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[2] Language may be described as mean when it is beneath the dignity of the subject or the rank of the speaker. Some orators fall into serious error in their eagerness to avoid this fault, and are afraid of all words that are in ordinary use, even although they may be absolutely necessary for their purpose. There was, for example, the man who in the course of a speech spoke of “Iberian grass,” a meaningless phrase intelligible only to himself. Cassius Severus, however, by way of deriding his affectation, explained that he meant Spanish broom.

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load focus Introduction (Harold Edgeworth Butler, 1922)
load focus Latin (Harold Edgeworth Butler, 1922)
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