Language rivalry turns violent

Jacqueline Condon, Scourge of the Spaceways

Those fighting for the classical languages strategize and plan their next attack. Photo by Marquel Plavan.

After years of quietly seething hostilities, the classical and modern language departments at the University of Dallas have finally come to blows.

“You can only be told that you speak ‘corrupted barbarian Latin’ for so long before you snap,” one of the combatants fumed, waving a baguette aggressively.

Not everyone finds the conflict so obvious.

“I don’t see what the problem is,” a Latin student said while taking a break from what he called a noble fight.  “It’s not like we have a superiority complex or something.  We just happen to study the language of poetry, science, history, reason, law, civilization itself and God.”

The Italian department is the only representative of modern languages to remain neutral.

“We can’t choose between our Roman roots and our modern status,” a professor confided.  “Besides, have you seen what happens to the schismatics in Dante?  We like our bowels where they are, grazie.”

The combined modern language forces took advantage of Easter Monday, when most students were sleeping following raucous Easter festivities, to seize and fortify Anselm.

The next day, however, they found a giant wooden éclair on the doorstep, and the French department decided to bring it inside.

That night, heavily armed students of Greek poured out of the éclair.

The French department surrendered in the face of the onslaught, and their compatriots were forced to retreat.

The Greek students with their professors ransacked Anselm, before triumphantly setting sail in the Rochelle Park pond in the light of the rosy-fingered dawn.

According to an English professor, they have unaccountably disappeared, but “we can expect them to return in ten years or so. Some of them, anyway.”

The Spanish department was certainly the most enthusiastic of the combatants.

Students and faculty could be heard shouting slogans such as,  “We ruled Texas once, and we can do it again!” and “Prepare for la Reconquista!”

The Spanish program, furthermore, enjoyed the natural sympathies of many within the university and the broader community of the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex.

They lost popular support, however, after a disastrous attempt to joust with some telephone poles caused power outages throughout Irving and hospitalized most of the faculty.

The remaining forces of both sides have united under the Latin and German departments, respectively.

At the time of publication, they were seen battling on the athletic fields, as well as making guerilla campaigns in the woods.

Both sides are equipped with swords and armor pilfered from the drama department, KAOS water guns and catapults, which are being used to launch an assortment of rocks, litter and cacti.

The physics department claims that they had nothing to do with building or distributing the catapults, but an official investigation is pending, and the chemistry and biology departments are being carefully monitored by Campus Security — just in case, according to an anonymous officer.

Due to war zone conditions, all athletic events have been canceled until further notice.

The decision has sparked frustration within the university and simple bafflement without.

“Those UD kids have always been weird, but this is taking it too far,” one NCAA official remarked.

Another was heard muttering, “This is what happens when you let unsocialized homeschoolers run amok.”

The present crisis, no longer merely confined to the languages, has prompted soul-searching throughout the community.

“This is the greatest challenge to the university’s mission that we’ve seen,” President Thomas Keefe said.  “Can we unite the ancient and the contemporary?  The classical and modern?  I just don’t know.”

The less philosophically minded, however, seem unfazed.

One such student, found relaxing by the Cap Bar, remarked, “As long as they’re fighting, I don’t have to take my Latin midterm.”

Disclaimer: This is the April Fools’ edition of the paper. All stories are fictitious in nature.


  1. Class of ’13 people were sending this around, and dear goodness, this is the best thing I’ve ever read from UD’s Newspaper. Condon, SCOURGE OF THE SPACEWAYS, you are my hero.

    • Thank you so much for saying so! I was having a rough night and this brightened it up. I had a lot of fun writing this article, as you can tell. I’m so glad you enjoyed it!


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