Talk:Latin/Archive 2

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Old comments

The article is wrong — at least two British exam boards offer Latin. The SQA does as well. Either information relating to Scotland needs to be added to that paragraph, or it needs to be retitled to "England". Geoffrey Sneddon 19:52, 17 July 2007 (UTC)

Pronounciation?

How can there be a pronounciation of Latina? As far as I have been taught (college level), we do not know how the Romans pronounced their words other than theories. (Such as the V as a wa) And Church Latin (which we do know how to pronounce) is not traditional Latin. Can anyone defend the use of the pronounciation? Canutethegreat (talk) 23:02, 26 November 2007 (UTC)

As a matter of fact, we DO know what the real pronunciation of Latin was, mostly from modern linguistics. For instance, we know that the letter "C" was pronounced always "K" because "Caesar" in German becomes "Kaiser" (and Germany was not biased during centuries by ecclesiastic pronunciation). --Gspinoza (talk) 15:07, 25 January 2008 (UTC)
"Mainly from modern linguistics" you say. Extrapolation, in other words. The bottom line is that nobody today is 100% sure how Cicero or Catullus would have spoken. Weni, widi, wiki, wascally wabbit, or veni, vidi, vidi? Nobody truly knows, except from extrapolation and comparitive linguistics. Educated guesses. Peter1968 (talk) 15:56, 25 January 2008 (UTC)
Well, nobody also knows how Mayans, Etruscans, Phoenicians talked. Nodoby was there with a tape-recorder to record their speech. Nevertheless, we know how they speak from comparative linguistics. It's a science. Maybe the reconstruction isn't 100% correct, but I think it's much more than an educated guess. I mean, we've never been to Andromeda Galaxy, but we know (for su re) lots of things about it. --Gspinoza (talk) 16:41, 25 January 2008 (UTC)
The best indication of how Classical Latin was pronounced is probably how Latin names were transcribed into contemporary ancient Greek works. Caius Julius Caesar becomes Γάιος Ἰουλίος Καίσαρ, so we know his praenomen began with a g sound rather than a k sound, his nomen with a y rather than a j, and his cognomen with a k rather than an s or a ch sound. --Nicknack009 (talk) 18:56, 25 January 2008 (UTC)
Most latin medical terms are pronounce one way in Italy and in a completely different way in UK/US. Is there a wiki policy guideline on pronounciation as several pronounciations are anglosaxon guesses spoken that way in hospitals. That is still correct in a twisted way, right? (like US english) --Squidonius (talk) 19:24, 6 May 2008 (UTC)
Bit of an addition here- romance languages are descended (straight?) from Latin. That's how we know, too. Lunakeet 14:29, 29 May 2008 (UTC)
Just as we pronounce English words differently from place to place; just as we spell and define words varyingly over stretches of time (don't believe me? look in the OED for your choice of archaic and obsolete words or definitions which have fallen out of use); and, just as words, phrases, and gestures vary over broad distances and time spans: thus do we have reliable evidence that in no way do we "know" how exactly the Romans spoke their words. It would be highly presumptuous of any person living to claim to truly "know" such a complex aspect of language as pronunciation in regards to Latin or any ancient language. Thus far, science has yielded a great understanding of what Latin might have sounded like when spoken by a Roman. However, it is folly to believe that the subject is closed, leaving no room for improvement. Please consider that in the early nineteen hundreds, there was a belief among mathematicians that the field was near completion and was therefore finite. Not long afterwards, Gödel, as well as several other giants of the field, destroyed the possibility. And in recent years, there are hundreds of theorems proved each year, or thousands. Anyway, sorry it's so long. It just seems lacking in discretion and circumspection to believe that we've come to know everything about Latin's pronunciation. Let's make a realistic and honest agreement and get the "unanswered" tag off of this discussion. Thanks for reading. DeftHand (talk) 09:59, 17 June 2008 (UTC)
Okay, I'll have a stab at it. Everything you say about the way pronunciation changes from place to place and over time is true, but your supposition that this prevents us from reconstructing earlier pronunciation is not valid. You are, if you're a native English speaker, probably projecting the large disconnect between English spelling and pronunciation, itself an accident of peculiar history.
The Romans, on the other hand, had no concept of silent letters and we can see when they change pronunciation because spelling changes as well (for example, quom->quum->cum, equos->equus (and occasionally v. late ecus), etc. We can tell about what time ci/ti began being pronounced as they are in modern Italian because words like nuntio and dicit get misspelled as nuncio and ditit, respectively.
It's also worth pointing out that vowel sounds in Romance languages (except Romanian, owing to Russian influence) are quite stable, in some cases even more stable than consonants. So, to put it all in perspective, we can't say with absolute, 100% certainty exactly how the Romans would have pronounced things, but the margin of error there is about as much as saying that Napoleon existed. To have that be wrong an absolutely enormous amount of positive correlation would have to be due entirely to chance, and such a coincidence is far, far more unlikely than any other explanation so far proposed..
Also we know where they had diphthongs, etc. because of the metre in poetry.

One aspect of pronunciation that might be useful are the primary sources - the actual documents discussing linguistics and pronunciation by the actual Romans. Speech and oratory was finely disected, and any odd habits of diction or accent were punced upon. I'll see what I can turn up... Mdw0 (talk) 02:40, 27 August 2008 (UTC)

These arguments are all valid and to me quite interesting. You should know there is absolutely nothing new here; you are reinventing the wheel. However every new student of Latin must reinvent the wheel for himself. We do not inherit the knowledge of our society. The argument is, since Latin cannot be transcribed as spoken, how can we know how it was pronounced? I might add, even if it could be transcibed, how could we know how it was pronounced? The same may be argued of any language whatever. You might get more subtle and say, if you cannot know how it was pronounced you cannot presume it had any pronounciation. I admit we cannot know by evidence of the senses. I deny that we cannot know. On the contrary, there is method of discovering the unseen. It is called deduction. Reasoning from the vast body of Latin literature and inscriptions, and from the traces of Latin in other languages as data, it is possible to deduce the pronounciation of Latin at any given period for which there is adequate data. Latinists have been doing this deduction for centuries. As for the validity of deduction as a method of knowing, well, that is a somewhat larger topic. As for the authenticity of the data, that also is another topic. As to how this relates to WP, well, it is totally unncessary to prove what the pronounciation of Latin was. All you have to do is find the appropriate sources and follow them. We are not sending anyone out on a mission to discover the pronounciation of Latin, only on a mission to discover the discoveries of others. Metadiscovery is what we want.Dave (talk) 12:40, 27 June 2010 (UTC)

History

The History section needs significant expansion. RedRabbit1983 14:46, 21 July 2007 (UTC)

Problem paragraph

In his book Language for Everybody (1957), linguist Mario Pei showed the development of the language from what he said was the oldest sample of the language, the "Praenestine Fibula," from the 6th century BC. The inscription translates into English as "Manios made me for Numerius."

