Zombie Apocalypse: An Epiphany About (un)Dead Languages


What if the zombie apocalypse isn’t about people coming back to life, but about dead languages coming back into use?

Think about it.

A zombie is generally an undead something-or-other. We tend to think of it as people, or bodies, coming back from the dead and eating, what else, brains. Well, guess what else uses the brain? Yep. Learning a new language. (Rosetta Stone, anyone?)

So in that case, all those people bent on bringing back the notoriously dead language of Latin (of which I’ve studied for 8 years in high school and college) into use, would be promoting the zombie apocalypse. Learn a dead language, become a zombie, because your brain is feeding a dead language. Or perhaps it’s undead…since languages aren’t alive and thus cannot be killed…and thus are not truly “dead”. (You could also substitute in Ancient Egyptian, Sanskrit, and others in place of Latin for a[n] [un]dead language.)

I’ll bet I’ve blown your mind. (Don’t worry, I’m still picking mine up off the floor.)

I suppose now would be a terrible time to mention that all this came about when a friend posted a link to Cracked.com, blaming ME for the discrepancies in English spelling and pronunciation. Like it’s my fault English is all twisted to begin with. Or that it doesn’t just “borrow from other languages, but follows them down dark alleys, knocks them over the head and goes through their pockets for loose grammar“. That’s an old quote I first heard from my (awesome) HS Latin teacher. No idea who to give credit to, but it’s an awesome quote nonetheless.

It’s right up there with: “Latin is a language, dead as it can be. First it killed the Romans, now it’s killing me. All are dead who spoke it. All are dead who wrote it. All will die who learn it. Blessed death they earn it.” …unless of course the zombie apocalypse happens when Latin is brought back into being a spoken language again.

Let me blow your mind one more time. Latin isn’t truly dead. The Vatican City still proclaims it as its National Language. Also, there is a workshop/convention center in West Virginia that holds a Latin Immersion event for about two or three weeks during the summer (and there’s one in the winter)–where you can ONLY speak in Latin. I know–fascinating. (My HS Latin teacher went one year and came back talking fluently in Latin. I was envious, to say the least.)

So, are you still ready for the Zombie Apocalypse? Now might be a good time to check your bookcases for that English-Latin Dictionary you thought you’d never need ever again.

…And you thought you’d need that stockpile of ammo hidden in your basement/walk-in closet/attic. Which leads me to conjugating verbs: Ammo, Ammas, Ammat… (Yeah, yeah, I know, it should be “amo, amas, amat…”.)


2 thoughts on “Zombie Apocalypse: An Epiphany About (un)Dead Languages

  1. I’d never heard the second half of that ‘Latin is a language’ ditty before… Very funny! I’ve kept my Latin grammar book and dictionary too – I don’t need them, but it just seems wrong to get rid of them.

    • I’m glad you enjoyed it! I kept all my Latin books as well; and you never know when you need a nice Latin word to impress your friends. Besides that, I’ve found Latin teachers to be in a category all their own: really awesome or terrible. I’ve lucked out with the former.

      Thanks for the comment!

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