Letters to the Editor


If the editor and his readership may tolerate one more letter on the timely issue of university name-change of the 'University of Louisiana at Lafayette' merely to 'University of Louisiana,' a grammatical solecism will be removed.

A simple appealment to grammar solves this problem, more specifically, etymology, morphology and genitival syntax.

Let us strip this proper noun to its bare appellatives without grammatical relation and with submerged determinatives: University (Province) Louisiana (City) Lafayette.

What does the appellative noun of circumscribed space, 'university,' mean? From the Medieval Latin (12th-13th century) "universitas, universitatis," meaning "a community of churchly scholars who were not cut off by excommunication, since no "badness, baseness, or malice" or "abhorrence of spiritual goods" are found in their character. The whole body or aggregated persons constituted the university; it is an abstract collective singular noun.

What does 'province' mean? It is a stipulated constitutional territory under a judicial-administrative governor. The term is of Latin-Roman origin, modeled on the Assyrian, Babylonian, Persian and Greek territorial districts by the ancient Romans. Louis XIV in the 17th century used this constitutional principle for the newly acquired "Louisiana territory" from Spain.

What does 'Louisiana' mean? This territory we call home was the Imperial lands of the Bourbon kings of France named for Louis XIV the Great. The suffix -iana is of Latin origin denoting constitutional citizenship, modeled on the Roman 'constitutio Antoniniana' of the Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius Antoninus (nicknamed, Caracalla) in his edit of A.D. 212 [See Ulpian, Digesta 1.5.17] which conferred universal Roman citizenship on all people living within the Roman Empire.

The term 'city' merits no comment.

Lafayette, however, does. As a city name, it is a locative noun or noun of local extension to denote a locality in general, and level surface in particular (think of a map here).

Since our great university houses international, national and local men and women of renown, the locative appellative "at Lafayette" misleads, distorts and falsifies the true character of our university.

How? There are two "university" templates: the modern German system, and the ancient English-French system. Our university conforms to the French model, or its par excellence, the University of Paris, called Paris before the rise of the modern state of France. Here growth and development is internal within the conscribed space of the university land-mass.

Perforcely, to use two territorial determinatives "of Louisiana at Lafayette," one wider in scope (Louisiana) and the other narrower in scope is simple grammatical illiteracy.

The university scholars can contact their state Senator to redress this grammatical blunder quietly in the Senate chambers of Louisiana. Our great scholars have never forgotten their Isaian dittographic dictum: "The effect of righteousness (judicial sense for one who obeys the laws of the land) is quietness and confidence."