I bet Finlayson is a follower

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.

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.


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  • Lion_ess

    I’m guessing you can buy packages of Twitter Followers the same way people buy Facebook Likes? I think it says, “we have two sets of rules – one for us and one for everyone else”.

    If anyone is interested … Dear youths (cari iuvenes), it is of use/it benefits (iuvat) to entrust (committere) completely (prorsus) all [one’s] own “things/maters” (omnia propria) to Christ (Christo) and his (eiusque) Gospel (Evangelio), [and] not to hesitate (non dubitare) to incur (adire) any danger (ullum periculum) for great objectives (pro magnis propositis). Ho hum.

    • Mark

      Being a Latin ignoramus I cheat and go to Google where it comes out as:

      “Dear young people, it helps to own all things to Christ and his Gospel to commit at all, no access, no danger for the great doubt of their propositions.”

  • Sponge


    • This_comment_was_deleted

      You are just as morally misguided as that MF’ing
      Power-hungry, self-aggrandized bigot in the stupid F’ing hat!

  • JC

    The other reason the Pope uses it in official communications is because its a dead language and thus less subject to changes in meaning.


  • IWantToBeLikeMallardOneDay

    Chinese is even more efficient. So is Esperanto.

  • IWantToBeLikeMallardOneDay

    Ego autem pedicaris alterboy intus confessionali