Joseph SobranJoseph Sobran, (1946-2010) American columnist

Joseph Sobran Quote

“In 100 years we have gone from teaching Latin and Greek in high school to teaching Remedial English in college.”

Joseph SobranJoseph Sobran
~ Joseph Sobran

Ratings and Comments

Mike, Norwalk

I didn't exactly know how to rate this, a thumb's down for what it means to the whole of America, or 5 stars for accuracy.

  • 1
  • Reply
RBESRQ    1/14/09

Its the intention that matters. - the only true education is Liberal Arts. Liberal Arts education provides the basis for survival it fosters critical thinking and individualism, both essential ingredients in a world where purely academic education is only represented by a small majority of available jobs. It allows an understanding of the different disciplines from a variety of life’s rich knowledge. It provides understanding through communication and experience that is wide and inclusive. Teach your child these qualities and all else with fall into place – you will have a child that questions authority and whose vocabulary does not include mediocrity.

jim k, austin

Remedial English is important. We don't want college graduates who can't read their diplomas or even spell diploma.

jim k, austin

If I were advising a youngster about college, I'd say take all the math you can take. Especially if you plan on getting a good job later.

Anonymous, Reston, VA US

A true indictment of our countries parents! All in my family learned to read long before starting school, and continued to read for the joy not due to assignments from school. And to learn math, take music first, the connection has long since been proven.

Waffler, Smith, Arkansas

Latin and Greek are a waste of time for most people. Good for the literary types and historical researchers. But ah! the vernacular. While we try to rid people of it, poets and playwrights try to capture it for its profundity and sheer joy. For an appreciation of vernacular and street talk watch the film "Educating Rita". Good stuff RBESRQ, the purpose of school is not to facts and math per se but ideally to inspire, awaken and get children to reach for the stars in their own individual ways not creat straight A factoid robots.

E Archer, NYC

Yeah, yeah, yeah. OK, so why do we not honestly examine why the standards for education have been reduced so low while the standards of European and Asian schools go up? When will we admit that our own government has willfully been dumbing us down for several generations now? To what end? For what reasonable purpose? Has this been done intentionally? YES! The American education system has been subverted with the absolute intention to produce generations of uneducated, conditioned (i.e. socialized), and dependent citizens who do not know their rights, have been disarmed in every way possible, and taught to worship authority of the state above the sovereignty of the individual. We are being taught to forget who we are, and to render us mere serfs in on our own land and in our own country. It is the 'renaissance' of the subservient mind and debtors' mentality.

Waffler, Smith, Arkansas

So why does the world beat a path to our colleges and universities. The best in the world. Your a flake Archer!

E Archer, NYC

Getting a US student visa is one step closer to getting a Green Card and ultimately citizenship -- that's one popular reason. Of course, plenty of English-speaking folks choose England, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, even India! Again, America-centric thinking clouds the mind of numerous possibilities. Believe me, Americans are leaving in droves. Secondly, 'distance learning' is one of the fastest growing fields in the 21st century -- soon 'school' will be for socialization only, since if you really wanted to learn something, you could do it right now! That's another reason the 'state' is coming down harder on homeschooling -- because entire generations of students will not get the necessary programming needed to maintain the 'status quo.' I mean they will need someone to take Waffler's place when he and his ilk are pushing up daisies.

Ken Castleberry, Bowling Green, KY

For once I have to back a New Yawker. Archer is absolutely correct.

Dan Dennehy, Boston

50% of English is derived from Latin and 10-15% of English is derived from Attic Greek. If one remembers the derivatives he can have an extensive vocabulary. Although Latin and Attic Greek are dead languages they teach the mind to think.

  • 1
  • Reply
    RBESRQ    1/15/09

    We do have about 70 Celtic words we still use today and the word 'Red' is one of them - much of the Celtic language has its roots in Indo-European (Sanskrit) also much of our language today is from Old-English, German and Dutch. Latin I believe was brought into Italian peninsular by the Etruscans - please correct me if I'm wrong. Another great contributor is obviously Greek

    Bea, Fresno

    Does anyone know where to get the source for this quote - or any other quotes at this site?

