Letter to the Editor: Don’t discourage Latin study

From Tricities How many more teachers discourage their students from taking Latin?

By Letters To The Editor

Published: June 9, 2008

I am writing in response to the letters from James Cannon [“Not best
language to learn,” May 26] and Courtney Bailey [“Don’t lightly dismiss
study of Latin language,” June 1] about the study of the Latin
First, I would like to say that James Cannon, who used to teach Spanish
at Tennessee High School, has long disrespected the Latin language and
the students who chose to study it. I know this, because I attended
Tennessee High and received more than one letter and/or lecture from
James Cannon regarding the fact that I chose to take Latin instead of
his Spanish classes. His actions were, in my opinion, very unbecoming
for someone in a teaching position.
Second, in addition to the two years of Latin, I also took German and
my Latin background made my study of the German language very easy.
Latin was the language that I used for my college entry, and it was
very helpful in my understanding of medical terminology as I studied
medical technology. I graduated with a 3.89 GPA, and I do not for one
minute regret that I studied Latin, contrary to Mr. Cannon’s long-held
What I do hate is the fact that Mr. Cannon’s ranting about
“Latin-the-dead-language” and “Spanish-the-only-language,” completely
biased me towards the Spanish language. Because of him, I never
considered taking Spanish in high school, and that is a shame. Is that
something any teacher would be proud of? Is it, Señor Cannon?

Donna Dillard

Bluff City, Tenn.

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