Christopher Finlayson is probably one of the quickest wits and sharpest tongues in parliament. He is also a fan of the arts and a catholic.
I suspect he will be mildly interested in the Pope’s Latin Twitter account which has scored 142,000 followers in short order.
Cari iuvenes, iuvat prorsus omnia propria Christo eiusque Evangelio committere, ullum periculum pro magnis propositis adire non dubitare.
— Papa Franciscus (@Pontifex_ln) July 31, 2013
POPE BENEDICT XVI was a Latin lover. In January, not long before stepping down, he launched a Latin language Twitter account that has since attracted more than 130,000 followers. People have used it to follow the visit to Brazil of the new pope, Francis. By comparison, the Polish papal Twitter feed has slightly more than 108,000 followers whereas Spanish, the most popular of the papal accounts, has more than 3m. Benedict also announced his resignation using Latin, giving a scoop to the one journalist who could understand him. The Vatican’s affection for Latin is shared by others online and on the airwaves. Why does a language with no native speakers have so many fans?
And Latin it appears is great for Twitter…if only people could understand it. My 3rd and 4th form latin doesn’t quite stretch.
Latin’s succinctness makes it ideal for Twitter’s 140-character epigraphs and aphorisms. Five words can often say more than ten English ones, according to David Butterfield, a Latinist at the University of Cambridge. He also believes that the language is suited to journalism: “Whatever the first tongue of the reporter, and regardless of the native language of the subject matter recounted, Latin will allow a precise and direct summary,” he says.