Questions about the use of Latin words and phrases in English.

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What would be the proper usage of “Qua” in a sentence?

I'm a native English speaker, but I'm trying to expand my vocabulary slightly. I looked this up online, and the definition for it baffled me. How exactly would I go about using this particular word?
3
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1answer
142 views

Why 'hippo-paw-tamus?'

The ruminations of an idle mind: Several English words such as potion, potable, potables, poison, derive from the Latin root potare, poto "to drink". In all cases these words are pronounced with a ...
0
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1answer
31 views

What's the difference between “idem” and “ditto”?

I understand that in colloquial American English people retort with "ditto" when they mean "likewise", but I don't know that it is a correct use. I always thought the real meaning was "as I ...
2
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0answers
44 views

What is the difference between sqq and ff?

What's the difference between sqq. and ff.? The Apocryphal Acts of Paul, Peter, John, Andrew and Thomas by Bernhard Pick has, for example, these 4 references in a row: Hennecke, N ...
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2answers
95 views

How did “RE:” as a “word” come about?

re1 Pronunciation: /riː/ /reɪ/ PREPOSITION In the matter of (used typically as the first word in the heading of an official document or to introduce a reference in a formal ...
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2answers
118 views

Why do we pronounce a long second vowel in “decide”, but a short second vowel in “decision”?

The "i" in "decide" is pronounced [aɪ], whereas the first "i" in "decision" is pronounced [ɪ], at least in American English. The same with pairs like collide/collision, divide/division, etc., despite ...
3
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1answer
81 views

What is the English saying for “pecunia non olet”

Pecunia non olet is a famous Latin saying: Pecunia non olet ("money does not stink") is a Latin saying. The phrase is ascribed to the Roman emperor Vespasian (ruled AD 69–79). The phrase is ...
3
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1answer
474 views

Latin (in wide use in English) for nonsensical response? [duplicate]

There is a Latin term or phrase (in wide use in English, esp academic discourse) that one uses in situations like the following: one makes a statement or asks a question one's interlocutor makes a ...
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1answer
45 views

i.e. versus e.g. in a sentence [duplicate]

I know what the use of i.e. and e.g. are, but in my sentence I can't seem to tell the difference. If you do land on them, you will get an amount of points depending on what you landed on i.e. if you ...
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1answer
19 views

When offering a list of examples that is 3-4 items long in parenthesis, how is it formatted?

When offering a list of examples, I've seen it done 4 different ways: (e.g., x, y, and z) (e.g., x, y, z) (x, y, and z) (x, y, z) Which of these is correct? Are they all okay to use? Example ...
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1answer
28 views

“cactusings” or “cactiing”

I am aware this is a nonsensical / silly question, but my last question got me thinking about this. Say you have a hypothetical verb ending in -us. Lets pretend this verb is the word "Cactus". Some ...
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2answers
73 views

The prefix “post” can it mean before? [closed]

The posterior is the behind, the postero-dorsal is behind the antero-dorsal. But when we're talking about time, postmodern means "of, relating to, or being an era after a modern one". So are there ...
3
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1answer
82 views

What is a word for “having the form of a Brussels sprout”?

Inspired by Dictionary.com's Word of the Day, "botryoidal" (adj. -having the form of a bunch of grapes), and the ongoing naming process of a product at my work which has these features: What is a word ...
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2answers
59 views

Do “empirical” and “imperial” share a common etymology? [closed]

Nothing more to my question, really. I just wonder if the words share an etymological root. Thanks.
6
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1answer
141 views

“Remember thou shalt die”: Shall/will

A common translation of the Latin hortative memento mori is "Remember thou shalt die." I am not interested in a discussion of the Latin, nor of what the expression actually means in English. I am ...
2
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1answer
42 views

Does “pro-” always precede “pre-” in a sequence? Why?

In biological vocabulary, sometimes both pre- and pro- are used as prefixes to indicate something earlier in a sequence. For example, pro-B cells develop into pre-B cells, which eventually develop ...
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0answers
38 views

Is There a Word for “Burning Fungus”?

