When referring to logical fallacies in code mixed sentences, I typically see them used as nouns:

"Of course I'm cool, my mom says I'm cool!"
"That appears to be an argumentum ad verecundiam."

If we use an English equivalent we can substitute argument with appeal and have:

"Of course I'm cool, my mom says I'm cool!"
"You may be appealing to authority."

Can argumentum ad verecundiam, or an accepted modification of it, be used as a verb, in a way that doesn't seem forced?

The intent behind this is to debase a rebuttal by making it pretentious and introducing elements of argumentum verbosium. Additionally adding a bit of ad hominem by moving from:

"The argument might be fallacious"


"Your action might be fallacious"

Thus focusing more on the person than their argument.

I suspect that this can't be done in a smooth manner due to "argumentum ad verecundiam" being treated as a single word. As such changing it to another part of speech does strange things to its meaning or takes it from uncommon usage to non existent usage:

"You may be argumentuming ex verecundiam" gives something of the impression that I would like, but is in the non existent usage world. Preventing it from giving pretentious but, to some, understandable meaning. And the use of the hybrid word makes it sound forced to me.

  • 1
    Anything can be used as a verb. But do you think your readers/hearers will understand you?
    – Colin Fine
    Aug 7, 2019 at 20:05
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    All you will elicit is laughter if you try that. If all you want is to appear supercilious, go right ahead.
    – Robusto
    Aug 7, 2019 at 20:15
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    I'm confused...can you give an example of what you want to do, an actual sentence? 'Appeal' is a verb in English here, but 'argumentum' is a noun in Latin and used as a noun in English. Do you want to use 'argumentum' as a verb in English?
    – Mitch
    Aug 7, 2019 at 21:02
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    @Mitch I’m thinking y’all meant to have written that were those verecundiae being argumentummed in extremis, that the correct passive imperfect subjunctive in the second person plural would then have necessarily had to have been arguereminī, you meanie!
    – tchrist
    Aug 8, 2019 at 14:22
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    But now I am wondering what the motivation is (beyond curiosity or creativity). You can say either 'Don't appeal to force' or 'Don't use argumentum ad baculum'; why would you care for another way to say it by modifying the syntax of either? The bigger point is that while in the late Middle/early Modern English there was a huge influx of Latinisms, nowadays it sounds very unnatural or hyper-academic to force a Latin inflected word into an English situation. 'Verecundify'? 'Verecundize'? Maybe it's just that one vocab item but all variations sound awful.
    – Mitch
    Aug 8, 2019 at 15:28

1 Answer 1


Just no. It cannot. If for, whatever reason that seems good to you, you wish to use a technical term from Latin rhetoric, then by all means do so, but only after explaining what you mean in plain English.

There is a very small set of foreign language words or expressions that may be used in English without explanation or translation but even then you risk being regarded as pretentious. If you seek to introduce into written English terms that even highly educated native speakers would not understand, then you will fail to communicate. You might also arouse negative emotions that will actively obstruct any communication that you wish to make.

  • This is along the lines of what is intended. Just can it be stated in a way that doesn't sound forced. It need only be intelligible to people who happen to know what argumentum ad verecundiam means.
    – Vivian
    Aug 8, 2019 at 15:13

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