Another puff for Latin “the secret code of civilization — and to college admissions”

Wicked Local. Thanks to Explorator for the link.

Melrose – The Latin word “duco” means “to lead” and according to Dr. Laurence Kepple, Latin teacher at Melrose High School, Latin can lead students to the best possible college — and better financial aid offers.

Take for instance “duco,” one of many Latin words used everyday, unbeknownst to its speakers and writers. It can be seen in words such as “induction,” Kepple said, which essentially means to “lead in,” as in an induction ceremony when new members are introduced to a group.

Even a first-year Latin student can learn similar simple building blocks that are used repeatedly in everyday language, using the composition of the word to deduce its meaning, rather than having to memorize a dictionary definition, Kepple said.

“Just a few Latin roots give you the ability to decode hundreds and hundreds of complicated words, whether on the SATs or in more advanced science and technology courses,” he said. “That’s why I call Latin ‘the secret code of western civilization.’ Everything was written in it and the language we use today has tremendous borrowing from Latin.”

Kepple hopes to impart that message at a forum he’s holding for parents and students on Tuesday, Feb. 24 at the Melrose Veterans Memorial Middle School, where he plans to explain how studying Latin can help students get into more competitive colleges and secure more financial aid.

One student who used the Latin program at Melrose High School to his advantage is Arthur Kaynor, the 2008 Melrose High School valedictorian, current Harvard University student and a guest speaker at Kepple’s forum next Tuesday. Kaynor, who took Latin for four years in high school and received the highest possible score of 5 on the Advanced Placement Latin exam, uses another word, “reduce,” to illustrate the language’s code-breaking abilities.

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