Mr. Buckley

Goodnight, Mr. Buckley:

There were two things I admired greatly about William F. Buckley, Jr. The first was that he could cut to the bone of a problem in one swipe. The second was that he wrote Latin into his work without explanation or apology. With a little phrase in italics, he would tie an issue of the day to two thousand years' tradition -- and send many a reader to learn a little bit more about just what that tradition contained.

He did this so frequently that he was asked to write the introduction for a book of useful Latin phrases, Amo, Amas, Amat and More. In it he lamented, as Tolkien did, the abandonment of Latin by common education; and increasingly, even by priests and doctors. The common language is now English, of course, and English is as noble and its history even more interesting -- but there is yet a power to the Latin, which was spoken by Caesars and saints, and sung by soldiers and merry scholars alike.

We may have to use it more here, if only to provide some small mortar to the foundations of the West.

Of course National Review has numerous words, but they are not alone. Reason magazine pays tribute as libertarians, and Cassandra as well.

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