Latin spat

18th February 2005 at 00:00
Alec Taylor (Letters, TES, February 4) denies any etymological link between the Latin verb separare and the English verb "part". Surely there must be? Had Moses been so minded (and able to speak in a language not then evolved) would he not have uttered: "Aquas separavi!" or, more humbly, perhaps, "'Deus aquas separavit!"?

I agree with Mr Taylor that a knowledge of Latin is a useful, not to say a fascinating, buttress for correct spelling. However, I feel it is not an essential one and any other hints that help children to spell correctly are to be welcomed, not derided.

I write this as someone who spent several years teaching Latin to secondary pupils and who has recently introduced a Latin Club (using Minimus) to some of our primary children.

Grace Reader.

36 Derby Road Fallowfield, Manchester

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