Learning Classics is a bit like putting on a magic pair of 3-D glasses. Once you start delving into the language and the culture, you'll start to see it all around you. This blog is a record of the club's journey through the worlds and language of ancient Rome and Greece... and through modern times, too, searching for the influence of classics all around us. You'll also be able to find vocab, home tasks, links and generally enlightening info here, too.

08 November 2014

Lesson 7 - A brief history of defenestration

Great to see everyone back and full of enthusiasm after the half term break.

Latin, Greek, Arabic and Anglo-Saxon
We started our session with some etymological detective work, prompted by a very insightful question from the classroom floor about how words come into being. Etymology is the study of words' origins and usage over time, and - of course - this word itself comes from Greek:  'etumon' means 'true meaning', and '-logia' is the suffix denoting 'study of' (as in biology, the study of 'bios' - life). In pairs and using dictionaries, we discovered the etymology of some everyday and unusual words, and sorted them out by linguistic origins. Max kindly expounded on the Old English roots of 'window', and then Tanvir, with the help of the class and the knowledge that 'fenestra' is Latin for 'window', worked out the meaning of 'defenestration'. Here's a dramatic defenestration for you:

This was followed by some important recapping on nouns and their genders (masculine, feminine, neuter), number (singular, plural) and cases (nominative, accusative). We now know that we have to detect these three things in the ending of the noun, and this will help us make sense of our sentence (once again, we all cried out, "NOT WORD ORDER, WORD ENDINGS!!"). Knowledge was put to good use in describing in Latin the goings-on in six pictures, making sure that all nouns were in the right number and case, and that verbs matched their subjects in number (singular or plural, '-t' or '-nt').
Gizem's killer epistula
Max's generous equus