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Suppose someone is using the word "apology" in the theological sense, i.e., a "defense". I'm inclined to use the word "apologia" because it immediately distinguishes it from the typical meaning of "apology", but I'm wondering if this is considered correct:

"In Dr. Salien's apologia of Quebec French..."

or is this better:

"In Dr. Salien's apology for Quebec French..."

You see the problem - Dr. Salien is defending Quebec French, not saying that he is sorry for it.

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2 Answers 2

up vote 3 down vote accepted

In the case of both apology and apologia, the preposition to use is for:

apology. 3. a reasoned argument or writing in justification of something, typically a theory or religious doctrine: a specious apology for capitalism.

 

apologia. a formal written defense of one's opinions or conduct: an apologia for book banning.

(from the New Oxford American Dictionary). I agree that apologia has a clearer meaning if you are discussing an appropriate audience, though it might just sound pedant to the layman.

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I wouldn’t worry about sounding pedantic to a layman with this. If someone isn’t very familiar with this sense of apolog[y|ia], then apologia may have them wracking their memory/dictionary, but apology would have them misunderstanding you entirely, which is surely not better! –  PLL Mar 9 '11 at 15:38
    
@PLL -- wrack means "to destroy". The word you want, meaning to struggle to remember, is rack, as in to torture on a rack. –  Malvolio May 12 '11 at 19:34

Apologia for is the correct version, but it's also rather obscure and formal. I think you'd be better off using defense of or similar. (Though if you're actually talking about Québecois, perhaps the cognate with apology would appease any French readers you've got, because Québec French is kinda horrid if you're used to French French.)

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