It's so sad that such a thing is true. Just like ballroom dancing. I wish that there were opportunities like learning classical languages and the foxtrot. I think a lot more individuals in my generation (25-30 year olds) would be a bit more well-rounded (not to mention probably better spellers) than they are today.
Martha Barnette said
Oooo, that's some pretty hot language! I'm reminded anew of how utterly simple and straightforward all these names must have seemed a couple of generations ago when classical languages were routinely taught.
I had "reniform" pegged as soon as I saw it in the title of this thread; it's too bad they don't use it to market swimming pools in that shape. Kind of reminds me of the time I referred to my grandfather's cat online as "hemidecaudated"; fortunately, the group I sprung it on had the classical-language background to figure it out without having to ask.
Apart from leaves, another ripe area for foreign vocabulary is in the Italian names for various shapes of pasta. There was a story in the food section of the paper the other day about "bowtie pasta" that explained the real derivation of "farfalle", but also grudgingly admitted that nobody associates them with butterflies these days.
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