I've never studied Latin. In my defence (and perhaps a little smugly), I'm happy to say that by the time I started school, it didn't feature in the curriculum.
Latin, of course, was the mandatory language at school for my parents, who were able to quote it verbatim when I was growing up. Much to my annoyance. Not just because they were my parents, but because, like most teenagers, I thought I knew everything.
I vaguely recall them saying I had it pretty easy when I started studying languages at school - French, of course, because that was the classic of my day. And Bahasa Indonesia; what you'd consider a modern language because it didn't become official until the country declared independence in 1945.
I studied Russian for a while and picked up a smattering of Tok Pisin, or pidgin English, during my time in Papua New Guinea. Then there was some Cantonese in Hong Kong and a little Swedish to impress the locals. A vital advantage these days because that's where I'm doing my house-hunting.
But Latin is one language that I've not shown much of an interest in. Until now, that is. And it's only because of a book I read recently.
Pompeii, by Robert Harris, the British author, is exactly what it says it is: an interesting look into a time long gone that The Sunday Times says is "blazingly exciting". I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that The Sunday Times is trying to be clever because the book is about Mount Vesuvius and its subsequent eruption that destroyed Pompeii.
Anyway, because of the time he was writing about, Harris uses a bit of Latin in his book, including a couple of interesting phrases.
Salve lucrumis one. Or hail profit. That's something we've not heard for a while. And I'm not just talking about the Latin version of it.
Who's making a profit these days? Mark Zuckerberg, the co-founder and chief executive of Facebook, certainly isn't, having lost a few billion big ones after the disastrous listing last month of his social-networking site on the Nasdaq.
Not even being on his honeymoon in Italy is cheering him up, if you believe the photos of him and his new wife sitting in a cafe in Rome this week. They looked miserable.
But, hey, if everything goes belly up and there's another dot-com crash, which some say there will be, she's just qualified as a doctor and can support him as he looks for another start-up idea to "borrow", sorry, share with a couple of other hoodie-wearing nerds.
I think bankers are still pretty happy, too - unless, of course, you are the "London Whale" and responsible for JPMorgan & Co's recent US$2 billion (Dh7.3bn) trading loss.
I imagine if they spoke Latin, many of them would be saying something along the lines of "meus richus", especially when they receive their legendary six-figure bonuses - despite the continuing financial crisis. Or should that be richus meus? See, I told you I knew nothing about Latin.
But for the average person, any sort of windfall has become somewhat of a memory these days. Which rules out using another Latin phrase I have also learnt: lucrum gaudium, or profit is joy.
Thanks to volatile stock markets, record low interest rates on our fixed deposits and savings, the unreliable highs and lows of currency swings that affect our remittances and investment funds that these days return very little (if anything), there's not much out there that is bringing joy to anybody, anywhere.
In fact, in the Middle East and North Africa region alone, 31 per cent of respondents to the latest Bayt.com and YouGov Consumer Confidence Index say their financial situation has worsened over the past year, while 34 per cent say they've not experienced any change at all.
The survey, released this week, also found that 67 per cent of respondents were unhappy with their salaries, which were failing to keep up with the cost of living, and 40 per cent were dissatisfied with their jobs and career prospects.
Globally, as we all know, the picture is much gloomier.
As we head into a summer of discontent for our personal finances, another Latin phrase comes to mind: absque argento omnia vana.
Without money, all is in vain.