We may not know Latin, but we know how to Google
Donnie Johnston’s Oct. 26 column [“The phrase quid pro quo has got to go”] begs for a rebuttal. Mr. Johnston says “the problem is that 99.9 percent of the American public has no idea what quid pro quo means. In a country where 90 percent of the population can’t conjugate a sentence in English, it is a stretch to think Americans know anything about Latin.”
Mr. Johnston insults the intellect of 99.9 percent of Americans. What is the source of his statistics? Who is counting?
He also says, “They say the average person—even with a college degree—reads on an eighth grade level.” Who are “they”? How would “they” know?
As an average American, I haven’t noticed anyone following me around taking notes on what I read. And if you buy books at the Opp Shop or yard sales, records can’t be kept.
Donnie says Latin is a dead language. Yet here we are, still using Latin to make a point, to help understand the origin of words, as well as in many professions such as law, theology and medicine. Latin still appears to have a healthy heartbeat.
His most irritating remark: “This is America and a lot of us ain’t got too much smarts. Keep it simple and leave Latin out of it.”
America has many people with diversified interests and conversational abilities. We don’t need to speak in four-letter words and short sentences just because we are Americans.
Donnie ends his column with the Latin phrase “Quod erat demonstrandum.” According to the dictionary, this means “an exclamation used to convey that a fact or situation demonstrates the truth of one’s theory.” I submit that nothing in this column is backed by facts. And Americans are smart enough to know that if you don’t know what something means, you can just Google it.