    Anonymous, Salem, NH

    Why do foreign students come here-because they can beat the pants off the competition and then take the best paying jobs you idiot-I suppose you aren't in industry but are part of academia

    Anonymous, Tampa Florida

    All big words in English are Latin and Greek. The left would be crushed in the US if people knew that "liber" (root of word liberal) meant people who paid no or little taxes, who had the right to own weapons, who chose their own educations, negotiated their own wages, had freedom of speech and freedom of religion. Modern liberals oppose all of these things but think a responsible rich guy should manage everything in your life. There was a word for this aswell, "servi" which translates to slave (the root of the word servant). I am a classical liberal, the opposite of a modern liberal.

    cal, Lewisville, TX

    Waffler is dead wrong. I wish I had studied foreign language sooner. It really does teach one how to study.

    Mike, Norwalk

    Waffler, expositor of the socialist's party line, rationalizing the dumming down of the specie. Very simply (and I'll write this real slow for the Wafflers), learning foreign languages (those that are significant roots to current English included) expand the mind, ignite differing parts of the brain and improve communication skills. Learning multiple languages also helps in the learning and advancements of other subjects - such as, learning music (instruments, singing, etc.) at a young age helps in learning and understanding math when getting older.

    KP, Ohio
    • Reply
      KP, Ohio    3/2/16

      Hey Waffler, it's "You're" not "Your." Someone needs to work on his/her English.

      Bobble, No.Ferrisburgh, VT

      Seems a bit harsh, but having been the son of a teacher ( a GOOD one ) and having at least tried SOME to teach, I believe he's correct. ( My 86-year old mind either is wiser or has gone off the edge )

      Robert, Somewhere in Europe

      Though Latin and Greek is not paramount in today's education, he does make a valid point. And I think Archer or Mike said it, re; children today couldn't pass the same tests they had forty years ago....

      Robert, Somewhere in Europe

      liberal (adj.) Look up liberal at
      mid-14c., "generous," also, late 14c., "selfless; noble, nobly born; abundant," and, early 15c., in a bad sense "extravagant, unrestrained," from Old French liberal "befitting free men, noble, generous, willing, zealous" (12c.), from Latin liberalis "noble, gracious, munificent, generous," literally "of freedom, pertaining to or befitting a free man," from liber "free, unrestricted, unimpeded; unbridled, unchecked, licentious," from PIE *leudh-ero-, probably originally "belonging to the people" (though the precise semantic development is obscure; compare frank (adj.)), and a suffixed form of the base *leudh- "people" (cognates: Old Church Slavonic ljudu, Lithuanian liaudis, Old English leod, German Leute "nation, people;" Old High German liut "person, people").

      With the meaning "free from restraint in speech or action," liberal was used 16c.-17c. as a term of reproach. It revived in a positive sense in the Enlightenment, with a meaning "free from prejudice, tolerant," which emerged 1776-88.

      In reference to education, explained by Fowler as "the education designed for a gentleman (Latin liber a free man) & ... opposed on the one hand to technical or professional or any special training, & on the other to education that stops short before manhood is reached" (see liberal arts). Purely in reference to political opinion, "tending in favor of freedom and democracy" it dates from c. 1801, from French libéral, originally applied in English by its opponents (often in French form and with suggestions of foreign lawlessness) to the party favorable to individual political freedoms. But also (especially in U.S. politics) tending to mean "favorable to government action to effect social change," which seems at times to draw more from the religious sense of "free from prejudice in favor of traditional opinions and established institutions" (and thus open to new ideas and plans of reform), which dates from 1823.
      Source: Online Etymology Dictionary


      Get a Quote-a-Day!

      Liberty Quotes sent to your mail box daily.