FAQ: The New English Missal Translation

The editors carefully considered whether to run this – it’s from an anonymous Pray Tell reader. Since the last two questions reflect Pray Tell‘s position, here it is.

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What principles lie behind the translation of the new missal?
Primarily, the principle of personalities triumphing over policies; secondarily, the principle of centralism triumphing over collegiality.

Does the new translation faithfully follow the Roman instruction on translation Liturgiam authenticam?
Yes, except when it doesn’t.

Does the new translation faithfully translate the Latin of the Missale Romanum?
Yes, except when it doesn’t.

Does the inclusion in the new translation of elements of the current translation suggest inconsistency on the part of Roman authorities?
No; it suggests, rather, the passage from truth to greater truth.

Is there a discernible pattern to the inclusion of elements of the current translation in the new translation?
The pattern of inclusion of the current translation, like the triune nature of the Godhead, lies beyond the powers of human reason but is not contrary to human reason.

What is the Holy See offering to the English-speaking churches with this new translation?
A strong apologetic for the rejected 1997/1998 sacramentary.

What, then, is the primary reason for accepting the new missal?
Obedience to authority apart from narrow considerations of competence or rationality.

What can one expect to gain by accepting the new missal?
The obedience proposed above is a rich source of grace. It is precisely in this sense that the new missal will contribute to the sanctification of clergy and lay ministers.

What role did concern for the People of God play in the creation of the new missal?
The who?

What role did the teachings of the Second Vatican Council play in the creation of the new missal?
The what?

How will the new missal serve to restore a sense of mystery to the sacred liturgy?
Complicated sentence structure will make it a mystery what a pronoun might refer to, or which noun might go with the verb.

What attitude on the part of clergy and lay ministers will be most helpful in the implementation of the new missal?
A desire to serve the People of God by making the best of things, no matter what.

Is that last answer intended ironically?
No; it is, rather, the most serious response here given.


  1. Love this!

    I have another question I saw on another blog…

    If Cardinal George said: “The use of the third edition of the Roman Missal enters into use in the dioceses of the United States of America as of the First Sunday of Advent, November 27, 2011.  From that date forward, no other edition of the Roman Missal may be used in the dioceses of the United States of America.”

    ….someone stated somewhere else… “Well I guess the use of the Missal of the extraordinary form was outlived!”

    Thoughts? Or will we see a correction soon on that statement? 

    1. I would suppose by this he means that the old translation may no longer be used in US Dioceses. Unless the Good Cardinal has recently been elevated to a position above the Pope, his jurisdiction would seem to end there…

    2. BTW… I find this to be an unusually forceful statement for Cardinal George… I’ll be interested to see how the Bishops intend to deal with those clergy who have already said in print and elsewhere that they will not use the new transaltion… Hmmm?

      1. Cardinal George has said priests that do not use it will lose their faculties – at least in the Chicago Archdiocese.

  2. +JMJ+

    Are people here using “1998 translation” and “1998 sacramentary” interchangeably? There are parts of the 1998 translation which I like a great deal (some of those are the “England/Wales only” parts…) and parts I don’t like. But a lot of the multiplication of options and fiddling with the rubrics irritates my liturgical sense. For example, the option of either saying the Orate, fratres OR the proper Super oblata. Why on earth?

    1. Jeffrey,

      FWIW, I tend to agree that the 1998 translation is, on the whole, quite good, but the proposed rubrical changes to the sacramentary were, on the whole, regrettable.

      As the the Oratres, fratres/ Super oblata question, I think you are misreading the rubrics. The option is to introduce the Super oblata with either the Oratres Fratres or a simple “Let us pray,” not to omit the Super oblata.

      1. +JMJ+

        Ah, thank you. Upon reading the introductory material (“Introduction to the Order of Mass”, p. 121) I see that is the case. The layout of that part of the Missal didn’t make that clear to me.

  3. +JMJ+

    Question to those of you in-the-know who have snuck a peak at more than just the Order of Mass. Can you share what the new English translations of “Inclinate vos ad benedictionem” and “Et benedictio Dei omnipotentis, Patris, et Filii, + et Spiritus Sancti, descendat super vos et maneat semper” are?

    1. I believe you mean the additional options for dismissal, not the translation of that Latin text, which is already given in the PDF. Just clarifying because I bet your question might have otherwise gone unanswered….

