We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
When one Dickinson College alumna recently applied to work at a public school, she had a photocopied version of her Latin diploma returned as foreign and illegible.
All of my kids took Latin in grade school and high school. Good fun, and it has served them well. I took ancient Greek instead, plus French and German. Only fairly fluent in French now. Sorta-kinda. Can still read French or German OK if it's non-technical. Struggle with the Greek but have a feel for it, I think.
Maybe we will see a trend away from Latin usage on diplomas and such given greater ease with which one can decipher Latin today. With so many readily available on-line translation tools is it surprising that Spitzer can find it tattooed on his favorite call girl? Not only does this cause the snob appeal to fade, but it also exposes more grammatical errors (or perceived grammatical errors) making the effort look rather foolish.
Took in Mendelssohn's Elijah at the Sanders Theatre in Cambridge last weekend. The walls of Memorial Hall, which houses the theater, were covered with Latin scribblings. I think most of it was saying, "Dude, this is Harvard...check out the company you're keeping!" It was really very cool, it's just...I don't read Latin.
I took five years of Latin, four in high school and one in college, and all my working life I was grateful I had. All the romance languages owe much to Latin, especially our own. And since my jobs during my working days was to write for money, I wanted to write correctly. Latin helps a lot with that.
But try convincing your child that's true. Good luck with that.
I had the same problem with my degree in Latin from Middlebury College when I started my most recent engagement. Fortunately, most of the Bavarians I work with are Roman Catholic, and speak Latin, so they were able to translate / legitimize my degree to the HR people...