Can we make this about Latin instead of Mario Pei? RedRabbit1983 14:34, 24 July 2007 (UTC)

Hello?

Does anyone visit this talk page? If so, I'd like to extend my greetings and talk about the article. RedRabbit 11:11, 13 August 2007 (UTC)

Not many people, apparently, but I'm listening! Djnjwd 11:46, 13 August 2007 (UTC)
Good, good. I just wanted to raise certain points about the article.
The History section glosses over details and just describes broad facts (where Latin came from; what influenced it at first; and so forth). Although the section should be kept to appropriate length, the statements lose the reader's attention by their sheer randomness.
The Legacy section mostly covers material of little relevance to the general reader. Here is one example: Attempts to prohibit split infinitives, which do not exist in Latin, have been met with resistance from those who believe that occasional splitting of infinitives improves the clarity of English. The statement is, at best, peripheral to the subject of Latin, and only of any real interest in a trivia section.
The Education section has too many annoying one-sentence paragraphs, and it is boring to read.
How can we instigate some kind of improvement in the article? I've already copyedited certain sections, and I'm probably useless now. However, it is good to hear from another editor. I'm pleased to meet you. RedRabbit 16:45, 13 August 2007 (UTC)

RedRabbit, hi, I think the article suffers from having had its major content hived off into the more detailed articles (History of Latin, Classical Latin etc). The History section therefore can hard;y be much longer. However, I agree with you that the Legacy section contains a lot of apparently random stuff which should either be pruned or expanded into some sort of coherency.

Since the main content is now defaulting towards a consideration of the status/teaching of Latin country-by-country (which is interesting, and should be expanded), perhaps we ought to consider reforming the article on the following lines:

  1. Make the article an introduction to the subject with clear and ordered links to the more detailed articles
  2. One of which ought to be a new article devoted specifically to the status/teaching element
  3. Copyedit and expand the history bit, and edit and maybe prune the legacy bit
  4. Provide a decent bibliography
  5. Have a good look at all the external links
  6. Sort out all the "see also" section

leaving a straightforward orderly introduction without too much detail, as this would all be in the easy-to-follow-linked detailed articles.

Is this sort of what you had in mind yourself? Djnjwd 20:27, 13 August 2007 (UTC)

Yes, that would please me. RedRabbit 05:11, 14 August 2007 (UTC)
It's annoying how Institutionalized modernization and History are the same length.

Praeneste fibula

The Praenestine Fibula, one of the oldest samples of Latin, has an inscription that translates into English as "Manios made me for Numerius."
Manios med fhefhaked Numasioi
In classical Latin it would be rendered:
Manius me fecit Numerio
It would have appeared thus in Vulgar Latin of Italy in the 7th century A.D.
Maniu me fece per Numeriu
In modern Romance languages it would be:
Manio mi fece per Numerio (Italian)
Manio me hizo para Numerio (Spanish)
Manios me fit pour Numère (French)

I removed this text from the article. My understanding is that the consensus that the Praeneste fibula is a nineteenth century hoax, and not an authentic artifact of early Latin, is fairly well accepted at this point. - Smerdis of Tlön 17:12, 13 August 2007 (UTC)

Can we replace it with an authentic text? RedRabbit 17:29, 13 August 2007 (UTC)
The next closest text in time is the much more difficult Duenos inscription. But it isn't anywhere near as simple, and there is no single agreed on translation. - Smerdis of Tlön 18:34, 13 August 2007 (UTC)

Vocative

  1. Vocative: used when the noun is used in a direct address (usually of a person, but not always, as in O Tempora! O Mores!).

Surely these are not vocatives, and not direct address, but exclamations, and are accusative, although the endings don't make this obvious. Cicero was not addressing the times and the customs of the Romans (or of Catiline) but apostrophizing them. There is a similar construction in Virgil's 'O fortunatos nimium, sua si bona norint, agricolas' (Georgics II 458-9), and here the ending makes it obvious that the accusative is used.Impert 22:18, 20 August 2007 (UTC) Another example: 'me miseram' (Aeneid). Reference Latin, Gavin Betts, Hodder & Stoughton Teach Yourself Books,1986 —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Impert (talkcontribs) 22:30, August 20, 2007 (UTC).

Agree. There was probably some confusion over the O, which often comes before the vocative or the accusative. RedRabbit 03:53, 21 August 2007 (UTC)
Agree, obviously accusative. --BiT 04:12, 21 August 2007 (UTC)

TBA Belgium

Hi, I live in Belgium and I can tell you there is still latin education in secundary schools. I read our minister of education is planning to change the system by 2011.(De Morgen 01/09/2007 that is a newspaper :p)

Thomas271104 21:24, 3 September 2007 (UTC)

"If anyone wants tho go through and copy-edit the clunky wording, be my several-hour-long guest."

I did it. Leave a comment on my talk page to tell me what you think. David G Brault 04:09, 11 September 2007 (UTC)

I liked the previous version more, even though that clearly needed work. RedRabbit 05:42, 11 September 2007 (UTC)
I redid the introduction. RedRabbit 17:06, 27 September 2007 (UTC)

It's a big improvement on what was there before, esp. in the introduction; two points:

  • Shouldn't the "orthography" section be close to or a subsection of "grammar"
  • The "legacy" section should then be a more natural part of the "history"

at the moment, they are rather uneasily yoked together. Djnjwd 22:39, 27 September 2007 (UTC)

Good Article status being reassessed

Looking at the article in its current state, it appears that the good article criteria are not being met. Specifically, criteria 2 is the problem; this article is well below standard with regards to its level of referencing. There are no inline citations at all, and many places seem to beg for them. If you would like to see this article brought back up to GA standards, please join the discussion at good article reassessment --Jayron32|talk|contribs 04:08, 25 September 2007 (UTC)

