Post Eagle Newspaper


May 27, 2024

45°F, few clouds
New Jersey

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Vicarious – Vernacular

The words for today have to do with slaves in ancient Roman times.

The word – VICARIOUS – is defined as second hand experience, suffering or joy in place of another. It comes from the Latin word – Vicarius – which means – the slave of a slave. Romans had many slaves working the farms and mines. A head slave had many subordinate slaves under his control. He would delegate the tasks which he received from his master to the inferior slaves. Today, you may experience second hand pain or pleasure by putting yourself into a story which you are reading. You have substituted yourself for the character.

The word – VERNACULAR – is defined as – native, originating in the place of its occurrence. It comes from the Latin word – Vernaculus-which means – a slave born at home (in the country where his mother is enslaved ). This new-born slave, in ancient Rome, then spoke the native language – Latin. His mother may have spoken Greek or German or any of the many languages from the conquered nations, but he or she learned the language of the Roman home.