Well, hello ... I feel a little out of my element, so many of you come at this from such a scholarly approach, my own interest is more nostalgic. I first had exposure to Latin in 1965 in Hawaii in a private Lutheran school because the public school system in Hawaii was (at best) dismal ... I was 12 or so, but something about Latin that I had picked up on several failed language studies ... notably Spanish and French ... suddenly made sense! Germanic words that I had often wondered about fell into place, some Russian words bore a surprising resemblance to Italian ... it was an eye opener, to be sure!
I'm not here as a linguist, but as someone who appreciates puzzles posed by images or words or (as I get a broader view of it) history, and language becomes more and more important to me and my work as they become more commingled. (Familiarity breeds content.)
I'm Bill Warren, a science fiction/fantasy/forensic/speculative science illustrator, professionally published since 1976. 19 years computer and traditional art and animation with The Boeing Company, tearsheets from Analog, Alfred Hitchcock's, Tomorrow, Amazing Stories, Writers Of The Future, Popular Mechanics, The American Review of Physics ... I have to become a weekend expert on everything from Egyptian (Coptic) heiroglyphics to steam locomotives from one assignment to the next.
Most of my authors double as academicians ... Harry Turtledove, Gerry Nordley come to mind ... and had it not been for my accidental introduction to Latin I might not have understood about half of the humor that bandies about in some circles. It is also a great source for the satisfaction of curiosity and, I've found, an opportunity to bridge gaps with languages that are similarly rooted (Portuguese v Spanish, e.g.) but the root language is Latin!
So, I come here sort of as a pointless seeker, a self-instructed dimwit who grasps that there are threads of culture seldom appreciated and sometimes barely realized in mainstream culture, but as an appreciation for the value of history grows, so does the necessity to understand the meaning of the words behind the culture. I'm the geek who audits a class on the history of the Byzantine Empire because my last class and my next class are in the same room next door and it's too damned hot to walk all the way to the canteen and back in an hour, and while it seemed like the semester lasted longer than Byzantium it still delivered gems from unexpected quarters later in life.
I am an illustrator. I read other people's words and translate them into images. Sometimes, these images are of a purely scientific nature. More often, they are works of prose or fiction, usually scientifically based but nonetheless subjective works, open to interpretation. The better I understand the written word and all its root implications, the more efficiently and clearly I can posit the correct illustrative approach.
Because yeah, I tried writing, and I don't have the knack. And it's not bad enough that I became an artist because a picture is worth a thousand words ... I went to work at The Boeing Company as a computer animator. Suddenly I could communicate 30,000 words per second! (video = 30 frames per second ... sorry, I just think that's a fun fact.)
I'm semi-retired these days, which gives me time to research my subjects a little more in depth than I had the luxury of enjoying a couple of decades ago. The more I learn, the more often I return to Latin. This article about the kinetic energy weapon* (the electromagnetic railgun) caught my eye because Dr. Gerald D. Nordley and I are working on an animation depicting the same type of device (on a much larger scale) to propel a starship to near relativistic speeds ... .8c, conservatively, over distance.
* And of course, I didn't save the URL about the Mach 7 linear motor. Their slogan was the straw that broke the artist's back, I had to find someplace to reconnect with the experts.
So, hello. I'm Bill Warren, and I'm an artist and illustrator and part time unwitting philologist.