      1. +JMJ+

        No, I mean the translation of the introduction and conclusion to the Prayers over the People and the Solemn Blessings.

        I’m just hoping that someone who’s seen a text of the translation that includes the PROPERS might also have seen the translation of these parts of the Order as well.

  4. This is great! Had dinner last nite with an auxiliary bishop and he is very concerned about how pastors/priests will implement this in his diocese – he had a remark that I wonder if you folks might have a clue about? His concern is that Haugen’s Mass of Creation is used everywhere and it is what has been taught to all priests over the last 10+ years….is it true that Haugen has no plans to revise to meet the new translations?

    1. As a music director and organist, I will, in no way, choose mass settings that are already used in my parish when the new translation is implemented. Talk about confusion! Anyone who knows anything about congregational participation and playing during mass should know that changing a few words here and there to a setting the congregation can sing in their sleep will only cause more frustration. I would recommend starting fresh with new music. Different words with different music will be much more receptive to congregations than changing something they already know. Then, once they know the new translation by heart, maybe introduce a revised version of Mass of Creation. For me, I plan on using a revised version of a mass setting my congregation doesn’t yet know (I’m thinking Jubilation Mass). But I will not be using Mass of Creation or People’s Mass in the foreseeable future.

  5. I love this too. But three comments, of varying levels of seriousness.

    1. I’m OK with serving the people of God by making the best of things, but resist the view that this implies we must obey. ‘Making the best of things’ might just be to refuse to go along with it. The idea that we are somehow sanctified by obedience to dysfunctional authority is morally outrageous. It has done untold harm in the Church and in wider society. There are other, more careful and more credible accounts of what obedience amounts to–the most that can be said for compliance is that it may represent the least bad prudential option.

    2. Pernicketiness overcomes me when the FAQ about the final inclusion of bits of 1973 is answered with a reference to the Trinity. Rahner and others have taught us that the doctrine of the Trinity, for all its utter mysteriousness, at least hangs together with other elements of the Christian confession: salvation, grace, christology. In that way the doctrine can be seen as making sense of a sort. It should not be paralleled, even in jest, with bureaucratic arbitrariness.

    3. Why is the new version an ‘apologetic’ for the rejected sacramentary? Is there a US meaning of the word that we Brits don’t get? (If so, there’s an irony of a policy that pretends we all speak the same language.)

    1. There’s some argument whether Churchill or George Bernard Shaw or Bertrand Russell said this: Britain and America are two nations divided by a common language.

      1. Do you realize how many would have said what you’ve written here only replacing 1998 with 1965 and 2010 with 1969?

        History does repeat itself.

      2. Or at least John Finn repeats himself. Over and over. And ignores what others said in response to him the last several times he said these same things. John, you’re skirting close to violating our comments policy. You’re not dialoging or engaging anyone, you’re just repeating yourself. Over and over.

      3. Mea culpa Fr. Ruff. I don’t mean to repeat myself & I don’t recall saying the same thing to the same person twice but I will be careful. I do have the impression that one hermeneutic towards the council and towards the contemporary reforms in the Church must tread more carefully here than another hermeneutic must. Maybe it is because some regular posters already know each other personally or professionally, maybe it is the personal failings of individual participants (including mine), maybe it is a type of group think issue, or maybe it is bum luck – It is just the way it is. Personally, I enjoy engaging people in the Church who think differently than I do and I like to approach the issues with documentation, references, the history of the events that took place. That is dialog as opposed to emotivism.

      4. Here’s the cycle we’ve been through at least 3 times now. John Finn says that the reform was forced on everyone, people didn’t like it, it drove them away, the Council caused a huge decline in the Church. Then others respond that we have solid data on this: at least 95% welcomed the reform; Humanae Vitae drove away more than anything else; fewer than 5% of child-bearing age follow HV; you can’t say one thing caused another just because they happened in sequence. After a lull of a few weeks, John Finn chimes in to say that the reform was forced on everyone, people didn’t like it, it drove them away, the Council caused a huge decline. The same responses are given, none of which John Finn acknowledges. Then after a few more weeks John Finn is here to say that the reform was forced on everyone, … and you know the rest.

        You’re entitled to your own opinion, however fringe it is, but you’re not entitled to your own facts. And you can’t ignore the facts which others point out to you.

        It’s not about this blog favoring one hermeneutic over another. It’s about the basics of dialoging and listening to others.


