I came across the phrase, ‘cum grano salis’ in the article written by Chris Cillizza, a political pundit in the August 8th Washington Post’s article under the title ‘GOP smells blood in Presidential race.’ The article deals with the results of latest polls that show significant erosion of the President Obama’s support basis after the downgrading of American credit by S & P’s last Friday.
The phrase in question appears in the following lines:
“Polls are, of course a snapshot in time and are rightly taken cum grano salis. But, it’s not hard to read between the data points on this particular survey.”
As I am totally unfamiliar with the phrase, “take something cum grano salis,” I checked online dictionaries. Both Free Merriam-Webster and Oxford Dictionaries had an entry of 'cum grano salis' as a phrase of Latin origin meaning ‘take something with a grain (pinch) of salt.’
I wonder how popular this phrase is among native speakers. Is it just a liking or style of the author to have used deliberately a ‘big word’ like ‘cum grano salis’ instead of simply saying ‘with a grain of salt’ that can be understood by everybody? If I use “take something cum grano salis ” mimicking the author - like 'You'd better to take Taro's story cum grano salis, in day-to-day conversation among chums, am I taken for granted, or ridiculed?