Questions tagged [latin]

This tag is for Latin words and phrases that appear in English, and Latin's influence on English language and pedagogy.

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22
votes
5answers
16k views

What is the plural of octopus?

What is the plural of octopus? Is it octopuses, octopi or octopodes? Normally in English it's supposed to be octopi, but when I type it, it has a red line under it (by the spell check), which means ...
21
votes
5answers
2k views

Is ending a sentence with a preposition acceptable?

When I learned English at school, I was taught that I should not end a sentence with a preposition. Is it correct to end a sentence with a preposition? To avoid starting a sentence with a ...
17
votes
5answers
16k views

Is “indices” or “indexes” the plural of “index”?

I've heard both plural forms of index, indices and indexes. I usually use indices when referring to the computer science term for database index, but I'm not sure if it is correct in that context. ...
17
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5answers
2k views

What is Latin Grammar?

Another product of the eighteenth century was the invention of "English grammar". As English came to replace Latin as the language of scholarship, it was felt that one should also be able to control ...
17
votes
2answers
35k views

Which is the plural of “forum”: “fora” or “forums”?

I'm active on many discussion fora, but I see that people more often use the form forums. Are both forms correct and adequate? If so, why are there two forms for the plural of such a short word?
17
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3answers
356k views

What does “Re:” in a business letter mean?

What does "Re:" in a business letter mean? When should we use it?
16
votes
1answer
7k views

How can knowing a root word help me?

When I was in school, teachers often used to say that we should know the root words in English. But woefully, I forgot how could they be handy. Can anybody here explain if remembering the root words ...
14
votes
4answers
8k views

English equivalent of French “quiproquo”

In English, quid pro quo refers to a barter-style exchange. I'll do this for you and you'll do something for me. There is this quote from the movie The Silence of the Lambs(1991) where Dr Lecter says: ...
12
votes
2answers
531 views

If columnar is the adverb for column, what is the adverb for row?

Some linear algebra algorithms used for computing statistics or storing datasets deal with matrices on a column-by-column basis. As such, they can be referred to as being columnar. What would be the ...
12
votes
3answers
2k views

Is putting -able to any verb allowed?

The best way to cut it short and still convey your message is adding -able to any verb. Yeah, it's doable - I considered all risks, resources to be used, my endurance, budget and the like. Also, ...
10
votes
4answers
28k views

What is the meaning of the word 'pace'?

I read the word 'pace' from a word-builder vocabulary book and says it comes from a Latin root and has the meaning of 'contrary to the opinion of', and an additional sentence example: She had only ...
9
votes
4answers
4k views

Should I use hippopotami?

When should I replace an 'us' with an 'i'? Are the following words valid? Hippopotami (plural of hippopotamus) Virii (plural of virus) Bonii (plural of bonus) When should I use 'i' and when ...
9
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2answers
2k views

Pronunciation of abbreviations

Does the abbreviation pronounce as a whole phrase? For example: etc - et cetera; i.e. - id est; e.g. - exemplī grātiā.
8
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3answers
2k views

Which word is more appropriate - gratis vs free

I am looking for a ____ software to help me do something. Is "gratis" more suitable than "free"?
8
votes
3answers
6k views

When is the suffix -tor and -ter used?

Can someone help me in understanding the suffix -tor and -ter? I am not able to understand it properly and I always mix the spelling like: "computor" when it should be computer "administrater" when ...
6
votes
3answers
11k views

Capitalize i.e. and e.g.?

When you start a sentence with acronyms such as i.e., e.g., or similar, how do you capitalize them? "I.e., ...", or " I.E., ..."? Thanks.
5
votes
1answer
617 views

What does it mean 'to have fame in' or 'to be famed in' God?