The article has now been delisted. The discussion is linked from the article history. Good luck improving the article. Geometry guy 21:00, 14 October 2007 (UTC)

Two words for black/white

Over in this article, a lot is made of Hungarian having two basic words for red, where one isn't a variant of the other. Would Latin with ater and niger for black and albus and candidus for white be in the same boat? If so, do you think something could be added to the article to illustrate this? Peter1968 14:18, 3 October 2007 (UTC)

Yes, I do think the two languages are alike in this respect; but no, I don't think it is worthy of comment. RedRabbit 14:25, 19 October 2007 (UTC)
It could be relevant on a related article though. I'll have a search Delvin Kelvin (talk) 06:29, 14 January 2008 (UTC)

Question

Anyone know what petarum means? I just can't find out for the life of me what the meaning of this word is. Deacon of Pndapetzim (Talk) 10:17, 22 January 2008 (UTC)

Actually, I think I worked it out. It seems to mean peat or peatland. The authors of Medieval Latin Word-List from British and Irish Sources appear to have missed it. Deacon of Pndapetzim (Talk) 11:00, 22 January 2008 (UTC)
Could it be a contract form for "poetarum" (of the poets)? --Gspinoza (talk) 15:48, 28 January 2008 (UTC)

he is write and yes —Preceding unsigned comment added by 68.35.10.48 (talk) 02:52, 16 March 2010 (UTC)

Modern Uses

I'd like to remove the following from the Modern Uses section:

Spells in the Harry Potter series are sometimes made from Latin words. For example, accio, the Summoning Charm, is Latin for "I summon".

While an interesting fact to some, it seems to be more appropriate for a "trivia" section or a "uses in popular culture" section rather then as an example of a modern use of Latin. Dpes anyone have any objections? --Xaraphim (talk) 21:05, 30 January 2008 (UTC)

Agreed. Popular culture trivia cruft like this gives me the vapors. Mlouns (talk) 21:12, 30 January 2008 (UTC)
Agreed x2. While it doesn't quite give me the vapors, there is enough of this sort of trivia on Wikipedia now (Roadrunner vs Coyote, pseudo-Latin binomial nomenclature anyone? Peter1968 (talk) 22:49, 30 January 2008 (UTC)
I've removed the comment. If someone has a desire to add it again, may I suggest putting it in the Harry Potter article or discuss the idea of having a trivia section in the article on this talk page. --Xaraphim (talk) 05:22, 31 January 2008 (UTC)
By all means, mention it in the Harry Potter article. But I do hope that this article can remain without a blinkin' blankin' Trivia section. Mlouns (talk) 05:45, 31 January 2008 (UTC)

I removed the Harry Potter reference that was re-added today per the previous discussion here. However, would it not be noteable to mention in general the magic spells in television today are almost always said in Latin? Maybe this can be mentioned and if needed, then give a couple of examples of tv shows/films such as Harry Potter. I do think that is noteable for modern usage since it's such a wide spread thing. Kman543210 (talk) 21:50, 16 May 2008 (UTC)

Q

Why does this article get vandalized so much? Balonkey (talk) 01:59, 14 March 2008 (UTC)

My theory is that Latin, taken in schools, is, while fulfilling sometimes when you're in the mood for it, is a source of terrible frustration at other times. David G Brault (talk) 02:37, 14 March 2008 (UTC)

I think that is a terrible theory. No offense, i'm not flaming you or anything. I just feel that that is not why this article is so often vandalized. I feel that is due to its likeliness to pop-up on any search for a Latin information article. This leads to an abundance of yahoos who think the know what they aretalkinga bout typing random junk that is not useful.--HermXIV (talk) 18:39, 3 April 2008 (UTC)

Medieval

Is anyone besides me confused by the multitude of dialects as well as corruption of medieval, or church, Latin? --HermXIV (talk) 18:39, 3 April 2008 (UTC)

?

it states that latin was spoken by the romans during the roman republic and roman empire what about during the roman kingdom did they not speak latin than?

Also i see italian is the closest to latin, funny i always thought listening to latin spoken than here any of the romance languages spoken i always though french was the closest thing.--Wikiscribe (talk) 03:49, 16 April 2008 (UTC)

Fixed the non italicized latin text in the Nouns section, and put them all "definition" "translation" for ease of understanding. The rest of it needs going over by a dedicated editor for awhile to get it all right or at least consistent though. 98.209.100.83 (talk) 00:01, 19 April 2008 (UTC)

Case ending example

I've commented this part out as these examples are given far more exhaustive treatment in the Latin declension article. Peter1968 (talk) 22:18, 6 May 2008 (UTC)

I've gone ahead and removed it, since nobody objected to me commenting it out. Peter1968 (talk) 03:45, 10 May 2008 (UTC)

Need article?

Why does French Wikipedia have the article fr:Roman (langue), yet there's only one interwiki, to the Italian WP? Do we need an article on this? Badagnani (talk) 02:07, 8 May 2008 (UTC)

How is this extinct if people still speak it?

Is it because it's a different dialect (sort of...) now?

Lunakeet 14:31, 29 May 2008 (UTC)

Hi Lunakeet. I think that your question is valid and important, and I would like to give you my opinion. I shall do so, though I think the discussion page is not truly the Forum Romanum (pun?) through which you should seek the answer. These pages are meant to discuss the article and its improvement; they are not meant for instruction.

Re: your question: Latin is not extinct; well, sort of. The Latin taught in schools is the heritage passed down by the original speakers and writers of Latin. We have the primary tools for learning, understanding, and utilizing Latin much as the Romans did. We also have the benefit of more interconnected Latin scholars, and more comprehensive linguistic histories than did the Latin experts of the Middle Ages, etc. People can speak it because they can approximate the soundings of Latin diphthongs, vowels, consonants, stresses, and their combination. The terms "dead" and "extinct" when said of Latin are, to me, similar to the term "imaginary" when applied to numbers. These are misnomers which have been appended to the detriment of understanding and appreciation. Many times I've told people of my interest and studies in Latin; just as many times the question arises, "But Latin's dead. What are you going to do with that?" Latin is, by my estimation, alive in every language that owes it a vocabulary (Romantic, that is). And pronouncing it "dead" or "extinct" is just a fool's way of dismissing something that can unlock meaning and understanding of the Romantic languages. (Mind, by no means do I call you a fool. Latin has long been damned by those who never took it, both educated and ignorant; those who never applied it; and who believe its uses limited at best. This, among many other reasons, has cast a shadow over its instruction; sadly, this estimation is now part of our Latin heritage. The disdain of Latin is commonplace, and common knowledge. It has bred the "useless" and "extinct" rhetoric which you blamelessly apply in your question.) Please don't take my opinion as fact. I have cited no facts because I give you none. But it's hard to call a tool broken when it's a little rusty. Will Latin ever be spoken again by large groups of people, as it was two thousand years ago? I certainly doubt it. But I argue against the terms "extinct" or "dead," because that would mean gone forever. Right? DeftHand (talk) 10:58, 17 June 2008 (UTC)