      5. 1. Fr. there is sociological data on the other side too. On a blog addressing the liturgy the free-fall in mass attendance should not so quickly be attributed to other factors.”You can’t say one thing caused another just because they happened in sequence” which is why the HV argument is unpersuasive.
        “The same responses are given, none of which John Finn acknowledges.” Fr. I acknowledge them, I always engage them, but I don’t agree to them because they are not convincing to me.

        “You’re entitled to your own opinion” thank you.
        “however fringe it is,” that does not invite dialog.
        “but you’re not entitled to your own facts.” I’m usually the only one to provide documented evidence, quotes from participants, and even a study.
        “And you can’t ignore the facts which others point out to you.” I don’t-usually I get information described as facts without any substance, data, studies being mentioned.

        “It’s not about this blog favoring one hermeneutic over another.”

        Have you ever described a progressive view as fringe? Even RBK’s remarks – was he “fringe”?
        “It’s about the basics of dialoging and
        listening to others.” Do we really listen to views we presume to be “fringe” or do we automatically dismiss them? When someone is regarding as representing a “fringe” view do we accept their argument or evidence
        as worthy of serious engagement or do we have a knee jerk response?

  6. I think bishops, priests, liturgists, & the “people in the pew” (or at home, to include those who have given up) have to remember the words of John XXIII…we need “to dedicate ourselves to that work which our era demands of us…remembering we are not on earth to guard a museum, but to cultivate a flourishing garden of life.”

    Where does the “new translation” fit into that mindset!!

  7. Anthony, I’d be laughing harder (and it was a scream) if the truth in it wasn’t so distressing. (By the way, I’m shopping for a skateboard for your next birthday present. I figure with all the fans of this blog, we’ll be able to get you quite a nice one!)

  8. Can someone tell me why the decision was made to retain hieratic language (if that’s the correct term) for the Lord’s Prayer? Did the translators even consider alternatives (e.g., the ICET/ELLC version)? And has any other language group retained archaisms in the Lord’s Prayer?

    I’m aware of a couple of reasons why the archaic version was retained in the English translation of the Missal of Paul VI: it was already known and in use; it was shared by most other Christian churches, thus affording ecumenical gatherings one shared text, except when everyone goes off the rails at the doxology. Disclosure: I had hoped that this time around, we’d have a new version. And why not? We’ll soon be committing to heart reworkings of other texts, so why not bring it all on at once?

    I suspect veins have been opened and much ink spilled over this issue in the past forty years, so whoever offers a reply, please focus on answering my questions, 1) why was the hieratic language version retained? 2) was any consideration given to a new translation? and 3) does any other language group retain archaic language for the Lord’s Prayer? Old German, anyone?

    1. I believe it was purely a pastoral decision – to retain a text which is familiar to people and which they would not like to have taken from them.

    2. Fr Ruff,

      Indeed, it might be said to be more than merely that, but a recognition of the prayer that the faithful themselves bring to the liturgy. Even Rome saw no good from revisiting an issue settled forty years ago. I tend to think of people who insist too strongly (note my qualifier) on the virtues of changing the customary Catholic vernacular text of the Our Father as cranks, frankly – people who are too focused on ideas and not focused enough on people.

      I remember having to re-learn prayers in the shift from the 1965 to 1970 Missals. And I am not just talking about the text of the Mass, but a host of prayers we had memorized for First Communion before the 1970 Missal got changed in time for Confirmation a bit after the 1970 Missal. The Acts of Faith/Hope/Love, and some others. A lot of changing of Ghost to Spirit. Touching the Hail Mary and the Glory Be was, IIRC, treated as optional, other than changing Ghost to Spirit (we were introduced to the more modernized versions, but did not otherwise have to switch – I think this was a gesture to avoid punishing the few children who had in those years actually taken up the practice of praying the Rosary). And the was not even a whisper of an idea to change the Our Father.

  9. I live in the 21st century. The values I live by are shaped by the Gospel and the social context in which I live and work. My life is shaped by collaboration, openness, fairness, justice, equality and dialogue.

    I refuse to pray in 15th century language. I refuse to use the King’s English. I refuse to participate in an institution that fails to live by those values I hold so important.

    This Missal debacle is perhaps the last straw for me – not only in its vocabulary, sentence structure, syntax and grammar – but in the way it has come forth. It represents everything that I thought the institution had abandoned.

    Now Benedict gets his way – a smaller church. I cannot abide by what I am seeing. Instead of looking backward, my journey of faith leads me forward. Vatican II set my heart on fire. I will not allow the boys in the Vatican to smother the gift of that vision. To that end I leave an institution that no longer serves, that no longer images the Jesus I have experienced, that no longer honors the Spirit alive in the People of God.

    Farewell, until we all meet on the other side and laugh hysterically at all these foibles.

      1. Thanks, John.

        Your post tells me all I need to know about you.

        I had wondered, but now I am certain.

  10. Can you imagine the Lord Jesus or St. Peter or St. Paul saying “when you pray to God, say it this way or else you will not be listened to by God.” ?????
    Can you imagine any follower of Jesus saying “I’m leaving your religion if you don’t translate words my way.”

    1. You raise interesting questions and I wish to comment on the second. Note that before your question could arise for a follower of Jesus, we would need Jesus to impose a ritual text on his followers against their will because he had a highly idealistic theory of proper cult and a low regard for how people would experience the ritual text, and he would need to care more for the idealogues who agreed with him than he did for the ‘simple’ people, the poor and uneducated.
      Can you imagine Jesus doing this??????

      1. Wonderful response, Fr. Anthony! I’m constantly amazed that folks can’t seem to understand this point. Thank you.

  11. I am 64 years old. As a young child I was raised in the church where the liturgies were mysteries and meaningless-they were “celebrated” in latin. Our cleregy were distant symbols of authority and power. In my most formative high school and college years I remember the joy of my faith coming to life in the wonderful reason based dialogue, openness,and inclusiveness that came out of the two sessions of the Vatican Council. The church was the people of God. The church was never stronger than it was in those years because the people had a sense of ownership and participation. The clergy were our fellow disciples and our leaders; they had our total respect.
    How sad to see that wonderful time in our church die away. All the more so when one realizes that what is happening is not a result of neglect or some tragic error in judgement. No, what we are witnessing is a preconcieved plan by our bishops, cardinals and popes.
    One last thought for those not old enough to remember.For me the most symbolic “change ” in the “new” liturgy is the inclusion of the phrase “through my fault, through my fault, through my most grevious fault”. This is not new language, this is a return to the pre Vatican II text. It is a return to the mind set that the christian life is based in sin and remorse; “…my fault, my most grevious fault.” I remember and shall take to the throne of God my feeling of joy when such sentiments were replaced by “God is Love and he who abides in Love abides in Me…

    1. +JMJ+

      the inclusion of the phrase “through my fault, through my fault, through my most grevious fault”. This is not new language, this is a return to the pre Vatican II text.

      Brian, the Latin text of the Confiteor (“I confess…”), while it does differ between the 1962 Missal and the new Missal, did not change those words. The Latin of the Confiteor says mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa in the 1962 and 1969 Roman Missals.

      a return to the mind set that the christian life is based in sin and remorse … such sentiments were replaced by “God is Love and he who abides in Love abides in Me”

      The Christian life is based on Jesus Christ, Who died for our sins. These are sins committed through OUR fault, through our most grievous fault. Talking less about that, or using more flowery language, may change our perception of the matter, but it doesn’t change the reality of it.

      The God Who is love and Who abides in those who abide in love is the same God Who calls us to repent every day.

  12. As an author and trainer on the subject of clear (personal) communications (in the American English language), I have followed the comments on the latest translation to the Roman Missal with interest. One thought in particular keeps haunting me. The wording of the Nicene Creed changed (back?) to referring to Christ as “consubstantial with” the Father. Many commentaries have raised arguments on this particular point, exemplary of many of the language revisions in the Missal. Proponents of the “consubstantial with” revision claim it more accurately translates the original Latin of the Nicene Creed text. Opponents state that the current text, “One in Being with the Father,” properly translates the original text while rendering the term in words understandable to the faithful. My thought boils down to the point of the Creed. If we recite the Creed as a profession of our faith, should we not understand the words we speak? If we do not understand the words we speak, can we actually make a profession of faith? I think not. Therefore, reciting something we do not understand renders us obedient to the point of unfaithfulness to ourselves, to our beliefs, and to our God.

    1. Yes, we should. And how many people understand what is meant by “one in being with the Father”? They merely think they do because the individual words are familiar and they subconsciously assume that they can aggregate an understanding of the syntax into an understanding of the concept. So in fact, you’re quite right that we should understand what we profess; your error is in the valence of the point, which actually argues for more and better catechesis—which, in turn, is far more likely to happen by adopting the corrected translation, because it defeats the subconscious short-circuit described above.

