Hot answers tagged

83

You can refer to this symbol as a radix point no matter what the base is. In computer science and mathematics, the word radix can mean the same thing as base or root. The contemporary meaning derives from earlier meanings referring literally to the "roots" of plants, and later to roots in a mathematical sense and other senses. The OED provides this ...


77

Both sets of words come from a Proto-Indo-European root *kʷ(o)- that probably marked an interrogative pronoun. In the Germanic languages, Grimm's Law spirantized this *kʷ into /xw/ or /hw/, which later merged with /w/ in many Germanic languages (Dutch wat, German was, Swedish vad, etc.), though not all: English has what (in some dialects still pronounced ...


76

The onus has been discharged. See, for example this extract from Equity and Trusts: Text, Cases and Materials by Paul S. Davies, which refers to a case called Re Harwood, and cites an extract from the judge's decision: 'The evidence in this case is so unsatisfactory that I cannot say that the onus has been discharged' If an onus is discharged, it ...


74

The Latin plural of the noun apparatus is actually apparatus. (Sometimes the Latin is spelled singular apparātus and plural apparātūs; the vowel lengthens in the plural, but that's not usually reflected in the spelling.) This is because it's fourth declension. In the 18th and 19th centuries, when most educated English speakers had studied Latin, apparatus ...


73

A number of answers have addressed the fact that in the United States, the use of gender-specific nouns is becoming less fashionable. However, that does not explain why a female equivalent of senator has never existed, only why if it did exist once, it might be less favoured now. I try to answer the etymological question here in relation to senatrix. There ...


65

General principle: Latin plural forms go with Latin singular forms The plural of the Latin word matrix is matrices, and the plural of the Latin word index is indices. We took the singular forms of these words from Latin unchanged, and the same goes for the plural forms (unchanged in the spelling, anyway; the pronunciation has been anglicized). But prefix is ...


64

Yes. The Oxford English Dictionary has this definition (and some other similar ones) for ɪᴍᴘᴏʀᴛ v. 6a in their section II of that verb: II. To be of importance or consequence. transitive. To be of importance or consequence to; to matter to; to concern, have to do with. Only in third person. a. With anticipatory it as subject. †⒜ With ...


41

The first woman elected to the US Senate was Hattie Caraway in 1932. They have always been called "senators". Regardless of what you may think is "correct", that horse left the barn a long time ago.


37

TL;DR: Yes. The hymn “O Come, All Ye Faithful” was originally in Latin, and even today is still often sung that way under the title “Adeste Fideles”. We are not certain who wrote its original tune or lyrics, although this was probably in the 1700s or perhaps the 1600s. We do know, however, that it was translated into English in 1841 by a Catholic priest. ...


33

Let's look first at the definition of onus, from the Oxford English Dictionary: A burden; a responsibility or duty. Freq. with the orig. and chiefly Law. onus of proof n. the obligation to prove an assertion or allegation one makes; the burden of proof For the Definition #2, you can discharge the onus. From Employment Law, Practical Handbook: ...


33

The etymology of "versus" is pretty simple. It came from Latin and it was originally used in English in the law sense (as it's still used today: Roe v. Wade). Later on it started to be used more flexibly. There are several abbreviations that have been used for versus: v., vs., and ver. Both vs. and v. (with and without the period) are mentioned in Oxford ...


32

I see that I've very late to answer. I usually try to avoid the use of "status" as a plural, instead option to use the near-synonym "state". Take for example these three attempts at pluralizing "status", all of which I've seen coworkers using: The product should support the following statuses: Red Green Blue The product should support the following ...


30

These figures are almost always the numbers for the top N words in a corpus. The results can vary considerably depending on what corpus is used and what N is (as you can see in this paper). "The English language is a lot more French than we thought, here’s why" (by Andreas Simons, on Medium), summarizes one of the sources Wikipedia quotes for the 29% Latin ...


29

English is not Latin. In English, senator is used regardless of gender. The OED defines senator as: A member of a senate. No mention is made of gender. The OED does have an entry for senatress meaning a female senator but labels it rare and only has two quotations, both from the 1700s. It probably never caught on because historically only men ...