I think it's referred to as a dead language because of the lack of native speakers — people who grew up in Latin-speaking communities, learning to speak it as their first language, and so on. If so that might explain it, I think Vatican City is the only state that uses it as a matter of course. Does that make sense? --tiny plastic Grey Knight 12:48, 17 June 2008 (UTC)
Most people in Vatican City speak Italian. Even mass in St. Peter's Basilica isn't held in Latin these days. Now, I'm by no means a fan of the Catholic Church, but it's sad that even they have come this. Btw, I started a new discussion below (about extinction), before I saw this one. Please contribute, or I might start thinking about changing the wording of the article.--Alexlykke (talk) 11:18, 14 December 2008 (UTC)

Capitalisation

Is there a definitive rule on capitalisation of titles, such as aedile, questor, censor etc. I know its traditional in English to capitalise Senate, so does that translate across to capitalising Senator? Mdw0 (talk) 00:54, 22 August 2008 (UTC)

No, not in classical or archaic latin. Although what we now call 'miniscule' (i.e. lowercase) forms evolved in 8th century, they would not have been combined with uppercase forms within a document until much, much later, long after the decline of Vernacular latin. In fact, in classical and earlier texts, there would usually not even be spaces in between words, and it was usually necessary to read a passage aloud to understand it. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 96.245.223.207 (talk) 01:18, 15 December 2008 (UTC)

Extinct language?

I am a latinist, and as much as I always like to tell people that Latin lives on to a very high degree, I cannot defend that Latin is not an extinct language. A lot of people know the language, some know it very well, good enough for long, fluent discourses even, but it is not the mother tongue of anyone. Therefore, although still a language in use, it is by definition extinct. Counter arguments? --Alexlykke (talk) 11:11, 14 December 2008 (UTC)

I must confess I am surprised that Latin is spoken! However I do not challenge you!

Can you tell me if the words "yes" and "no" occur in Latin? I don't remember them at school (a long time ago!) I understand the words do not exist in Irish.Osborne 09:35, 23 December 2008 (UTC)

And btw, the words 'yes' and 'no' do in fact not exist in latin, and interestingly, they probably didn't exist in Old Norse either. To me, on the fly, it would seem that the evolution of these words is a later development. As far as I can remember, an ancient Roman could say "sic" 'thus, in that way' as kind of an equivalent to 'yes'. I also know that "non" meaning 'not' has evolved into 'no' in at least French.--Alexlykke (talk) 10:28, 14 September 2009 (UTC)
"Yes" and "No" do exist in Latin. "Yes" is "Ita vero" or sometimes just "Vero," and "No" is "Minime." I took Latin for 3 and a half years as my foreign language class. The Mysterious El Willstro (talk) 02:11, 14 April 2010 (UTC)
As a spoken language it is dying. You don't speak it much beyond repeating things already made like songs and certain lines "Alea iacta est" is the only one i know outside of legal crap. As a written language it probably will never die; as long as the Catholics still like to use the language of the people that killed the savior and a lot of the other people.--Ssteiner209 (talk) 22:34, 23 December 2008 (UTC)
It is funny how people promote their narrow, local experience as an universal truth. Mamurra (talk) 14:40, 27 December 2008 (UTC)
Local? That was an insult to me... don't break rules child.--Ssteiner209 (talk) 02:34, 28 December 2008 (UTC)
"You don't speak it much beyond repeating things already made" etc. was incredibly stupid thing to write, grandpa. Mamurra (talk) 11:59, 28 December 2008 (UTC)
So my latin teacher (teacher in my Qualty time thing) lied... well ikt wouldn't be a surprise she's insane and thinks she was abducted by aliens; or time travel i don't know which :D.--Ssteiner209 (talk) 16:11, 28 December 2008 (UTC)
You Latin teacher simply didn't command the language well enough to speak, thus found herself such an excuse. So yes, she, kinda, "lied", it seems. Mamurra (talk) 11:50, 5 January 2009 (UTC)
Bicker all you like, people, just don't bring religion in here! I am trying to have an academic discussion. --Alexlykke (talk) 10:30, 14 September 2009 (UTC)

Right, but you aren't actually debating the issue at hand. --Alexlykke (talk) 11:32, 8 January 2009 (UTC)

"Regulated by: Opus Fundatum Latinitas"

I take issue with the claim that Latin is regulated by the Opus Fundatum Latinitas, an arm of the Catholic Church. In the first place, neither the Holy See nor the other institutions of the Church use Latin in daily use, so its claim to be the sole living authority on the matter is rather dubious. Secondly, the Opus Fundatum Latinitas is not (to my knowledge, at least) recognized by by the American Classical League, the American Philological Society, nor the Philological Society of the UK, whose members are arguably responsible for the most English-language teaching of Latin in the world. Lastly, almost no one bothers to teach the Ecclesiastical Latin modes still used by the Vatican on those rare occasions when they use Latin at all, preferring instead to instruct students in classical Latin, almost always with strictly Classical pronunciation, and this is true even of Catholic secondary schools and universities. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 96.245.223.207 (talk) 01:34, 15 December 2008 (UTC)

I second that. I've been studying latin in Norway, and the Latin taught here has nothing to do with the Catholic church and has its roots in academic tradition, not religious.--Alexlykke (talk) 12:08, 16 December 2008 (UTC)

As I read it, the infobox says that it's regulated by that organization with respect to its official status in the Vatican city, which happens to be the only location in the world where Latin has official status. AnonMoos (talk) 08:26, 6 January 2009 (UTC)

