Reply to post: Re: Unobtainium...

Periodic table enjoys elemental engorgement

Kristian Walsh Silver badge

Re: Unobtainium...

It's precisely because nobody speaks Latin that it's used so much for naming. The idea is to have a language that everyone can agree does not favour any one country.

Look at Switzerland: it has four spoken languages, each with its own vocal lobby: even deciding what to put on the postage stamps was a contentious question. The solution was to use Latin, as it belonged to no group at all. So, the stamps say "Helvetia", and the car-stickers read "CH" ("Confœderatio Helvetica" - "[the] Swiss Confederation"), as does the ISO Country code and thus Switzerland's top-level domain name.

Latin's other advantage is that because there are no native speakers to object, its pronunciation has, over the centuries, been knocked into a form that's simple enough that speakers of pretty much any other language can master it.

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