SermonIndex Audio Sermons
Image Map
SermonIndex.net : Christian Books : Chapter 24. Now a strong desire for clearness sometimes leads to neglect of the more polishedà

On Christian Doctrine In Four Books by St. Augustine

Chapter 24. Now a strong desire for clearness sometimes leads to neglect of the more polishedà

24. Now a strong desire for clearness sometimes leads to neglect of the more polished forms of speech, and indifference about what sounds well, compared with what dearly expresses and conveys the meaning intended. Whence a certain author, when dealing with speech of this kind, says that there is in it |a kind of careful negligence.| Yet while taking away ornament, it does not bring in vulgarity of speech; though good teachers have, or ought to have, so great an anxiety about teaching that they will employ a word which cannot be made pure Latin without becoming obscure or ambiguous, but which when used according to the vulgar idiom is neither ambiguous nor obscure) not in the way the learned, but rather in the way the unlearned employ it. For if our translators did not shrink from saying, |Non congregabo conventicula eorum de sanguinibus| (I shall not assemble their assemblies of blood), because they felt that it was important for the sense to put a word here in the plural which in Latin is only used in the singular; why should a teacher of godliness who is addressing an unlearned audience shrink from using |ossum|; instead of |os|, if he fear that the latter might be taken not as the singular of |ossa|, but as the singular of |ora|, seeing that African ears have no quick perception of the shortness or length of vowels? And what advantage is there in purity of speech which does not lead to understanding in the hearer, seeing that there is no use at all in speaking, if they do not understand us for whose sake we speak? He, therefore, who teaches will avoid all words that do not teach; and if instead of them he can find words which are at once pure and intelligible, he will take these by preference; if, however, he cannot, either because there are no such words, or because they do not at the time occur to him, he will use words that are not quite pure, if only the substance of his thought be conveyed and apprehended in its integrity.

<<  Contents  >>





©2002-2021 SermonIndex.net
Promoting Genuine Biblical Revival.
Affiliate Disclosure | Privacy Policy