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ILLA Blogs - Playing With Words: Luder and Ludus

Playing With Words: Luder and Ludus

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Playing? In school? First, a couple of words about playing in school.

Luder (Luther) “Now since the young must always be hopping and skipping, or at least doing something that they enjoy, and since one cannot very well forbid this — nor would it be wise to forbid them everything — why then should we not set up such schools for them and introduce them to such studies? By the grace of God it is now possible for children to study with pleasure and in play languages, or other arts, or history. Today, schools are not what they once were, a X and purgatory in which we were tormented with casualibus and temporalibus, and yet learned less than nothing despite all the flogging, trembling, anguish, and misery. If we take so much time and trouble to teach children card-playing, singing, and dancing, why do we not take as much time to teach them reading and other disciplines while they are young and have the time, and are apt and eager to learn?(The American Edition of Luther's Works, vol. 45, pp. 369-370)

Ludus in Latin was associated with a number of things, two of which included "play" and "school." One definition given on Wikipedia relates that a ludus was "an elementary or primary school or the school of the “litterator" attended by boys and girls up to the age of 11 was a ludus. Ludi were to be found throughout the city, and were run by a ludi magister (schoolmaster) who was often an educated slave or freedman. School started around six o'clock each morning and finished just after midday. Students were taught math, reading, writing, poetry, geometry and sometimes rhetoric."

Whenever I tell my students that one Latin word for school is a synonym for fun, they find it difficult to believe. (In the spirit of full disclosure: I am vigorously opposed to attempts to make school fun, but I am altogether in favor of making school fascinating. More on that in a later blog.)

That being said, there are a number of ways to play (or should I say, "to fascinate"?) with words  such as Jumble, Boggle (anagrams), Scrabble, WordMorph, Crosswords, Hangman, Palindromes, Rootonym, UnoLingo, and Lexigo.

You might begin pulling this thread at The Puzzle Society, USA Today Puzzles, and even AARP (besides the games you might find on SpellingCity wherein you could add your own spelling/vocabulary list).

Students (and Disciples) Asking Questions
Tolkien, Lewis, and Disney
 

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Sunday, 16 February 2020

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