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I have a question about this word: "plus". Where can we use "plus"? Do these phrases have any meaning? What are they?

  • America Plus
  • American Plus
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2 Answers 2

up vote 4 down vote accepted

Plus is Latin. Means "more" but in the additive way.

Non plus ultra = No más allá. No further than that.

1 plus 1.

When used in names, means "best", exaggeration, some kind of "push up". I'm just recalling this so you surely should check the Latin original term and the usage in English today.

In your examples. American Plus = American Best, American Top.

As with many Latin words, the translation is subjective to the context, but when used in branding, is just a "cliché" to say you're top.

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Interesting that the Latin word "plus" as in 1 + 1 was kept in English ("one plus one") and German ("eins plus eins"), for example, but not in more Latin languages: Spanish ("uno más uno"), Portuguese ("um mais um") and Italian ("uno più uno"). In French it was also kept ("un plus un"). –  b.roth Dec 2 '10 at 13:35
    
Thank you! It is very useful! –  kikio Dec 2 '10 at 14:20
    
Women's clothiers use "plus-size" to denote dress size above a certain threshold (not sure what that is). It has become a euphemism for "fat" recently. –  Robusto Dec 2 '10 at 14:23
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I have never before encountered the form "non plus ultra". My experience is only of "ne plus ultra" - the "ne" implying a following subjunctive, i.e. a command or advice "No further (should you go)". –  Colin Fine Dec 2 '10 at 17:57
    
In old latin comments on texts and in spanish is a phrase well known: buscon.rae.es/draeI/… –  Billeeb Dec 2 '10 at 18:53

I'm having trouble assigning any meaning to America Plus or American Plus. I kind of want to add another word: America plus Europe equals [something], but that doesn't really make any more sense, either.

Besides the mathematical sense ("two plus two equals four"), you see the word plus used in the combination plus-sized "needs to shop for clothes in the big & tall section"; as a synonym for advantage: "the pluses outweigh the minuses"; and as a coordinating conjunction meaning something like also: "He had an overbite, plus he stuttered, so he didn't have many friends at school."

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Keep being the sense of "more". Plus-sized: "further" sized - Pluses: Pros (benefits outweigh the non-benefits). The translation of many words from latin to any of our languages has been done not from a literal standpoint, but, from the context the word has been passed to us. Like Non Plus Ultra being the most known. So the plus ultra part has been mixed and when you say plus is something like you're saying "further than", "furthest", etc. You can't understand its use from what I'm saying but you can from reading and seeing it used, even when sometimes is not correct, like "pluses". –  Billeeb Dec 3 '10 at 14:27
    
@Billeeb: perhaps I was unclear. I'm saying that I don't think a phrase with "plus" at the end is an appropriate usage of the word. A native speaker (of which I am one) certainly wouldn't use it that way. –  Marthaª Dec 3 '10 at 14:39
    
@Martha, Ok, now I get you. You're right, that's the reason why I said "cliché" when I wrote about the branding issue which is old and common in "ages" past, about using "xxxxxx Plus". Its just as useful as saying "xxxxx Gold" or "xxxx Silver". Imagine "Mastercard Plus" (now they use Platinum, they are slowly using the periodic table hahaha) but the idea is as stated, not a literal meaning, just an enforcement of an idea behind the Plus. As an example: Visa Gold, Visa Plus, Etc. I hope you understand this is not a question of understanding when should be used, but when could be used. –  Billeeb Dec 3 '10 at 18:45
    
BTW, in the case of the question being "Have this phrases any meaning?" It depends if you get accustomed to the use of the word. It may sound odd to you and feel a lack of meaning to it, but is like using Idem, Post Mortem, Ad Aeternum, Motu Proprio. You get to know when to use it and what for, but the real meaning, is it that useful for the purpose of understanding its use? I can't explain it more because there's not much more to it. Sorry. Maybe here you could be enlightened a little more: proz.com/kudoz/spanish_to_english/art_literary/… –  Billeeb Dec 3 '10 at 19:00
    
For the foreign phrases you list, @Billeeb, knowing what they mean is simply a matter of learning what they mean. This does not apply to a nonsense phrase like "America Plus" - there is no meaning to learn because it's meaningless. Well, until and unless some marketing department decides to start using it and assigns it a meaning; but such a far-fetched hypothetical is irrelevant to the question at hand. –  Marthaª Dec 3 '10 at 19:58

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