I can approximate what I heard
is to pronounce the first syllable as "Gah" with an unvoiced G. How did
they figure out such fine differences in pronunciation?


--
Gary McGath http://www.mcgath.com

Dorothy J Heydt

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Aug 22, 2021, 6:05:59 PMAug 22
to
In article <sfuefn$k10$1...@dont-email.me>,
Gary McGath <ga...@REMOVEmcgathREMOVE.com> wrote:
>On 8/22/21 2:53 PM, Scott Dorsey wrote:
>> Keith F. Lynch <k...@KeithLynch.net> wrote:
>>>
>>> I've heard that Church Latin would have been incomprehensible to the
>>> ancient Romans, due to misunderstandings about pronunciations. For
>>> instance "Caesar" was pronounced "Kaiser" (which is where the Germans
>>> got that word), and "veni, vidi, vici" was pronounced "weenee, weedee,
>>> weesee." Which pronunciation is taught in schools today, and does it
>>> differ between public schools and church schools? Thanks.
>>
>> I can say that the pronounciations taught in schools today in England and in
>> Italy are very different.
>
>My familiarity with Church Latin is mostly through classical music,
>specifically the Mass and Requiem texts. The northern and southern
>European pronunciations have noticeable differences. German choirs
>pronounce "pacem" as "pahtzem," and Italian ones pronounce it as
>"pahchem." Ancient Romans, if I'm getting this right, pronounced it
>"pahkem."
>
>Those pronunciations aren't "misunderstandings"; the pronunciation of
>Latin just shifted over the centuries.

Correct. Sound-changes over the centuries with minimal chances
to *hear* the other regions pronunciation.
>
>"Caesar" was pronounced roughly "Kah-es-ahr" in ancient Rome, so not the
>same as "Kaiser" though close.

>
>I saw a video claiming that the the Latin hard C sound has less of a
>puff of breath than our K sound. The best I can approximate what I heard
>is to pronounce the first syllable as "Gah" with an unvoiced G. How did
>they figure out such fine differences in pronunciation?
>
>Well, Classical Greek distinguished between aspirated and
unaspirated consonants. "pi" was pronounced [p], and "phi" was
pronounced [p(h)]. Similarly "tau" [t] and "theta [t(h)] and
"chi" [k(h) and "kappa" [k].

And there's a poem by Catullus* about a man who would say
"chommoda" when he meant "commoda," because that was his local
accent. The poem ends with his visiting the Ionian Sea, which
promptly became Hionian.

So that's a clue that at least "c" and "ch" were the unaspirated
and aspirated versions of the same stop.

_____
*Which I can't quote just now, because my complete Catullus is in
the fiction room, where (as all know) I can't go without letting
the cats in.

Keith F. Lynch

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Aug 22, 2021, 6:08:45 PMAug 22
to
Gary McGath <ga...@REMOVEmcgathREMOVE.com> wrote:
> Those pronunciations aren't "misunderstandings"; the pronunciation
> of Latin just shifted over the centuries.

In the old rasff tradition, I'm disagreeing with you just to be polite.

Live languages evolve. Dead languages don't, but are held to have
been correct at some specific past time and place. For Latin, that's
usually whatever dialect Augustus spoke.

Latin evolved, but people today in the former Roman Empire are neither
speaking Latin wrong nor speaking Latin right; they're speaking
Spanish, French, Italian, Romanian, or whatever right.

Similarly Old English and Middle English are no longer evolving. They
were replaced by Modern English, which is still evolving. Anyone who
speaks Old English in a way that couldn't have been understood by even
one person living in England before 1066 is doing it wrong.

Similarly, dinosaurs are extinct, hence no longer evolving. The
living descendants of dinosaurs aren't being a dinosaur wrong, nor
are they being a dinosaur correctly. They're being birds correctly.

