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Carpe Diem: Put a Little Latin in Your Life
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Carpe Diem: Put a Little Latin in Your Life

3.31 of 5 stars 3.31  ·  rating details  ·  262 ratings  ·  62 reviews
Liber prosperissimus et mirabilis ex Britannia ad Americam tandem advenit! Umquam vexatus es quando homo inritans "sine qua non" aut "mea culpa" dicit Aut postmeridiana tempora vetera, quando verba obscura ediscere conatus es, terrunt Nil desperandum!

Linguae Latinae hoc in itinere iucundo, qui omnia ex lectione grammatica ab Monte Pythone ad Angelinae Jolia in pelle notas
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Hardcover, 259 pages
Published November 6th 2007 by Hyperion (first published January 2nd 2006)
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(showing 1-30 of 577)
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Trevor
This is a very cute book. I was mostly interested to see just how similar Latin is to Italian – to be honest, and this is from someone with very limited Italian, it does not seem that they are as similar as I had thought. Latin seems much harder.

I didn’t bother trying to learn the conjugations and declensions – hardly seemed worth the effort if I wasn’t going to actually learn the language. I think this book was, in many ways, an attempt to bring English Public School Old Boys back into the fold
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Garth


When Harry Mount went to Oxford to study Classics in the late 1980s, he had learned Latin for eight years and Greek for seven, probably on a timetable which allowed him a decent number of periods per subject per week. Since Latin had already been in steep decline since 1960 – when Oxbridge abandoned its entry requirement of Latin or Greek at GCE – Mount was fortunate to get the education he did. The situation in state schools at that time was deteriorating even faster, as a result of Kenneth Bak
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Colin
A brilliantly funny intro/refresher to the art of Latin grammar. By the end I had a nostalgic glow and a slight feeling of inferiority at only having done three years of it at school in the eighties.
The end is an impassioned defence of classics in education. It's not exactly in keeping with the modern trend towards chasing easy, employer-friendly qualifications and it's all the more stirring for being doomed to failure. I'm not sure I agree though. The British are hopeless at learning other lan
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Chris
Mostly inoffensive, except for the offensive parts... and then I got to the final chapter, entitled 'Dumbing up, or death to the Cambridge Latin Course.'

WHAT.

The author of this insignificant, error-ridden little book, this flocculus, thinks he can cast aspersions at the CAMBRIDGE LATIN COURSE? There are words in Catullus for people like that.


More significantly, it pretends to be an introduction to Latin, but the grammatical explanations (and the instructions to consult Kennedy) would be useless
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Phair
Not what I expected. Rather than a book of Latin words and phrases that are found in English language & literature this was almost a Latin language course outline. Reading all that stuff about declensions and cases made me relive the two years I took Latin in high school and reinforced the rightness of my decision NOT to go for a classical diploma but rather to drop Latin at the end of sophomore year and opt for a simpler English diploma track. Of course this is what the author bemoans- the ...more
Jon
Entertaining book that does a good job of selling the idea of studying Latin, and teaching a fair amount of it too. I remember some of my high school classmates were taking Latin, and I thought it was such a waste. I didn't know why you would choose to study a dead language in place of a living one. I'm still not completely sold that Latin should supersede the study of German, French, Spanish, Italian, etc, but I can see the value in it. Why not study Latin just for the joy of it? As the author ...more
Margaret
Meh. Dull.
Laura
This little book makes the claim that any person can go from zero to Ciceronian Latin in 249 pages. I think not. Yes, Mount includes many of the crucial 1st/2nd/3rd/etc. declension tables , how to conjugate verbs and put them at the end of sentences, even how adverbs work, but his confidence in his audience seems a tad high when he acknowledges that many of his readers will be coming to the book without the first idea about Latin grammar and 230 pages later he is quoting passages of Tacitus (who ...more
Joseph
If you come into this book thinking you'll walk away with an accelerated sense of Latin, you'll be sorely disappointed. Mount spends a significant amount of time discussing the declension of words, without ever explaining (unless I managed to miss it) what that means or why the reader should be inspired to care. The book jumps from topic to topic in an obvious attempt to avoid boredom, but the end result is a disorganized book that doesn't help make its case that anyone can become a classics exp ...more
Rick
CARPE DIEM: PUT A LITTLE LATIN IN YOUR LIFE is a charming little book that gives a little Latin grammar and much interesting information about ancient Rome and its language.

The grammar and vocabulary part served mainly to remind me how much Latin I had forgotten and how much I had probably never known in the first place. Readers who have never studied Latin may find this part interesting, although I suspect people who have had at least a little Latin will be able to relate to it more fully.