  13. It’s fascinating to read all this, and I am heartsore to hear that this is driving Bob Riler away from the Church. Stick around, Bob, we’ll sort it out. I’m very heartened to read in “What if we just said wait?” that the Germans managed to get their translation rejected. I agree – “most grievous fault” and “consubstantial” stick in my craw as we say them (we in South Africa jumped the gun and are already using the new translation) as does the Creed with its omission of the subject and verb, and the dualism implied in “my soul shall be healed” and the lack of sensitivity about gender-inclusive language. It really is dreadful, and as Bob Riler said the way in which it was imposed is most hurtful. What can we DO? How did the Germans manage to overturn their translation? Was there a similar process? Can we learn from them?

  14. Do any of these commentators have sufficient fluency in Latin to be able to compare these translations as translations? Not just on the basis of their preference for the differing styles of English. If any did, they would know that the present translation in a horror, and that they make themselves a laughingstock by insisting on using it past its (long overdue) shelf-life.

    1. There are many respectable theories on how to do translation, and consequently, many and varied opinions on the quality of any given translation. Monsignor, are you presuming that others hold an opinion other than yours because they don’t know as much about Latin as you? For many reasons, I would caution against such a presumption. You know, it could be that really well-educated people simply hold different opinions than you.

  15. I read the 1st 45 entries with interest. Surely we are discussing the english text used for liturgies. Why english? Why not latin? Preumably so that all can understand it. It follows that the vocabulary and grammar needed are those “the man on the Clapham Omnibus” uses in everyday life, and not only the words, but their meaning. ‘Extraordinary’ ministers of the Eucharist are not ‘especially good’, they are merely ‘lay’.
    I don’t comment on the translation as I haven’t seen it. However when my late wife died she charged me to teach our grandson the Our Father. I’ll use the present text as used in England to illustrate some of my problems and of difficulties which may arise.
    Loving Fatherhood is an unknown concept to many youngsters. Art is something done with crayons, or spray cans. Hallowed is only used outside church in the corrupted form Halloween. Thy will be done, will is a document to be read after one has died. Trespass implies (if anything) sneaking into someone else’s land. Etc.

  16. My argument can be made in 3 examples drawn from the Missals:

    1. Latin text: “accipens et hunc praeclarum calicem in sanctas ac venerabiles manus suas”

    2. Old (current) ICEL: “he took the cup”

    3. Corrected (new ICEL: “he took this precious chalice in his holy and venerable hands”


    1. For the record, I favor a translation which *generally * follows the original fairly closely – in this case, something more like (but not identical to) no. 3 than no. 2.

      But I think I know enough about translation theory to state that the QED is tendentious. It all depends on one’s framework, one’s goals, one’s intended audience, one’s understanding of receptor language, one’s understanding of the liturgical act, one’s understanding of the cultural construction of meaning, and on and on. Nothing has been demonstrated by your example, really, except that no. 3 fits all your presumptions without your having told us what they are.


  17. Well, #3 seems a bit too flowery to me. The author of this latin version seems to have style that reminds me of romance novels.

    And…oh yeah, I am with Bob…I have had enough. I can follow the teachings of Jesus, and stay away from the church, that leads me away from Truth.
    Thanks for the opportunity to share my feelings.

    1. +JMJ+

      I urge you, Jane — and anyone else who has reservations about the elevated or antiquated style of the more accurate English translations of the Latin prayers — to read a short collection of three lectures/essays on the origins and character of liturgical Latin by Christine Mohrmann. She addresses just why “this latin versions seems to have style that reminds [you] of romance novels.”

      Language is not merely a means of communication, it is also a means of expression, and when language is used for expression, it takes on characteristics that are sometimes foreign to language-as-communication. You find repetition, you find embellishment, you find peculiar vocabulary.

      The Latin used in the liturgy was not common Latin, it was a liturgical style of Latin. It is fitting to adopt a similar approach when translating a liturgical text.