I'm reading the etymology of the Latin word fomes, it's a fungus. Are there any words to accompany this one by meaning the "burning of a fungus"?
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1answer
71 views

When does a plural end in 'es' instead of 'i'? [duplicate]

Take, for example, 'ignoramuses' instead of 'ignoramae', or 'cacti' over 'cactuses'? In which cases does the plural end in 'es' instead of 'ae'? Can it be either one for any given case? Why?
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3answers
726 views

What do you call two consecutive months; a sixth of a year?

Half a year is a semester, i.e. (literally) 6 months. Since it’s often wrongly thought to derive from semi- ‘half’, there’re contradicting definitions of similar terms: Both a trimester and a (rare) ...
4
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1answer
83 views

What semantic notions inverted the meaning of 'with' (from opposition to association)?

[Wiktionary :] From Middle English with, from Old English wiþ ‎(“against, opposite, toward”), a shortened form of wiþer, from Proto-Germanic *wiþr- ‎(“against”), from Proto-Indo-European *wi-tero- ‎(“...
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3answers
141 views

Do “mens rea” and “actus reus” need an article?

In criminal cases, there exists two elements: a guilty mind (mens rea) and a guilty act (actus reus). Do these two Latin terms require a preceding article, and which would it be (definite/indefinite)? ...
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1answer
117 views

Use of “ante” to refer to previous pages in an English text

At work I have seen "ante" being used for referring to previous pages of notes written by staff. For instance, when one has to refer to something on previous note, he/she would write, "Refer ...
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2answers
115 views

Etymology: predicament

Can anyone explain how predicament from the Latin word family dicere ‘to say’ and praedicare, can develop the meaning precarious situation? Etymonline can't. early 15c., "category, class; one of ...
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2answers
181 views

When should 'viz.' be followed by a comma?

Some Latin abbreviations as 'i.e.' and 'e.g.' are always followed by a comma. For the Latin abbreviation 'viz.', sometimes it is followed by a comma, sometimes it is not. What is the rule for ...
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3answers
100 views

Are there other well-known examples of the type “Illigitimi non carborundum”?

Illegitimi non carborundum, mock-Latin for "don't let the bastards grind you down", dates to early WWII, and later in the war was adopted by Gen."Vinegar" Joe Stillwell as his motto. For more, ...
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4answers
303 views

Adding an L when appending an -ium suffix to a word? (Metallium vs. Metalium)

I am Romanizing a business name from Hebrew, and am wondering what the most appealing or 'correct' spelling might be - 'Metallium' or 'Metalium'. The owners of the business went with the latter, but ...
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3answers
1k views

Has there ever been an antonym for “benefit” that includes the latin affix “neg-”?

I understand bene to roughly mean well, good, or rightly so from Latin, while neg- coming from Latin negare to roughly mean deny, negate, or against. The words benefit, beneficial, and benefactor all ...
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2answers
140 views

Difference between gerund and present participle [duplicate]

What is the difference between a gerund and present participle? When should we use a gerund and when should we use a present participle ?
2
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1answer
65 views

“Tonight let's go with the bottle of Cabernet *vs.* the Merlot.” [closed]

(Note that the home wine rack has 10 different kinds of wine in it.) I've been told now and again over the years that this kind of use of vs. (versus) is improper. Apparently it's supposed to only ...
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0answers
92 views

What did people really say when knighting someone? [closed]

A while ago, on a different PC than the one I am now using, I curiously looked up this question and found out that people did not say "I dub thee..." or "Arise..." to him who was being made a knight, ...
5
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1answer
297 views

What is the accurate English translation/meaning of the phrase “In nocte consilium”, the motto of Birkbeck College in London?

Not sure if this is the appropriate place to pose this question, but apparently we don't have a Latin Stackexchange... The motto of Birkbeck College in London is "In nocte consilium". However I have ...
9
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1answer
281 views

Latin words borrowed from Roman occupation?

English has a lot of words borrowed from Latin. The great majority were borrowed in the 14- and 1500's from Church/Medieval Latin, a huge influx via educated neologism. I'd like to know if there are ...
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59 views

Is there a word meaning “vicarious speaker”?