If that's the case, someone with wiki-voodoo skills should fix the info box to make it less ambiguous. It ought to divide the section into two columns, one listing the locations where it has official status and one listing the regulatory authorities (if any, for the case of e.g. English) for each location. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 96.245.223.207 (talk) 23:42, 15 January 2009 (UTC)
There is no official status of any Latin anywhere. I took the infobox note even further by putting in "None". And you are right, ecclesiastical Latin was over-emphasized, but this is an heirloom. When I was young and all priests knew Latin fairly well and spoke it at least in church contexts the priest was a major figure in Latin studies and worth a few oohs and ahs in Latin courses. A former friend of mine, a classicist (now a retired professor) once said of the required Latin exam "I can't compete with any priest." I got no doubt he can't remember that any better than his friends, but the purpose of the church is not to further Latin studies, Latin is going out even there, and one should maintain a balanced view of ecclesiastical Latin. I guess I've become a phil-Hellenist, balance and the golden mean seem best to me now, so don;t get too excited about this issue.Dave (talk) 02:47, 19 September 2009 (UTC)

Origin of the word limen

I wondered if there was an editor who could add some insight into the origin of the word limen. The oxford english dictionary entry describes the origin of the word from psychology, via the german word schwelle, meaning threshold. But there is also a latin word limen, that also means threshold. The psychological meaning has come to dominate things today, but this wasn't always the case. The problem is, how to describe this in the wikipedia entry. People want to find the origin of the word, but in a sense, the word has two origins, one from psychology, and one from latin that does not have any psychological meaning. I am struggling to see how this latter meaning has any relevance left today. But I think it is important to note that psychology alone might not account for the meaning it gives our words today. There is a brief discussion I left here last May. —Fred114 21:00, 2 January 2009 (UTC)

Fred, what the OED means is that limen was used as a translation of German-language psychological and psychoanalytic texts of schwelle (the word for it is calque). This is actually fairly common for terms in early psychological literature, as the writings of Freud and Jung, among others, contained a lot of technical uses of common words. In German, they are distinguished by making them abstract nouns (which always use an article), such as Das Ich, das Es, das Über-Ich, and die Schwelle. In translations of the work into other languages that more often use Latin roots for technical words, the German terms are translated into Latin, and we end up with ego, id, super-ego, and limen. So when the OED says the origin of the word is the psychological jargon use of Schwelle, it's entirely true, but you have to have some understanding of how these things work to get what the dictionary is telling you. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 96.245.223.207 (talk) 06:25, 3 January 2009 (UTC)
So you're suggesting any redundant meaning of the word limen that lay with the Romans can't be recaptured today. Its use in psychological jargon is the predominant place today because technical literature relied on Latin. Therefore the dictionary is itself complicit (why wouldn't it be?) in maintaining that catagorical meaning in use today. IS that how it works? —Fred114 08:14, 3 January 2009 (UTC)
Obviously, limen was an ordinary everyday word for an ordinary everyday object for the Romans, while in the English language it's a somewhat obscure and highly technicalistic specialized jargon word (I certainly never heard of it until now, though I knew both the original Latin word, and the English adjective "liminal"). Most of the time, dictionaries can't be blamed for recording facts of usage, and since this word is only used within a narrow academic sub-area, it's not even really authoritatively defined by the dictionary anyway -- its meaning is actually whatever the professionals in the field say that it's meaning is... AnonMoos (talk) 08:16, 6 January 2009 (UTC)
I believe we should include the non-psychological sense, that being derived from the Romans. We can just start using the word in a non-technical sense. Arguably wikipedia might be the place for forging the meaning of a 'new' word, but I'm not really interested in the purpose of wikipedia. I'm sure it is possible to find the word 'limen' used today with the meaning of the Romans. Where would you start? —Fred114 19:13, 6 January 2009 (UTC)
I'm not sure what you're asking here when you say "we should include the non-psychological sense". The article for liminality (to which limen redirects) explains that it's from Latin limen, meaning threshold. Any movement to bring back limen in English to mean "threshold" in a general sense is likely to fail, as the use of the word threshold has declined with the existence of the thing it describes, a wood plank to keep loose flooring inside a house.
English is English and Latin is Latin. AnonMoos (talk) 19:52, 6 January 2009 (UTC)
True, but all languages are related. Makewater (talk) 23:05, 27 April 2009 (UTC)

Is this link of any help to you: limen

Renaissance "Paradox"

Why is it "paradoxical" that the Renaissance caused an upsurge of Latin usage? As I am sure you are aware, the Renaissance refers to the rebirth of classical cultural ideas, literature, etc. Latin, the language of the classical Romans, is obviously key to this concept. I would say that, rather than being paradoxical, the Renaissance depended upon the study of Latin, and the study of Latin is involved in the definition of the Renaissance. Perhaps someone was misconstruing the Renaissance as simply "modernization," and therefore opposed to Latin, an ancient and therefore "not modern" language? Just a thought, but I don't think we should keep the paradox phrase. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 140.180.10.22 (talk) 04:28, 14 January 2009 (UTC)

Dead Language?

I would like to know why it is so hard to learn latin-I am aware that its a dead language, but don't you think we should bring it back? The language has been in constant use for centuries and then, when it became the twentieth century, its considered unfashionable or something? I am merely a child but I already firmly believe that we should not have let Latin slip into our past, unforgotten under a pile of dust. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 154.5.189.155 (talk) 02:22, 2 February 2009 (UTC)

People have actually done a pretty good job of not letting Latin "die out" like so many other languages in our history. It's still the official language of Vatican City, and many scholars in the fields of history and Christianity are quite proficient in its use.
Unfortunately we don't really have much control over what languages "die out" and what languages become "trendy". Languages are constantly evolving on their own accord: they mix with other languages or just alter themselves over time through gradual changes in how people speak, and over longer periods of time these changes can become very pronounced. Consider that it has been over 1500 years since the Roman Empire dominated Europe, yet the language has not been completely forgotten like so many Indian languages and less popular liturgical and scholarly languages. – Novem Lingvae (talk) 07:04, 2 February 2009 (UTC)
Also, looking at it another way, Latin left its legacy through all the Romance languages that branched off from it between the days of the Roman Empire and today. You realize that Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, French, and Romanian all used to be Vulgar Latin, and over the course of many centuries have evolved into their own languages? Like I said, it's not so much that there's some central committee that decides what languages stay and what languages go. It's really a very natural and unconscious process of regionalization that we have very little active control over.
If I were you, I would seriously consider taking some Latin classes or self-studying it from a language textbook. It sounds like something you're interested in and passionate about. You may also want to hit up linguistics... an entire academic field whose purpose is to analyze the world's diverse languages and understand similarities and differences between them. – Novem Lingvae (talk) 07:11, 2 February 2009 (UTC)
There are some pretty good courses at a few universities.Makewater (talk) 20:12, 6 April 2009 (UTC)
He/she is probably too young for the courses and unless lucky one cannot take it in grade or high school. How motivated are you, son/daughter? Get you parents to looking for Winnie ille Pu and a first-year high school Latin book, which you might be able to get through if well-motivated. Certainly, follow the dream, you won't regret it.Dave (talk) 02:27, 19 September 2009 (UTC)

