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The Spike or Victoria College Review October 1929

Foreign Language Quotations

Foreign Language Quotations

Dear Spike,—

It would seem that whenever well-intentioned people "get together" (in the words of the classics) to further some worth while enterprise, immediately do they "camouflage or distinguish themselves" behind fragments of the alphabet. N.U.S. as Mr. Cabot and others told us—S.C.M. on little booklets and notices—V.U.C.A.A.C. on strips of green ribbon parcelled out to the deserving. While deploring such back to childhood methods I suggest that a cause of some immediate importance be taken up and sponsored (like Mr. N.U.S.) by more of our energetic members of committees.

In various parts of our library are books written in unknown tongues. Let them remain there. They are safe, harmless. What I do object to is in reading a perfectly intelligible article in one of our magazines, in a book of essays or even crowning monstrosity, in a text book to be suddenly plunged into a welter of Greek, Latin, German or French. "This must be page 32 quoted in the original" and off he goes perhaps even without this warning and apology. Perhaps the author means that we stop to admire the beauties supposedly inherent in the classics, or that we acquire French technical words we knew not before nor wish to see again. Of what value can such perversity be? Any translation would be better than the one we may work out. Must we go to Freud for an explanation or haven't they translated his works properly?

Adding paragraphs 1 and 2 of this discourse, let me suggest that there be formed immediately a Society for the Suppression of Intellectual Cussedness. In short S.S.I.C., and that this society have as its objects:—

1.To persuade Professors R.B. and B.W. to form a department for the translation or suppression of such extracts or alternatively (as the best examination papers say).
2.The provision of one of our intellectual language fiends as a ready reference to be stationed in the library at all times.

—I am, etc.,