I was perusing Amazon.com the other day when I happened upon this gem in a review for a Sepultura album: "Surely destined to become yet another Sepultura classic, A-LEX (Russian for no law) will catapult the Brazilian masters right back into their deserved spotlight." The translation of "a-lex" seems acceptable, but from Russian? Wikipedia claims that this is from Latin ab-, 'away from' + lex, 'law'. I think more likely it's a mixture of Greek a, 'without' + Latin lex, 'law'. I would argue that this is another reason why we need linguistics education for all. I think it's reasonable to expect anyone going through even our current education system to have some basic understanding of where certain common prefixes come from, but a little bit of training in linguistics would surely benefit students even more.
Some people would no doubt question the usefulness of such training: who cares if we know the derivation of Sepultura's album title? Well I say fie on them. Ultimately you can argue the same thing for any bit of knowledge.
The 5th Annual Clarion Write-a-thon
2 years ago