Because at this point in tax season, I am approaching brain death, I will be posting quoted material of interest from other websites. The following anecdote is from The Futility Closet:
A schoolmaster gave a Latin grammar to the 10-year-old Winston Churchill and directed him to learn a series of words.
Churchill found it an “absolute rigmarole” but memorized the list and reeled it off when asked.
‘But,’ I repeated, ‘what does it mean?’
‘Mensa means a table,’ he answered.
‘Then why does mensa also mean O table,’ I enquired, ‘and what does O table mean?’
‘Mensa, O table, is the vocative case,’ he replied.
‘But why O table?’ I persisted in genuine curiosity.
‘O table,–you would use that in addressing a table, in invoking a table.’ And then seeing he was not carrying me with him, ‘You would use it in speaking to a table.’
‘But I never do!’ I blurted out in honest amazement.
“Such was my introduction,” he later wrote, “to the classics from which, I have been told, many of our cleverest men have derived so much solace and profit.”