Monday, April 29, 2013

Edo Ergo Sum

Day 29 of NaPoWriMo - it is getting down to the wire but I am really trying to write everyday, even if I do not "publish" what I write.  Some things need more than ten revisions :)

Yesterday, the Day 28 prompt was a "color poem", write using a color, your favorite color, synonyms for your chosen color...

I didn't do it.

My favorite color is orange.  In addition to nothing rhyming with this poor word/color/citrus delight, there are not many good synonyms for orange.  The thing I like about orange?  It is vibrant, happy, strong.  A strong color.  Ever notice traffic cones, pill bottles, safety vests, and pencils are a variation of orange?   That is one workhorse of a color.  Anywho, couldn't really come up with a poem so I skipped.

Today's prompt is to use at least five non-English words in a poem.  Fairly straightforward.

Did you stop and think about how many "foreign" words we use every day in our speech?  Not just words that are derived from other languages, Americans using these phrases in their entirety.  (and not always lawyers and doctors)

"Prima donna".  "Status quo".  "Bon voyage".  "Khaki".  "Kudos".  "Deja vu".  "Bona fide".

Words and languages have always interested me deeply.  To communicate is innately human.  I have taken Latin, Italian, German, Spanish for Medical Professionals (okay the last one may not be helpful when ordering food but I can tell you what hurts after I eat it.)  The teaching of foreign languages in the typical school district is usually the first thing to be cut.   English is the language of the world, it seems, but for how much longer?  Colleges are cutting the typical Romance Languages while adding Chinese and Arabic classes to capacity.

Are Business (with a capital "B") and global terror threats (real and imagined) our driving force to learn a second language?  Why did we all take Italian and French in high school and college?  We all weren't planning on moving abroad but it impressed our dates when ordering food or reading articles in "The New Yorkers" with it French Word Dropping For No Reason in the Middle of an Article.

I enjoyed Latin.  Not just for SAT prep, it helped in life.  When I was studying any other subject I had a glimmer of a clue what was going on.  Latin is like a secret handshake and is on the serious decline.  If you caught Pope Fever earlier this year, all the news outlets learned one phrase and were very proud of themselves.  And that is how many people view the importance of languages we don't use every day.  Pope Electing, What Body Part is my Doctor Going to Fix, What Meat is in the Cassoulet, Is that German Angry or Asking Me to Hug...

Anyway, long ass entry for me today.  End result = no poem (good for you), long diatribe on why I believe language is important.  Challenge yourself today, go read some poetry in the language you took in school.  See how much comes back to you.  See the beauty in the rhythm of words.

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