I know how to use a gun, but I’d rather not. In a fight, I’d rather walk away. I imagine you feel the same.
The same rule applies to writing. I know the big words in the English language. I’ve taught Latin for decades. Most of the big words in English come from Latin. 90% of them, in fact.
In fact, I even have a four volume DVD series dedicated to many of the big words in English. If you are interested, and if you want to watch me make a fool of myself, check out Word Up.
Nonetheless, I avoid using big words. Like guns, I know how to use them… but, I’d rather not.
I am with Ernest Hemmingway on this one. He once said, “Poor Faulkner. Does he really think big emotions come from big words? He thinks I don’t know the ten-dollar words. I know them all right. But, there are older and simpler and better words, and those are the ones I use.”
My goal is simple. I want to be understood. I want to make sure my writing is easy to read and easy to understand.
To ensure this happens, I use the 4S rule. The 4S rule (a rule I picked up from copywriter Bob Bly) is simple.
Use Small words, Short sentences, Short paragraphs and Short sections.
Basically, I ask myself. How would Cicero (the ancient Roman author known as the Great Bore to C.S. Lewis) write this?
Then, I do the opposite.
If you make a living by writing, as I do, then consider keeping it simple.
A new class (but, don’t get excited).
I have added a new “secret” class. I am finally be returning to my first language love. German. But, don’t get excited.
For several months I was in an intensive French class. The teacher, located in France, taught at noon. Her time. For me, it was five in the morning.
I got used to getting up that early. In fact, I grew to like it. I’d get things done after class before the rest of my classes began.
So, I am offering German. At five in the morning. (Central Time Zone).
Relax. You don’t have to come to class. All will be recorded, as usual. I would be going through Margarita Madrigal’s Magic Key to German.
We started a few weeks ago. In case I did not make this clear… you do not have to come to the live class.
To join the live class (if you want to get up that early), go here and scroll down until you find the German connection: https://dwanethomas.com/live-classes/
Here is what we are up to. Since I record everything I teach, you are welcome to jump into classes any time.
Monday-Friday 5:00 – 5:25 am Central Time Zone (CTZ).
I know it’s early. Relax. Once again, you don’t have to come to class. All classes will be recorded, as usual. Subscribers have access to all the classes I teach 24/7.
I used to live in Germany, and speak German fairly well. As always my classes are public learning exercises. Or, in this case, public improvement exercises. I am inviting you to learn/improve with me.
We are currently in Chapter 4.
Monday-Friday 7:00 – 7:25 am Central Time Zone (CTZ).
In Spanish, we are in chapter 25 of the book All Spanish Method by Guillermo Aviles. If you are starting out this year, and you want to tag along, the previous chapters are all up on my site. Subscribers have access to them 24/7.
Keep in mind I am still learning Spanish. So, I am “teaching” this class. The truth is… I am simply learning Spanish publicly. You are welcome to join me.
Monday-Friday 7:30 – 7:55 am CTZ.
We are in chapter 10 of Le Francais par la Methode Nature. Last year, I took students through the first 20 chapters, or so. This time, we will try to make it to the end. There are 50 chapters. It will take a few years. I do not intend to start over next summer.
Keep in mind I am still learning French. So, I am “teaching” this class. The truth is… I am simply learning French publicly. You are welcome to join me.
If you really want to learn Latin well, and if you want to have a good time while doing it, read Lingua Latina by Hans Ørberg. Feel free to join the Lingua Latina class I am teaching every weekday morning.
Latin 2: Monday-Friday 8:00-8:25 am CTZ
We continue to work our way through Exercitia Latina. We are in chapter 25. This class is really for those who want to go even deeper into Lingua Latina by Hans Ørberg. If you were in Latin 3 (Third Year Latin by Robert Henle), you would benefit from this class.
Latin 1: Monday-Friday 8:30-8:55 am CTZ
This year, we started Lingua Latina by Hans Ørberg over again. We are currently in chapter 8.
Though I can’t believe it, every year some people come to every class I teach. I guess they just like my voice.
So, if you decide to come to them all, here are the same classes from above in chronological order:
- 5:00 – 5:30 am – German: The Magic Key to German
- 7:00 – 7:25 am – Spanish 2: All Spanish Method by Guillermo Aviles
- 7:30 – 7:55 am – French 1: Le Francais par la Methode Nature
- 8:00 – 8:25 am – Latin 2: Exercitia Latina by Hans Ørberg
- 8:30 – 8:55 am – Latin 1: Lingua Latina by Hans Ørberg
And now… the same thing I say every week.
Subscribers sometimes use my weekly emails as reminders to unsubscribe from my site.
Just keep in mind… I offer something no one else in academia (as far as I know) offers. Stick with me for 3 uninterrupted years and you will have a lifetime subscription.
I now know this is a dumb business decision on my part, but I have heard from many of you that it is a huge help, so the offer stands.
Of course, if you are just starting out in Latin, you may be happier with Visual Latin.
Visual Latin is a full-blown Latin course. It is rigorous, just not as rigorous as the classes on my site. The classes on my site are more “next level” classes, really.
By the way, if you are into etymology (the history of words), and if you would like to see me make a fool of myself, you might enjoy Word Up.
Five years ago, or so, we launched this series just to see if it would work. It did.
And, after years of listening to many of you beg for more, I finally gave in and agreed to make a fool of myself once again.
Volumes 2 and 3 of Word Up are available.
And… if you aren’t a member of my site and would like to join, click here: https://dwanethomas.com/join/.
I hope you have a very happy Saturday!
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Scroll down a bit until you see my book, Via. Enter your name and email and you will hear from me weekly. You will also get a free copy of my book, Via.