Sunday, May 30, 2010

Writing Strategy: The Moral of the Story

There are basically three ways that the moral of an Aesop's fable can be expressed. You can have the moral stated at the beginning of the story; this is called a promythium, which is a Greek word meaning "before-the-story." You can also have a moral that comes after the story, which is an epimythium, "after- the-story."

In addition - and this is the kind of moral that I like the best - you can have the moral be pronounced by one of the characters in the story itself. There is not a traditional technical term for this kind of moral, but I like to call it an endomythium, "inside-the-story."

So, for example, when I read this list - hic - modus - gens - quam - reddo - for some reason I thought about the fable of the man who picked up a frozen snake, but when the snake warmed up it then bit the man who had saved it. I decided to use the Latin words to express the moral of the story, putting words in the man's mouth as he died from the snake's venom. You can read the results here if you are curious.

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Do you have some good strategies for doing the Vocabulary Challenge in Latin? Share your ideas here! Here are some strategies that I've used in writing my responses.

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