Letter: Modern Latin

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The Independent Online
ROGER Wordsworth (Letters, 3 March) is mightily optimistic in suggesting that Latin should become the language of the European Union. With its ablative absolutes, subjunctives, declensions, conjugations, pluperfects and semi-deponent verbs, it is unlikely to be a hit with our allegedly dumbed-down two-minute-attention-span culture.

But if we can invent a Euro-currency, why not a Euro-language: a modernised, grammar-pruned, phonetic, gender-free Latin - learning shrewdly from the well-intentioned failures of Esperanto - which would be as syntactically easy as English, as phonetic as Spanish, and close to the linguistic origins of most of the EU territory? Taught in schools throughout the Union as the second language of the 21st century, compared with French and German it would be a doddle.

IAN FLINTOFF

London SW6

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