The a
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Tirzah
this book taught me that i do not care enough about British humor nor about grammar to continue learning dead languages. i do not care to be associated with stuck up snobs who think that reading the Iliad is going to change the world. granted, not all people who study latin are stuck up snobs to i take that back. but my dad is old school enough to appreciate British humor and (as a son of an immigrant) was forced to know his grammar inside and out. therefore, i salute guys like my dad who contin ...more
Michelle
I'm one of those weird folks who actually thinks it would be kind of groovy to learn Latin. However, I'm in my 40s so the brain is not as pliable regarding language acquisition. For those who studied Latin in school it will provide a great way to brush up. For folks like me, who are new to Latin it will provide a simple framework for understanding the grammatical structure. It doesn't mean you won't have to put time in to really make it your own but it's presented in a non-threatening style with ...more
Robert
This is one of the most moving -and entertaining - books I have read for several years. If you value traditional values - grammar, poetry, knowledge: Highly recommended! And nostalgic for those of us who were once "subjected" to a traditional education. O tempora, o mores!
Don Weidinger
from 3rd century BC, subject verb object vs SOV, 7 hills of Rome, crossing the Rubicon River no going back, seize the day, with praise degrees, ie expand eg example, ergo therefore.
Ledys
I loved listening to this, though I wished I had a book next to me to refer to during all the actual Latin phrases and verb declensions that Mount includes in the text. What I enjoyed the most was hearing about all the ways that we are tied to the past, through the roots of many of our words, yes, (and being a native Spanish speaker, this was particularly significant and relevant to me), but also through so much more. Why some Latin words and even phrases survive to this day? Who picked those, h ...more
Kevin Magpoc
My only quibble is that this book isn't what what it seemed to sell itself to be. The back cover description lead me to expect the kind of book that would make Latin more interesting to complete novices, perhaps by pointing out Latin applications and observances in every day life. But most of the book does seem to assume the reader either has some foundation of Latin knowledge, or is able to learn the fundamentals more quickly than should be expected from its brief lessons. I can imagine "Carpe ...more
Erin Gayton
A very scattered, oddly-written introduction to Latin. I do appreciate Mount's attempt to make Latin accessible-- which is to say that it's a worthy project, one that Mount utterly fails in. He intersperses tables of Latin declensions among tidbits about Latin appearing in pop culture, the character of his former Latin teachers, etc. Periodically he provides tests for which he has not at all prepared us. Instead of making Latin accessible, I was left feeling rather stupid and out of my depth. Mo ...more
Megan
No, seriously, this book is way more entertaining than you think Latin can be.
Kat Alexander
#1 most awesome Latin book ever!!! The Latin book that tells you how to conjugate everything (even the tricky little irregular verbs into the tricky little subjunctives), decline everything (including names), and actually be able to understand lawyers in the cop shows, plus history. And of course, all presented in a way that you can actually understand, and that is interesting. (ex: Purple Togas: A History of Roman Emperors) Even the introduction is interesting!!! Great for anyone who likes Lati ...more
Paul Bond
Modest, and modestly successful. Mount invites readers a brief introduction to Latin, and to traditions in teaching and learning Latin. The reader leaves with some idea of the classical language's peculiarities, a smattering of memorable phrases, and an idea of what first steps one should take to learn a little more. I imagine this is, in book version, what it would be like to spend a pleasant weekend cooped up with a very genial and chatty enthusiast of the language.
A.
An interesting refresher if, like me, you haven't touch Latin since University. Though the author suggests that one might learn the fundamentals of Latin from this little book, it seems unlikely that this will really be the case.
I found some of the pop culture references a bit forced, but not entirely un-funny. The second to last chapter is a valuable reminder of how many latin phrases remain in use (to varying degrees) in the english speaking world.
Debi
I was disappointed in this book. It's amusing, in a parlor-room manner. There are cute stories scattered throughout. But the bones of the language are stuck here and there nakedly and mindlessly amidst trivia and I also found errors in the grammar.

For American readers, the British case order in Mount's charts is slightly disconcerting but the inanity of plopping such declensions down in the middle of digressive anecdotes is much more so.
Tim Inak
For someone who has never paid any attention to latin after his community college dendrology class, this book opened up a lot of perspective for me. Apparently the reason Romans conquered the world is because they had so much pent up agression left over from trying to learn their own language. Latin is HARD; and this book makes that clear. But it didn't actually teach me any latin. Sometimes it seemed not even to try.
Kara
I really enjoyed this book. Since I took Latin for seven years, all the grammar Mount described came back to me. I have to admit, I skipped over some of the Latin paragraphs because I wasn't planning on translating them (and also since Mount had the translations below). All in all if you've ever taken Latin in your life, especially as a teenager, this is a fun book to read and brings back all your Latin class memories!
Tatra
I was given this book by my college Latin professor when I finished Latin. And this book totally made me want to dig out my text books and delve deep into the study of Latin.

It was kind of fascinating, when I started reading it, it had been a couple of years since I had taken Latin and I was having trouble remembering how it went. But by the end of the book, I could glean a lot and it was fun.
Mary
Ah, what I have missed by being educated in the 20th century..! I keep grasping at straws with Latin, Latin-lite, as I call it, but beyond a few smartier-than-thou phrases (and don't get me wrong: I love and honor those phrases), it's hard to see the immediate benefit of learning Latin unlike, say, Spanish. I wish I had Latin in my youth to be bitter over, smug over and have it, ultimately, over.
Gail Hamilton
A very entertaining book even for those of us who have no Latin. There are sections of the book where he goes on about verbs in their different forms but there is plenty more which are engaging stories about Ancient Rome. I listened to the audio version which I checked out from the Long Beach public library using the Overdrive app so I could listen to it using my IPhone.
Sarah
Feb 03, 2011 Sarah rated it 5 of 5 stars
Shelves: owned
Carpe Diem is clear, humorous, and understandable. A great read for anyone interested in Latin or Roman history. Not only does the novel discuss the language itself, but also the history behind it - the history of the Roman Empire. I found it extremely interesting. Example sentences for the grammar actually made me laugh.
^
Sep 09, 2014 ^ rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone of any age who is learning or has learnt Latin
Reading quickly through I thought what great fun this book is. The author genuinely succeeds in being highly amusing without grating, because he comes across as having such a great love of Latin himself.

Now I need to re-read the book, and absorb his clearly set out learning points!
Rebecca
A fun read for anyone who has studied Latin before, but it could be a little heady for someone who is trying to learn a little Latin. It's similar to "Eats, Shoots, and Leaves." There were a couple of factual errors and uneven editing that detracted from the book overall.
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