Wednesday, October 20, 2010


Immunity from Vulgarity

Nicolás Gómez Dávila (1913-1994), Escolios a un Texto Implícito: Selección (Bogotá: Villegas Editores, 2001), p. 334 (tr. by Stephen at Don Colacho's Aphorisms):
The classical languages have educational value because they are safe from the vulgarity with which modern life corrupts the languages that are in use.

Las lenguas clásicas tienen valor educativo porque están a salvo de la vulgaridad con que la vida moderna corrompe las lenguas en uso.
Marc Antoine Muret (1526-1585), Orationes, vol. 2, no. 22, included in A. Springhetti, Selecta Latinitatis Scripta (saec. xv-xx) (Rome, 1951):
Therefore those languages that depend on the whim of the ignorant multitude die each day, and are born each day. But those languages that the usage of learned men has rescued from the slavery of the crowd not only are alive, but have in a certain way achieved immortality and immutability.

Illae igitur linguae quotidie moriuntur, quotidie nascuntur, quae pendent ex libidine imperitae multitudinis: quas autem ex populi servitute eruditorum usus vindicavit, illae non vivunt tantum, sed immortalitatem quodammodo et immutabilitatem adeptae sunt.

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