  18. I find it interesting the amount of time and energy that is being expended on the ‘translation’ of a missal to be used in liturgical celebrations. Do any of us truly believe that this is what we need to be spending our finite time and energy on? That this debate will somehow better serve Jesus and the Kingdom of God?
    Shouldn’t we be practicing and imitating Jesus’ lifestyle and ministry? What about spending our time and energy being compassionate care givers to our fellow human beings and to our Earth? When we cross into the next realm of consiousness the question is not “Did you spend a fair amount of time of your Earthly existence debating liturgical wording of the Roman Catholic missial?” Let’s place this debate in its proper perspective (in the great schema of things an insignificant, “this, too shall pass” issue) and use our time and energy more productively on becoming Christ bearers to one and all through love and greater compassion.

    1. +JMJ+

      The reason we care so much about the words we use to pray the greatest prayer there is, is because our worship (prayer) informs and reflects our faith, which in turn directs our life.

      I think we can say with some certainty that God does care about how we worship Him, or else God would not have ordered the Israelites worship of Him so meticulously, and would not have chastised them when they went astray.

      Or, if we accept your argument, we could ask why we needed to reform the liturgy at all.

  19. How we speak regularly about anything affects over time how we think about these things and finally how we come to understand these things. For this reason it is important to be as careful as we can about the words we use in the Holy Mass.

  20. The most worrying part of all this is the PROCESS.We have embarked on a major change in edict style and nobody is fooled by all that stuff about making the liturgy full of beauty and mystery.Much of what we have witnessed heralds an era of clericalism and retreat. We have regrouped behind the stone wall of the pale in a time when we need to atone for the abuses of the clergy by showing an outgoing and loving face to the world. Pharisees only please apply and certainly not women.

  21. For me the most significant change is the wording of the Consecration. It says the Blood of Christ ‘will be poured out for you and for ‘many’ instead of ‘for all’. I thought that it was a central Doctrine of the Church that Christ died for all mankind. ‘Many’ and ‘All’ have very different meanings. Many of our congregation are black and many are white but not all are black or white. According to Bishop Donald Trautman STD SSL Bishop of Erie in a Lecture on the Language of the New Missal October 22, 2009 ‘in January 1970 the Congregation for Divine Worship gave an official explanation why it aiuthorised the English translation of pro multis to be for all. The Congregation asked Fr Max Zerwick a Jesuit Biblical scholar from the Pontifical Biblical Institute to study the matter. He wrote a learned article, showing that the Aramaic word which in Latin is translated pro multis (for many) actually means pro omnibus (for all), the multitude for whom Jesus died. Fr Zerwick explained that ‘for all’ was preferable to ‘for many’ since the original ‘for many’ in its Aramaic context includes ‘all’. He argues that contemporary hearers of the phrase ‘for many’ will falsely interpret this as exclusive and that was not the intent of the original Aramaic. In May 1970 the CDW published this scholarly interpretation in its official organ, Notitiae. Pope Paul V1 approved the phrase of ‘for all’ for the words of the Consecration.’ How can this reversal be…

  22. Above all, we must take infinite care to get it right or it won’t ‘take’. What a tangled mess that would be!

  23. On the “one in being” vs “consubstantial” question: In Greek, the original language of the Nicene-Constantinopolitan Creed, the word was “homo” (same) +“ousion” (being), “homoousion” (same being). The English word “being” is cognate with, or etymologically related, to the Greek word “einai”(to be) of which “ousia” is a form. The Latin root of “substantia” is “sto” (stand) and has nothing to do with “being.” A better rendering might have used the Latin word “essentia,” which is cognate with Greek and English for “being” (“ousia,” “esse” and “being” have the same Indo-European root.) We would be saying “conessential,” which is no stranger than “consubstantial” and no better than “one in being.” (In the early Church Latin was not considered adequate for theology.) Whether the translators of the current creed went through my rigamarole or instinctively chose “being,” only they can say. “Being”, though indefinable, is stronger and more meaningful and specific than the clunky “substance.” Consider the following phrases and fill in the blanks with either “being” or “substance.”: with all my ______, the depths of my ______, a sticky_______, every living ______, a foul smelling ______, a sweet ______. (Now exchange papers and we’ll correct them in class.) “Being” is alive, “substance clunks.” Latin has become a fetish. And in the end it’s not about language, it’s about power.

  24. In the interest of accuracy I was wrong to write that Latin “sto” has nothing to do with “being.” In fact at an earlier stage of Indo-European etymology the root “sto” had a function similar to “be” or “esse.” When it became Latin, however, the meaning was “stand.” I will stand (be?) in the corner and do penance for my pedantry.

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