But Words Will Never Hurt Us?

By |2021-03-18T14:13:04-05:00March 18th, 2021|Categories: Joseph Pearce, Language, Senior Contributors|

We no longer speak the same language because we no longer know which language to speak. What is safe? What is acceptable? What might cause offence? What might get us “cancelled”? Several years ago, some Hispanic friends told me of a grimly humorous and yet possibly threatening incident on the Metro in Washington DC. They [...]

In the Beginning Are the Words: Language & Liberty

By |2021-03-05T16:27:42-06:00March 5th, 2021|Categories: Joseph Pearce, Language, Liberal Learning, Literature, Senior Contributors|

Unlike the possession of many things, which may prove perilous to the mind and the soul, the possession of more words only makes us richer. The wealth that words bestow upon us is the power to better understand who we are and where we fit into the wider scheme of things: our purpose and our [...]

Ecumenical Truth Versus the Falsehoods of Ecumenism

By |2021-02-06T08:23:48-06:00February 6th, 2021|Categories: Christianity, Joseph Pearce, Language, Religion, Senior Contributors, Theology, Truth|

The authentic definition of “ecumenical” has nothing to do with the modern understanding of “ecumenism,” which appears to be the willingness to dilute or delete doctrine in pursuit of a perceived unity among disparate groups of believers. Being ecumenical is being evangelical, whereas the new-fangled word ecumenism is the failure to evangelize. It is important [...]

Learning Latin the Medieval Way

By |2021-01-02T11:52:09-06:00January 2nd, 2021|Categories: Classical Education, Culture, Education, Language, Timeless Essays, Western Tradition|

Latin, as the primary historical language of erudition and learning in the West, is the sole gateway into the halls of Western thought and humanistic learning. Without the use of this language, we can hardly know ourselves, and certainly not the road that brought us to the modern day. As the old year ends and [...]

The Social and Political Significance of “You”

By |2020-12-15T13:53:24-06:00December 21st, 2020|Categories: Democracy, Language, Politics, Social Order|

Unlike most European languages, in which there is a formal and an informal mode of addressing someone else, the English word “you” lacks this distinction and the tremendous psychological barrier that accompanies it, and was thus crucial to promoting political democracy and social democracy. There are many, many things that strongly affect a person or [...]

Theater as Dialectic

By |2020-12-04T10:20:29-06:00November 27th, 2020|Categories: Culture, Language, Theater|

Acting builds muscles for engaging in extended dialogue around a single text. The actors must constantly search for the most genuine delivery, for the truth of each scene and the truth of each line. It is a challenging exercise in careful reading and even more careful listening. No matter how much I insist that I’m [...]

Punctual Pleasures… and Necessities

By |2020-09-08T15:34:52-05:00September 8th, 2020|Categories: Culture, David Deavel, Language, Modernity, Senior Contributors|

The most exciting piece of punctuation is the period. It marks strong assertions of fact or opinion and gives the reader a pause to digest them and decide whether to affirm, deny, or leave them hanging till later evidence comes in, from the following sentences or other sources. We could use a lot more sentences [...]

God Said; We Say

By |2020-08-27T16:04:57-05:00August 28th, 2020|Categories: Christianity, George Stanciu, Language, Nature, Order, Science, Senior Contributors|

Language is at the heart of Creation. Because we are created in the image of God who spoke and created intelligible matter, our language mirrors Creation in a hazy, incomplete way. Our speech calls into existence names and creates a narrative to link together our experiences in a coherent way. A life without words is [...]

The Unique Advantages of Latin and Greek

By |2020-08-19T14:02:23-05:00August 20th, 2020|Categories: Classical Education, Classics, Education, Intelligence, Language, Liberal Learning, Music|

In order to reap the full rewards of a classical education, schools should prize the classical languages as highly as they do the mathematical arts. The qualitative and the quantitative are essential aspects of human understanding, without which no one may be fully educated. Every rule has a story. Perhaps you have read an old [...]

Words, Signs, and Reality

By |2020-08-13T15:57:27-05:00August 13th, 2020|Categories: Christianity, Christine Norvell, Language, Senior Contributors, St. Augustine, Truth|

Frequently in public forums, people forget Augustine’s simple truth: Words fail or succeed based on what truth or reality they represent to their audience. Augustine would ask us to further the “mutual intercourse of men” and remember that words serve us by their remembrance, their representation, and their reality. As a literature teacher, I thought [...]

The Deavel’s Dictionary

By |2020-07-27T17:21:05-05:00July 27th, 2020|Categories: David Deavel, Language, Modernity, Politics, Senior Contributors, Truth|

For all those out there wondering, including my first-grade art teacher who never learned how to pronounce it, my surname is actually pronounced with a long rather than short “e.” It’s “DEE-vuhl” and not “Devil.” But the moniker of a demon has been applied to me so often that I have decided to make demon-ade. [...]

Defending the Permanent Things

By |2020-05-20T16:04:50-05:00May 20th, 2020|Categories: Books, Classical Education, Culture, Education, Language, Liberal Learning|

Apologists for Greek and Latin have lately dwindled. Yet in the past several years there have been some notable attempts to save classical education from utter extinction—one of which is Tracy Lee Simmons’ “Climbing Parnassus.” Climbing Parnassus: A New Apologia for Greek and Latin, by Tracy Lee Simmons (290 pages, Intercollegiate Studies Institute, 2007) As [...]

University Administration and the English Language

By |2020-05-06T09:14:17-05:00May 6th, 2020|Categories: Culture, Education, George Orwell, Language, Modernity|

Learning and language are intimately related. People speak well—clearly, concretely, and accurately—about the things they know, and poorly when they pontificate about things they don’t. Broadly-educated people speak well about many things; they are dilettantes rather than pedants, the two kinds of intellectual according to Miguel de Unamuno. Primo Levi, a professional chemist as well [...]

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