Tim Merrigan

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Aug 22, 2021, 6:37:49 PMAug 22
to
On Sun, 22 Aug 2021 17:10:14 -0400, Gary McGath
<ga...@REMOVEmcgathREMOVE.com> wrote:

>On 8/22/21 2:53 PM, Scott Dorsey wrote:
>> Keith F. Lynch <k...@KeithLynch.net> wrote:
>>>
>>> I've heard that Church Latin would have been incomprehensible to the
>>> ancient Romans, due to misunderstandings about pronunciations. For
>>> instance "Caesar" was pronounced "Kaiser" (which is where the Germans
>>> got that word), and "veni, vidi, vici" was pronounced "weenee, weedee,
>>> weesee." Which pronunciation is taught in schools today, and does it
>>> differ between public schools and church schools? Thanks.
>>
>> I can say that the pronounciations taught in schools today in England and in
>> Italy are very different.
>
>My familiarity with Church Latin is mostly through classical music,
>specifically the Mass and Requiem texts. The northern and southern
>European pronunciations have noticeable differences. German choirs
>pronounce "pacem" as "pahtzem," and Italian ones pronounce it as
>"pahchem." Ancient Romans, if I'm getting this right, pronounced it
>"pahkem."
>
>Those pronunciations aren't "misunderstandings"; the pronunciation of
>Latin just shifted over the centuries.
>
>"Caesar" was pronounced roughly "Kah-es-ahr" in ancient Rome, so not the
>same as "Kaiser" though close.

And not the same as T/Czar which is also descended from it.
--

Qualified immuninity = vertual impunity.

Tim Merrigan

--
This email has been checked for viruses by AVG.
https://www.avg.com

Tim Merrigan

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Aug 22, 2021, 6:50:01 PMAug 22
to
My understanding is that when The Church adopted Latin as their
official language in the 4th century CE, around the time of the
Council of Nicaea, there was a debate as to whether it should be
Classical Latin, which was still, and pretty much only, used in legal
documents, or Vulgate Latin which was spoken in the streets of Rome.
They decided on Vulgate because that way the word of God could be
spread more easily.

Paul Dormer

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Aug 23, 2021, 6:21:38 AMAug 23
to
In article <sfu3b9$pjc$2...@reader1.panix.com>, k...@KeithLynch.net (Keith F.
Lynch) wrote:

> Which pronunciation is taught in schools today, and does it
> differ between public schools and church schools?

There's a bit in the 1939 film Goodbye Mr Chips where Chips complains
about the new pronunciation of Latin that he now had to teach. Of course,
he taught at what in the UK is called a public school and therefore you
had to pay to go there.

Steve Coltrin

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Aug 23, 2021, 11:38:11 AMAug 23
to
begin fnord
djh...@kithrup.com (Dorothy J Heydt) writes:

> Yes. I studied Classical Latin but sang in Church Latin, which
> is as near to Italian as makes very little difference.

A looong, long time ago my mother was in a chorus who were rehearsing a
song in Latin. She told me how the conductor very pointedly said they
did not want to hear _any_ Classical pronunciation (and I wouldn't be
surprised if they had been looking at my mother when they said that - if
the conductor was who I suspect they were (it's been a while), he knew
she had a son who took Latin at a school that taught Classical pronunciation).

--
Steve Coltrin spco...@omcl.org Google Groups killfiled here
"A group known as the League of Human Dignity helped arrange for Deuel
to be driven to a local livestock scale, where he could be weighed."
- Associated Press

Dorothy J Heydt

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Aug 23, 2021, 2:35:14 PMAug 23
to
In article <m21r6kx...@kelutral.omcl.org>,
Steve Coltrin <spco...@omcl.org> wrote:
>begin fnord
>djh...@kithrup.com (Dorothy J Heydt) writes:
>
>> Yes. I studied Classical Latin but sang in Church Latin, which
>> is as near to Italian as makes very little difference.
>
>A looong, long time ago my mother was in a chorus who were rehearsing a
>song in Latin. She told me how the conductor very pointedly said they
>did not want to hear _any_ Classical pronunciation (and I wouldn't be
>surprised if they had been looking at my mother when they said that - if
>the conductor was who I suspect they were (it's been a while), he knew
>she had a son who took Latin at a school that taught Classical pronunciation).
>

Diverging wildly....

The text of Stravinsky's opera _Oedipus Rex_ is in grammatically
medieval Latin. But the instructions are to use Classical
pronunciation. (Since when I first heard it I'd had a couple
years of singing Church Latin, it came as a bit of a shock.)

Kevrob

unread,
Aug 23, 2021, 2:36:46 PMAug 23
to
On Monday, August 23, 2021 at 11:38:11 AM UTC-4, Steve Coltrin wrote:
> begin fnord
> djh...@kithrup.com (Dorothy J Heydt) writes:
>
> > Yes. I studied Classical Latin but sang in Church Latin, which
> > is as near to Italian as makes very little difference.
> A looong, long time ago my mother was in a chorus who were rehearsing a
> song in Latin. She told me how the conductor very pointedly said they
> did not want to hear _any_ Classical pronunciation (and I wouldn't be
> surprised if they had been looking at my mother when they said that - if
> the conductor was who I suspect they were (it's been a while), he knew
> she had a son who took Latin at a school that taught Classical pronunciation).
>
> --

On the rare occasion we in our children's choir sang a hymn in Latin rather
than English, we used "church Latin" pronunciation. Soft "g" in "Regem
angelorum" in "Adeste Fidelis/O Come, All Ye Faithful," exempli gratia.
We didn't turn "venite" into wehn-ee-tay, either .

My two years of Catholic School Latin were in 1970-71 and 1971-72.
We leaned classical pronunciation from Sr Thomas Aquinas. She
briefed us on the difference between that and "church Latin," which
had adopted pronunciations that eventually led to Italian becoming
its own language.

What I was told was that, especially prior to Vatican II, with priests from
all over the world, sometimes when two met the only language they had
in common was Latin. I suspect this happened much less often between
two lay Catholics.

--
Kevin R

Gary McGath

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Aug 23, 2021, 5:44:50 PMAug 23
to
On 8/23/21 2:36 PM, Kevrob wrote:
> On the rare occasion we in our children's choir sang a hymn in Latin rather
> than English, we used "church Latin" pronunciation. Soft "g" in "Regem
> angelorum" in "Adeste Fidelis/O Come, All Ye Faithful," exempli gratia.
> We didn't turn "venite" into wehn-ee-tay, either .

I remember learning that song in school, but I think the teacher didn't
get the pronunciation right by any version of Latin. We pronounced
"Bethlehem" with the English "th," which I don't think Latin has ever done.

Gary McGath

unread,
Aug 23, 2021, 5:50:12 PMAug 23
to
On 8/22/21 6:08 PM, Keith F. Lynch wrote:
> Live languages evolve. Dead languages don't, but are held to have
> been correct at some specific past time and place. For Latin, that's
> usually whatever dialect Augustus spoke.

Latin was used for over a millennium after Augustus's time as a
scholarly language. Newton wrote his major works in Latin. That had to
involve coining new words, so I don't think you can call it a dead
language until the 18th century at the earliest.

It was used as a written language much more than it was spoken, which is
a situation that would encourage changes in pronunciation. Against that,
the Church was trying to maintain tradition, and it may have been the
main area where Latin was still spoken. Even so, pronunciation shifted
to reflect Italian pronunciation.

Keith F. Lynch

unread,
Aug 23, 2021, 9:01:30 PMAug 23
to
Dorothy J Heydt <djh...@kithrup.com> wrote:
> The text of Stravinsky's opera _Oedipus Rex_ is in grammatically
> medieval Latin. But the instructions are to use Classical
> pronunciation.

Shouldn't it be in classical Greek? Or, given Stravinsky's
nationality, modern Russian?

Dorothy J Heydt

unread,
Aug 23, 2021, 9:55:01 PMAug 23
to
In article <sg14sh$f7u$1...@dont-email.me>,
Nope.

Kevrob

unread,
Aug 23, 2021, 11:25:13 PMAug 23
to
On Monday, August 23, 2021 at 9:55:01 PM UTC-4, Dorothy J Heydt wrote:
> In article <sg14sh$f7u$1...@dont-email.me>,
> Gary McGath <ga...@REMOVEmcgathREMOVE.com> wrote:
> >On 8/23/21 2:36 PM, Kevrob wrote:
> >> On the rare occasion we in our children's choir sang a hymn in Latin rather
> >> than English, we used "church Latin" pronunciation. Soft "g" in "Regem
> >> angelorum" in "Adeste Fidelis/O Come, All Ye Faithful," exempli gratia.
> >> We didn't turn "venite" into wehn-ee-tay, either .
> >
> >I remember learning that song in school, but I think the teacher didn't
> >get the pronunciation right by any version of Latin. We pronounced
> >"Bethlehem" with the English "th," which I don't think Latin has ever done.
> Nope.
> --

Since "Bethlehem" isn't of Latin/Roman origin, not pronouncing
it in a Latinate way didn't bother me. Who knows how close
to Hebrew or Aramaic we got, though?

Since we have the intern et, we can find people quibbling over it.

https://forum.musicasacra.com/forum/discussion/17591/how-to-pronounce-bethlehem-in-adeste-fideles/p1

--
Kevin R

Paul Dormer

unread,
Aug 24, 2021, 5:59:45 AMAug 24
to
In article <sg1gd9$p9o$1...@reader2.panix.com>, k...@KeithLynch.net (Keith F.
Lynch) wrote:

>
> Shouldn't it be in classical Greek? Or, given Stravinsky's
> nationality, modern Russian?

He had is reasons, and apparently even consider ancient Greek. '... but
[he] decided ultimately on Latin: in his words "a medium not dead but
turned to stone."'

The libretto was actually written by Jean Cocteau in French and then
translated into Latin. There is also a narrator who comes on from time
to time to explain what is happening in the audience's local language.

Dorothy J Heydt

unread,
Aug 24, 2021, 9:20:01 AMAug 24
to
In article <memo.20210824...@pauldormer.cix.co.uk>,
And the English-language translation was written by E. E.
Cummings. (Note that he did use capital letters when writing his
name.) Its style is excellent. I wish I could find a copy; maybe
later today I'll do a search.

Steve Coltrin

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Aug 24, 2021, 10:33:58 AMAug 24
to
begin fnord
djh...@kithrup.com (Dorothy J Heydt) writes:

[Stravinsky, Oedipus Rex]

> And the English-language translation was written by E. E.
> Cummings. (Note that he did use capital letters when writing his
> name.) Its style is excellent. I wish I could find a copy; maybe
> later today I'll do a search.

Available from Hal Leonard for $60. There's a few used copies on
abebooks starting at around half that price.

Dorothy J Heydt

unread,
Aug 24, 2021, 11:05:01 AMAug 24
to
In article <m25yvu3...@kelutral.omcl.org>,
Steve Coltrin <spco...@omcl.org> wrote:
>begin fnord
>djh...@kithrup.com (Dorothy J Heydt) writes:
>
>[Stravinsky, Oedipus Rex]
>
>> And the English-language translation was written by E. E.
>> Cummings. (Note that he did use capital letters when writing his
>> name.) Its style is excellent. I wish I could find a copy; maybe
>> later today I'll do a search.
>
>Available from Hal Leonard for $60. There's a few used copies on
>abebooks starting at around half that price.
>
Oh, temptation! I'm trying to save money, since (a) we're hoping
to move out of Vallejo this summer, (b) everywhere that isn't
Vallejo is more expensive than Vallejo, and (c) I just paid 800
bucks for having a broken tooth pulled (which I hope my insurance
will cover at least part of).

But saved to disk just in case; thank you.

Scott Dorsey

unread,
Aug 24, 2021, 11:08:31 AMAug 24
to
Gary McGath <ga...@REMOVEmcgathREMOVE.com> wrote:
>On 8/22/21 6:08 PM, Keith F. Lynch wrote:
>> Live languages evolve. Dead languages don't, but are held to have
>> been correct at some specific past time and place. For Latin, that's
>> usually whatever dialect Augustus spoke.
>
>Latin was used for over a millennium after Augustus's time as a
>scholarly language. Newton wrote his major works in Latin. That had to
>involve coining new words, so I don't think you can call it a dead
>language until the 18th century at the earliest.

I was looking up a number of mathematics papers from the -late- 19th century
to find they were all in Latin.

Although of course all the chemistry papers from that era were in German....

Keith F. Lynch

unread,
Aug 24, 2021, 7:57:03 PMAug 24
to
Dorothy J Heydt <djh...@kithrup.com> wrote:
> And the English-language translation was written by E. E. Cummings.
> (Note that he did use capital letters when writing his name.)

So I see. I made the mistake of rendering it as all lowercase when
working for that court reporting firm. No wonder that company went
out of business -- it was all my fault.
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