I remember that there is a word (I can't recall if it is an adjective or a noun) referring to the author when he/she makes a point vicariously through his character's voice. As far as I can recall, it ...
3
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1answer
159 views

A diptych is a pair of paintings. What is a single painting called?

A diptych (from the Greek di "two" and ptychē "fold") is a pair of paitings. You can also say triptych for a group of three paintings belonging together, septych for a group of seven and so on. ...
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2answers
387 views

Latin equivalent for “case-by-case” phrase

I would appreciate a reminder of the Latin-phrase equivalent, or alternative suggestions, for "case-by-case," specifically for language to be included in a public-private case-study. Thank you.
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1answer
47 views

“Experiments are in vitro” [closed]

In most contexts seem to say "in vitro experiments". Would it be grammatically correct to say "an experiment is in vitro" or "all the experiments are in vitro"?
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53 views

Of the Same Genera or Genus?

I'm into the marine fish hobby and quite a few are aggressive to those that are too similar; usually fish that are congenital to themselves; however most people just refer to the group as conspecifics....
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1answer
170 views

Plural of Quorum or synonym thereof

I am writing some APIs and documentation. We have configurable "voting rules" which are methods for deciding when a business process may proceed. Some examples: First valid response Majority Super ...
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1answer
201 views

What is the difference between “invasion” and “intrusion”? [closed]

What is the difference between "invasion" and "intrusion", according to the original latin meaning?
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2answers
250 views

What is the etymology of 'superstitious'?

Clearly superstitious is of Anglo-Norman origin, used in English since well before Chaucer's time to refer to 'unorthodox religious beliefs'.(OED) But the classical Latin is often written hyphenated ...
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1answer
2k views

Is the plural of 'prefix' really 'prefixes' rather than 'prefices'?

It looks like the plural of 'prefix' is 'prefixes' - while I would expect it to be 'prefix' => 'prefices' like 'matrix' => 'matrices' or 'index' => 'indices'. Is 'prefix' an exception to the rule? ...
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1answer
78 views

Why use “ex post facto” when “post facto” means the same thing? [closed]

In legal language I have come across the term "ex post facto". Isn't "ex" redundant in this phrase? "post facto" also means "after the fact", so it should be sufficient. This is commonly used in ...
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2answers
133 views

Declined Latin nouns in English prose

In German it was customary to decline Latin words used in German prose. One might, for instance, speak of performing a reductionem ad absurdum, using the the accusative form of the word reductio when ...
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3answers
261 views

Why does “stigmata” [often] have penult stress?

I enjoy studying the pronunciation of Greek-derived words in English, and I've found an odd anomaly. There are (at least) two possible pronunciation patterns for words ending in the plural suffix -ata ...
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0answers
120 views

Can the stress pattern of “uroboros/ouroboros” be explained by any principle, or is it random? [duplicate]

The word "uroboros," coming ultimately from Greek, has a couple of spellings and also pronunciations (see How to do you pronounce Ouroboros?). As explained by Nohat in the linked page, the two ...
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2answers
545 views

What is the plural of status quo?

A quick search suggests that status quos is most common pluralization of status quo. This form, however, is deeply unsatisfying. Clearly, status is the noun in this phrase, while quo is some sort of ...
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2answers
2k views

Meaning of the ending “‑exia”?

If a word ends in -exia (such as dyslexia, anorexia, and pyrexia), does this imply anything about the word itself? For example, in electronics a word ending in ‑ance (such as impedance or resistance)...
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1answer
56 views

Are “sola scriptura”, “prima scripture”, and “prima ecclesia” nominative or ablative? [closed]

I need to know so that I can properly form neologisms based on these terms. For example, if I were deferring to the authority of a baker, would I say that I believe in primus pistor or primo pistore? ...
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1answer
867 views

verbatim vs verbatum

I know that verbatim has a Latin origin, but why is it not spelled verbatum? English does not seem to have many Latin words that end in ‑im.
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400 views

Expression for the advantage of being in possession of disputed goods in a civil suite?

Some time (years?) ago I saw (In fact it might have been in a comic, possibly Zits.) an expression/proverb that basically said that being in possession of a disputed goods meant that a civil law suit/...