28

If a word ends in -exia, such as dyslexia, anorexia and pyrexia does this imply anything about the word itself? It doesn't necessarily imply something about the word. Josh61's answer (which you should read, and which I won't copy here) gives an excellent explanation of the suffix "-exia," used in the word "pyrexia" and also for some other medical ...


26

No, bene- and neg- are not used to form antonyms in either English or Latin. Their root meanings of "good" and "deny" are roughly opposed, but not antonyms in English either. As others have mentioned, mal-, meaning "bad" is the typical antonym to bene-, as in benediction/malediction (literally "good speech", "bad speech"). Posi- may seem like it ...


24

Id est is not commonly used in academic writing today. Two reasons come to mind. The usage is at best uncommon: A basic JSTOR search will churn up articles dealing with Latin sources, where id est occurs in larger samples of Latin text. Even when I limit the search to 2000 and later, the top sources are all Latin-facing, with titles like: "Alabastrum, ...


22

Crucify originally had a distinct etymology from the others Crucify comes from Latin crucifīgō with the present infinitive crucifīgere and the supine crucifixum. It means "to fix to a cross" not "to make into a cross". It ends in -fy in English because we got it through French; the OED says more specifically that it is from "Old French crucifier (12th cent....


21

There may well be more to this, but to start , John Arbuthnot wrote: ... Tributum, properly speaking, was a Tax upon Individuals; one sort of it was called Capitatio, a Pole-tax (sic). Besides the forementioned Taxes, there were several Excises, as that formerly mentioned laid on by Cato upon Luxury and Expences; which perhaps was only temporary....


21

The earliest match that an Elephind newspaper database search finds for Martians in the sense of "inhabitants of Mars" is from a compilation of items headed "Inhabitants of the Sun," in the [Port Elliott, South Australia] Southern Argus (November 18, 1869), reprinted from an edition of Once a Week of some earlier date: A French idealist, ...


20

There are three suggested origins of penguin: Welsh pen gywn 'white head'; a derivative of Latin pinguis 'fat'; and English pin wing. There is no evidence for the last one but there are explanations for Welsh and Latin origins. It seems like the Welsh origin is the most favored one. There is a very detailed explanation in the book The Celtic Languages in ...


20

I would advise using the only plural form that you found listed in your dictionary (and in general, following the advice given by arnsholt in an answer to a related question: "Unless you are absolutely, completely sure you know the correct classical plural, or the classical plural is the normal plural, use the English plural"). The Online Etymology ...


20

From Etymonline: The -ber in four Latin month names is probably from -bris, an adjectival suffix. Tucker thinks that the first five months were named for their positions in the agricultural cycle, and "after the gathering in of the crops, the months were merely numbered." If the word contains an element related to mensis, we must assume a *...


19

According to the Online Etymological Dictionary, vacuum entered English in the 1540s directly from Latin as the substantivized, neuter form of the adjective vacuus. The earliest use was as an abstract, non-count noun denoting the emptiness of space, later any void or empty space, for which one could use the Latin plural vacua or simply tack on an s. ...


18

Government comes from the term govern. From Old French governer, derived from Latin gubernare "to direct, rule, guide, govern", which is derived from the Greek kybernan (to pilot a ship). Don't believe the nonsense you read online. There is precedent that the suffix -ment is derived from the latin mente meaning mind in some languages, particularly Old ...


18

As Black's Law Dictionary (1968) points out, pro bono is short for "pro bono publico": PRO BONO PUBLICO. For the public good; for the welfare of the whole. The underlying notion is that the task or decision is undertaken or made in order to serve the society or the nation as a whole. That being the case, you might argue that a counterpoint in the law is ...


16

There is no truth in the "vel" bit. "Vel" isn't even the way to say "or" in that sense. The desired meaning is an exclusive "or", and that in Latin was "aut".


16

delete "destroy, eradicate," 1530s, from Latin deletus, past participle of delere "destroy, blot out, efface," from delevi, originally perfective tense of delinere "to daub, erase by smudging" (as of the wax on a writing table), from de "from, away" (see de-) + linere "to smear, wipe," from PIE root *(s)lei- "slime, slimy, sticky" (see slime (n.)). In ...


Only top voted, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible