My high school had a robust foreign languages program, and I was lucky enough to study Spanish, German, and Latin. Unfortunately, I’ve mostly lost the German and Latin. I only took one year of German. Also, despite three years of Latin under the robust learning processes of the yardstick wielding Mrs. Murphy, I just haven’t found many Romans to practice with over the years. Still, I really enjoyed Latin class, especially the history and watching the conservative Mrs. Murphy trying to make sense of the growing curiosity between two of my female classmates. On a more practical basis, Latin helped me in many other subject during high school and college. And I still admittedly derive some intellectual self pleasure from using a Latin phrase from time to time.
One of my favorite phrases is de gustibus non est disputandum. Literally, it means “about tastes, it should not be disputed.” In modern usage it means “there’s no accounting for taste.” State another way, subjective opinions cannot be right or wrong, and people probably shouldn’t waste a lot of time and energy arguing for their opinions.
I’ve seen two examples of such opinions this week. First I’ve observed some very strong feelings about the new Star Wars movie The Last Jedi. But more close to home, I had the displeasure of reading this ridiculous attack on improv comedy from a stand-up comedian:
I used to hear and read more attacks on improv from the stand-up community many years ago when I was still early into my improv experience. But those attacks seemed to die out as improv became more popular, as more performers spanned both worlds, and as more hybrid and crossover formats emerged.
I’m not going to waste my time address the many flaws with Mr. piece, which also does touch upon some important truths. Instead, you can look in the comments and find a very good reply here:
The fact is I accepted a long time ago that some people just don’t like improv. De gustibus non est disputandum!