External Links Need Cleanup

I removed the link to the online paper ephemeris as it is now a spam website. 71.64.155.42 (talk) 21:18, 2 June 2009 (UTC)

Canes pugnaces

Hi, can some of you chime in on this Latin phrase Canes pugnaces, they are trying to #Redirect/delete it to the a similar English translation Dogs in warfare. See the talk page here: Talk:Canes_pugnaces. Thank you. Green Squares (talk) 13:01, 7 June 2009 (UTC)

It seems to be already done, so you lost. Dogs in warfare seems preferable to me because the article covers (in theory) all dogs in all warfare of all times and all cultures, not just Latin ones. I suggest, if you want an article only on the pugnacious Latin dogs and you have enough materal, open the redirect page, start a new article and put a main article template in the other one. Do you have enough material? If not it seems to me better to let the sleeping pugnacious dogs lie. Ding dong (my chimes).Dave (talk) 02:20, 19 September 2009 (UTC)

WikiProject Latin Proposal

Hi, I have proposed a WikiProject Latin for all Latin based articles but haven't had much of a response yet, I was wandering what views you had, the proposals page is here: Wikipedia:WikiProject Council/Proposals/Latin. 95jb14 (talk) 18:52, 11 August 2009 (UTC)

I propose we clean up all the Latin articles which at the moment are in a terrble state of inaccuracy, guess work and bad formatting. Can some editors who went past the 8th grade volunteer?Dave (talk) 02:58, 19 September 2009 (UTC)

The Wikipedia Game

I have invented a game. Go to a random article on Wiki, then continue clicking on the first link of each page (not inc. disambig) until you get back to 'Latin'. It always gets back suprisingly quickly, and has not failed yet! (192.88.212.44 (talk) 08:30, 21 August 2009 (UTC))

Well that is interesting, 44. I never did agree with the removal of Latin from the curriculum of most public secondary schools. I hope Wikipedia will get us back to it.Dave (talk) 13:13, 17 September 2009 (UTC)

Removed paragraph

The linguistic element of Latin courses offered in secondary schools and in universities is primarily geared toward an ability to translate Latin texts into modern languages, rather than using the language for the purpose of oral communication, as many modern concepts, such as those encountered in technology, have no accepted modern linguistic equivalents, and no formal organization for adopting new words. Thus the skills of reading and writing are heavily emphasized, while speaking and listening skills are de-emphasized (usually passively, through omission). This paragraph is essay material - it is entirely opinion - the editor's explanation - and lacks a reference. The rest of it relies heavily on links and therefore seems not to need special citations.Dave (talk) 04:23, 17 September 2009 (UTC)

Incomprehensible paragraph

This approach to learning the language assists speculative insight into how ancient authors spoke and incorporated sounds of the language stylistically; patterns in Latin poetry and literature can be difficult to identify without an understanding of the sounds of words. This is the editor's opinion of what living Latin does for you and I must say it seems too abstract to have any meaning. I can't read it with a college education. What is an understanding of the sounds of words? Do you mean, unsderstand what the sound means? But how can you use any language whatever without that understanding? If that is what it means there is no need to say it: "you can't understand Latin without knowing what the sounds mean" is not an encyclopedic statement. Come up with some verified opinions of credible persons or don't bother; we already know 2 + 2 = 4.Dave (talk) 04:36, 17 September 2009 (UTC)

Another removed paragraph

Of the Romance languages, Italian is the most conservative descendant of Latin in terms of vocabulary,[1] and Sardinian is the most conservative in terms of phonology.[2]

What's wrong with this paragraph? Well, as prelude, statements such as these have been contentious for decades if not centuries. Some say Spanish is closer, some say Italian, other single out some of the minor Romance languages, etc etc. What, has the issue suddenly been settled by Wikipedia unknown to the rest of us? Don't get your hopes up. Ethnologue is supposed to have made the first assertion. However, it fails the Internet test - Ethnologue is on Internet, you know. If Grimes made any such statement, there is no page number, no url, no quote, nothing to lead us to what the editor actually read. This statement is improperly referenced and that reference is totally useless. So, it is in effect unreferenced. Even if it were referenced, there is no statement denoting the fact that this would be the author's opinion and that opinion is one of many. Now, for the second statement. All right, the editor gives a good reference citing one example of how a sound lost in Latin has survived in Sardinian. Good work. But, let's look at the conclusion: Sardinian is the most conservative in terms of phonology. Where does the source say that? Conserving many archaic features does not equal the most conservative in terms of phonology. So in fact the big conclusion is unreferenced and the reference references something else unstated. I don't know what to do with it so I took it out. If something goes back in, we need: 1) a disclaimer pointing out the contoversial nature of such statement and identifiers of personal opinions of the authors 2) a little expansion giving a few opinions.Dave (talk) 13:10, 17 September 2009 (UTC)

Sentence on prehistoric Latin

In the 9th or 8th century BC, the Italic languages were brought to the Italian peninsula by migrating tribes, and the dialect spoken in Latium around the River Tiber, where Roman civilization would develop, evolved into Latin.

