It’s all Greek to me

Sometimes when I get frustrated with Greek and Latin, I forget how hard it is to read my own language.  It’s one thing to read a newspaper, it’s another thing to read difficult texts like Newman’s Essay on the Development of Christian Doctrine which I am reading right now.  I am also studying to renew my Cisco certification, and I have to deal with gems like this one:

Have a look at the diagram below. It demonstrates the CIST topology calculated from the physical topology we outlined above. First, SW1-1 is elected as the CIST Root as it has the lowest Bridge ID among all bridges in all regions. This automatically makes region 1 a virtual bridge with all boundary ports unblocked. Next, SW2-1 and SW3-1 are elected as the CIST Regional Roots in their respective regions. Notice that SW3-1 and SW2-3 have equal External Costs to reach the CIST Root but SW3-1 wins the CIST Regional Root role due to lower priority. Keep in mind that in the topology with multiple MSTP regions, every region that does not contain the CIST Root has to change the IST Root election process and make IST Root equal to CIST Regional Root.

My eyes glaze over at this just like they do sometimes when tackling Plato.  Yes, classical languages present some new challenges, but many of the challenges they present are the same as those we encounter in our own language.  For example, I am having a hard time with the vocabulary in Sophocles’ Oedipus Rex.  I am also, however, reading an English translation of Anne Catherine Emmerich, and I have to keep a dictionary with me at all times!  And a passage like I quoted above is full of its own vocabulary.  If anything, studying classics has made me more aware of the difficulty and ambiguity of language in general, and it often makes me wonder whether we ever really succeed in communicating anything to one another!


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