Education: Hot Latin

Standing in front of a huge slide picture of a Roman citizen, a Latin professor was putting his class through its paces. "Quid est?" said he, pointing to the Roman's eye. "Oculus," chirped the class. "Quid est?" continued the professor. "Pes," answered the class. Actually, the students knew all about pes and oculus already: they were Latin teachers of many years' standing. But last week at the University of Michigan, they did not mind starting from scratch, learning the latest teaching methods of a linguistics expert named Waldo Sweet.

At 41, bookish, spectacled Professor Sweet is considered something of a revolutionary: he...

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