Yes, which is why the entire first paragraph (based on very outdated linguistic theories, is wrong as to Latin being the ancestral language. See Soren Paliga's work (he's very modest in his claims, read some of the scholarly articles he is either relying on or refuting as well, his bibliographies are great.--LeValley 04:51, 8 May 2010 (UTC)

I removed this sentence because it is totally unsubstantiated. Over the decades and centuries there have been a good many theories of how the Italics got to Italy. In fact, as far as Italian prehistory is concerned, it is and has been a major issue. No theories and no authotities are cited here. This is nothing you can guess at off the top of your head. You need some authorities. As far as the tribes migrating in the 8th or 9th century is concerned, the probability of that being true is quite low. See under Latial culture. The immediate ancestors of the historical tribes must long since have been in place, though the exact forms of their languages remain a mystery. If you could prove something definitive on that topic you would have a tough time deciding which offer from a famous university you wanted to accept. So, I replaced this sentence. As I am not presenting a theory no ref is required.Dave (talk) 19:12, 17 September 2009 (UTC)

Actually, quite a bit is known about pre-historic Italy and the distribution of populations within it (See Cavalli-Sforza's work, and more recently, the large number of articles on Italian genetic markers - the work around Venice gives one genetic snapshot, villages in the alpine regions another, and the southern part of the peninsula yet another view - all of these people coming in at fairly well known times. Anyway, Colin Renfrew would be a good source - there are several other scholars, would be better than guessing.--LeValley 04:51, 8 May 2010 (UTC)

The removed adoption of Latin by the church

and this survival was reinforced by the adoption of Latin by the Catholic Church. In this milieu, it survived as a mother tongue at least into the second millennium A.D. and is referred to as Medieval Latin.

This is what I call history by guess and seems to be especially characteristic of Wikipedia, where sophomores are perpetually fluttering out of the nest. Better not to guess, better to have nothing than something guessed, which is nearly always wrong. As for the fluttering, well, flutterers should expect to fall. If you should get right we would call it prophecy, but never fear, there are no prophets around here. Why should the church adopt Latin when it was already speaking Latin? It started doing the rites in Latin when everyone spoke Latin and never stopped. The issue was whether it should switch to the vernacular not whether it should adopt Latin. And I got no idea what you mean by surviving as the mother tongue. Mother of what? Where? What would you mean by surviving not as the mother tongue? In this milieu? Does that mean it was spoken only in the church? Or was there some other milieu? What is milieu in this context anyway? Never guess, do the work, don't try to be smart, be truthful instead.Dave (talk) 02:06, 19 September 2009 (UTC)

A Canticle for Leibowitz has quite a bit of Latin in it. Sic transit mundus... 192.12.88.7 (talk) 04:30, 13 October 2009 (UTC)

Legacy?

This section seems unclear to me. Especially the fourth paragraph. The paragraph starts by telling us that modern Romance languages have been used to reconstruct Vulgar Latin. What follows that, however, doesn't explain at all how they relate to stress.

``For example, the Romance languages have distinctive stress on certain syllables, whereas Latin had this feature in addition to distinctive length of vowels.

True, but so what? Latin has the feature (sic) of distinctive stress on certain syllables? Even if true (though I thought Latin was quantity sensitive, and so stress was NON-distinctive) it doesn't tell us anything about how modern languages inherited a putative Vulgar Latin stress system.

The implication is, vulgar Latin did not recognize vowel length and therefore it played no part in where the stress went. You have to know Latin to understand it. Whether this is true or not I do not know; moreover, that part is unreferenced. I have not decided what to do. If it stays it should have a reference but frankly I found this method of statement by implication rather tortuous. If it is true I don't want to be removing good material from the article, although detailed material should go under Vulgar Latin.Dave (talk) 03:18, 19 September 2009 (UTC)

The paragraph continues:

``In Italian and Sardo logudorese, there is distinctive length of consonants as well as stress; in Spanish and Portuguese, only distinctive stress; while in French length (for most speakers) and stress are no longer distinctive. Another major distinction between Romance and Latin is that all Romance languages, excluding Romanian, have lost grammatical case[3].

This is all nice, but it is totally unclear (to me at least) how this helps reconstruct Vulgar Latin. By the last sentence, I am led to understand that the paragraph is just about differences between Latin and Modern Romance. A real wreck. Its a shame too because Vulgar Latin is fascinating. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 76.123.61.136 (talk) 21:36, 10 December 2008 (UTC)

Well, this point is hard to refute. The implications and purpose there remain totally obscure to me too even though I'm more skilled at figuring things out than is good for me. Tell you what I'm a gonna do. I'm commenting that statement out and if anyone wants to abide in it they can provide us with a reference and more explanation.Dave (talk) 03:18, 19 September 2009 (UTC)

I'm not sure why 'excluding Romanian' has been removed from the text covering the loss of grammatic case in romance languages. Do we have a Limba Romana hater out there? Romanian clearly exhibits grammatical case in its noun morphology. Om (man) becomes omului in the genative and dative...Am dat bani omului - I gave money to the man. In other words, don't delete 'excluding Romanian' unless you are fluent in Romanian and can explain how it does not have grammatical case on this talk page. The ref for this paragraph is a broken link, by the way..looking for a new source. If you find one that says no modern romance languages have grammatical case - its bad info. Limba Româna e marfa! Cmhood (talk) 23:51, 3 May 2009 (UTC)

Finished edit

Good? How did this ever get to be a good article? As its bad quality was something of an impediment to further work I wanted to do, I gave it a heavy edit, which I just finished. That is not to say everything wrong with it has been fixed or that it could not be improved. Vale.Dave (talk) 12:54, 19 September 2009 (UTC)

WikiProject

Hi, I recently created a WikiProject Latin, designed to cover Latin language literature, poets, writters, historians, images etc. and I was hoping someone could join. We currently have three members. The link is here: WikiProject Latin. 95jb14 (talk) 14:41, 7 October 2009 (UTC), Elected First Member of the Project.

GA review

Please review WP:Good article criteria before nominating an article for GA. This article is clearly deficient in all three main criteria. It has almost no references, and vast sections go completely unsourced. While the history content is good, it is significantly lacking in every other section, Although the information is somewhat covered in the subarticles, the main article should use WP:Summary style. It also needs thorough copyediting; some errors I quickly noticed are the use of first person and choppy sentences. Although this is a big task, I encourage you to work on expanding and referencing the article to eventually be of GA quality. After starting off, I suggest taking it to WP:PR. Reywas92Talk 23:28, 17 October 2009 (UTC)

Thank you for your excellent review and summary of the ways in which to improve this article. It gives us something to shoot for and some defense of the changes we experienced editors know have to be made. Thank you previous editors for putting this material in place. Now it is time to move on. This huge task (for one individual) will involve fixing all the other articles referenced by this one so that the proper thing can be said in this one. Latin is quite an important topic in understanding our vast neo-Romance civilization and I for one would like to get it as right as we can. Thank you, and on with the show.Dave (talk) 09:50, 23 October 2009 (UTC)

Numerals merger discussion

Thread 1

This is the discussion on the merger of the numerals article with this article. I would have liked to see some initial statement by the editor who placed the template. No matter, thank you for making the suggestion. Let's consider it now. First, there is no article. As the template points out there is a good Wiktionary write-up - too good as I see it. That material belongs in a Wikipedia article, which means it must be REMOVED from Wiktionary. If it is not removed, then forget it, there is no basis for a merger. Merge with what? There is nothing to merge with. All we need is a Wiktionary reference. Second, as to whether there is room for that material in this article, there definitely IS NOT. So we are talking about creating a new numerals article and referencing it from a numeral section here. Does everyone understand that? Opinions?Dave (talk) 10:01, 23 October 2009 (UTC)

Thread 2

I just noticed numerals are covered under Latin declension. I propose we take this merger request out of here and put it under Latin declension.Dave (talk) 10:24, 23 October 2009 (UTC)

Deletion

The article has been deleted, you can still see the history though, I have preserved the text on my talk page. This was hardly an article and was more like a text book summary, it should be noted taht the user has also created an article that is up for deletion. 95jb14 (talk) 16:50, 23 October 2009 (UTC).

You are not currently logged in —Preceding unsigned comment added by 221.233.94.20 (talk) 13:41, 24 October 2009 (UTC)

I just noticed there appears to be a good article on Roman numerals. Between Roman numerals and Latin declension and Wictionary this topic is pretty well covered. I don't see any need for a distinct numbers article, do you? I hereby propose we take the tag out of here forthwith. However, as a condition for doing so, I propose we put links to each other at the appropriate places in those articles.Dave (talk) 11:31, 28 October 2009 (UTC) PS. I suppose in theory one could create a super numbers article containing the info from all three places. That is not, however, how the cookie crumbled on Wikipedia. We generally build on what went before unless that latter is so inappropriate that you can't build on it. Then you remove it and start over. We already started over. If the current track is acceptable, why change it? Moreover there is the problem of who would write such a super article. It would take some time I do believe. We don't have that many skilled man-hours available for these specialized articles. So if nothing else turns up soon on this matter, let's delete the tag, put in the links and close the matter.Dave (talk) 11:40, 28 October 2009 (UTC)

Pronounciation section

I looked this over carefully to see what could be placed in the main article. The main article is somewhat more technical linguistically and is quite long already. I think this section in this article is better off here really. It represents a simpler overview of the topic and could go in the other article as a first section entitled "Overview", "Summary" or some such thing but really from the point of view of level is better here as an introduction to the main. That is what I think anyway; it is not the case of duplicated material but of an introductory level and a technical level.Dave (talk) 05:36, 1 November 2009 (UTC)

History sections

We have this period outline in three or four articles; not this exactly, but ones like it. I puzzled over this every which way and finally concluded that some such outline really does belong here as an introduction. So I left what there is. It does not duplicate the other articles but introduces the material of the main articles. I went with the material already in place, as it seems good, so some parts of the outline are short and some long. The fact that much of this was written as introductions makes it difficult to offload from it - but maybe the the technical grammar parts will be conveniently offloadable.Dave (talk) 05:36, 1 November 2009 (UTC)

A Mistake

The articles states: "Latin languages such as Catalan, French, Italian, Portuguese, Romanian, and Spanish are descended from Greek Language"

Although it is true that those languages contain a lot of Greek influences, they descend from Latin (Lingua Latina) not Greek, I am taking the freedom of fixing that. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 91.85.133.251 (talk) 18:40, 11 November 2009 (UTC)

So debatable...all of those languages were influenced by the language of Rome - but just as in other areas of historic linguistics, the picture is much more complex than mere descent.--LeValley 04:54, 8 May 2010 (UTC)
Mr. LeValley. Is that a real user page? Never mind I am not even going to check. WP wants you to use the 4 tildes, which puts in the information and the link so we do not have to be looking up user pages. As for the topic there is nothing at all debatable about it. Sorry. They are NOT descended from Greek. Quit wasting our space. Thanks.Dave (talk) 21:19, 24 June 2010 (UTC)

Native name

Two things about the native name given here - lingua lătīna. First, it would look clearer without the breve and the macron. There is an IPA transcription, which shows what vowel is short and what is long. A reader who is not acquainted with the ways of marking long and short vowels in a Latin text may assume that the diacritical signs are obligatory. And second, doesn't Latin capitalise names of languages? Vicipaedia contains articles such as la:Lingua Latina, la:Lingua Anglica, la:Lingua Francogallica, la:Lingua Casmirica, etc. --62.204.152.181 (talk) 00:43, 12 December 2009 (UTC)

Firstly, surely an IPA transliteration would be more difficult for the average reader to understand that a latin based text, perhaps if it were on the chinese wikipedia then yes but it does not need to replace this, if you feel you can add one the go ahead. Secondly, the macrons are not obligatory, whether or not people feel they are is down to them but then we can't write français for french can we if we took away the accents on other languages too? The macrons demonstrate how the language was pronounced traditionally whilst still using the traditional translation. This was done then and is done now. Finally, Latin words were entirely capitalised, so it is hard to say for certain whether or not the first letters were capitalised. 95jb14 (talk) 18:44, 14 December 2009 (UTC).
Hello, hello! My goodness we are so precise nowadays. The Romans had no such degree of precision. The reply is correct - this wonderful upper and lower case script we have is entirely post-classical and post-Roman. So, we can't get correct and precise about that by Roman standards. The reply is also correct that we are representing spoken language by this modern lower-case script. What do you think? Is it worth adding the fine points of the lengths of vowels? Latin students get to see the marks for at least the first three or four years. By then you are expected to know them and can place them yourself. Consequently the printed texts of Roman literature in non-student editions generally leave them off. An analogy is the pointing in Hebrew. As far as what is done on the Latin Wikipedia, those conventions are not ancient Latin. They are modern. Ancient Latin had but few writing conventions and lower case was not one of them. Maybe they used a blank or a dot to separate words, maybe not. Maybe they abbreviated commonly known words, maybe not. So, whatever you argue it cannot be on the basis of "right and wrong." There is no right and wrong except in very bare terms. I personally do not care if the marks are in or out. Any have a strong preference besides 62.204.152.181? Anyone have anything else to say?Dave (talk) 13:18, 27 January 2010 (UTC)


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