Source: Historia Anglorum [...], by Henry of Huntingdon, edited by Diana E. Greenway [p 496, online English translation:] Tell me, I pray, what gain has it been to us to have been great or famous? ...
5
votes
1answer
939 views

English equivalent of French “quiproquo” (bis)

This question is related to this one and this other one, both regarding the same matter but from distinct points of view. After reading the above posts I remained unsatisfied because of what I see ...
5
votes
1answer
101 views

“pope emeritus” vs “emeritus pope”

He will also be known as pope emeritus, emeritus pope or Roman pontifex emeritus. (CNN) Why does the journalist prospect the possibility of calling Benedict XVI "pope emeritus"? Since "emeritus" ...
4
votes
3answers
425 views

Is “libre” understood by native English speakers? [closed]

E.g. software libre Libre Office libre software I want to be/stay/feel libre. Do native English people understand this word or not?
3
votes
2answers
24k views

What does (sic) mean? [closed]

I have seen it in quite a few chats on Facebook and Twitter.
3
votes
3answers
245 views

Does 'sic' behave as any other English adverb?

This question is motivated by my attempt to complement [sic] with some text to clarify the original errors. I wanted to elucidate that the original website erroneously displayed two quotation marks ...
3
votes
1answer
2k views

to evolve in a negative way

In "everyday spoken English", can we use evolve in the sense of the opposite of optimization/improvement? If something evolves, does it necessarily imply that it is for a better, or can it just be ...
3
votes
1answer
138 views

What does 'legislate a priori' mean?

Source: Prof Michael Sandel, Justice: ..., Episode 06: "MIND YOUR MOTIVE" 26:33: It's a kind of practical reason that we share as human beings. It's not idiosyncratic. The reason we need to ...
2
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4answers
1k views

Usage of the word “gratis” in English

As Spanish native speaker, I cannot find the context or usage of word "gratis" in English Language, as example: All apples are gratis. I know (maybe I'm wrong) that it would be better to use: ...
2
votes
3answers
2k views

as such, on their own, per se, by themselves

Which phrase in bold would you suggest to use? I hope it is clear what I am trying to say, but I am not sure about the word choice. Or perhaps I should use a different construction? Also, I hope that ...
2
votes
1answer
91 views

Case of “letters” in this sentence

I was studying Latin, and I came upon this sentence: Magister (boys writing letters) vidit. Translated, it means: The teacher saw the boys writing letters. I was wondering, what ...
2
votes
1answer
239 views

How to use 'i.e.' in a sentence?

Which of the following ways of using i.e. in a sentence is correct? 1) The elephant is a pachyderm, i.e., an animal with thick skin and nails resembling hooves. 2) The elephant is a pachyderm (i....
1
vote
3answers
665 views

Grammaticality: 'something than which nothing greater can be thought'

Source: pp 158-159, The Cambridge Companion to Anselm, by Brian Davies, Brian Leftow What Anselm describes himself as looking for here he believed he had found when reflecting on the idea that ...
1
vote
1answer
1k views

Prefix and Suffix issue

My question is simple, is there a known reason why the word "prefix" has only one "f" but the word "suffix" has two, "ff"?
1
vote
2answers
85 views

Can in-situ mean in person?

Can I say "I prefer texting to talking to someone in-situ"? I feel like I heard someone say that before. But I am not able to find the source.
1
vote
2answers
320 views

How to understand “per capita”? [closed]

Canada / lets in / more new immigrants / per capita / than any / of the Group of Seven / advanced economies. How to understand "per capita"? Why it is used here? Is it similar to "three meal a day" ...
1
vote
1answer
40 views

Question about ad-hominem

I know it's a latin phrase and maybe it doesn't belong here. But two of my friends are having an argument and one of my friends, who is the head of some committee said "At least try and then complain"(...
1
vote
1answer
950 views

What does “ad hoc” mean? [closed]

I have come throw this word many many times but I couldn't get the meaning of it from the context. It have appeared to me know in an online course on FOL (First Order logic ) when the instructor say: ...
1
vote
1answer
86 views

How do you cite a scholar as in agreement with an argument?

I've noted your conversation regarding the Latin pace, meaning "not in agreement with." Doesn't cf mean the same thing? What terms is appropriate when citing a scholar who is, in fact, in agreement ...
0
votes
2answers
69 views

Phrases in the same family as “vice versa” [closed]

I'm looking for phrases that are in the same vein as "vice versa". Not necessarily synonyms, like "conversely", but other phrases with a similar framework and origin. They don't have to be commonly ...
0
votes
1answer
66 views

different usages of et al?

History's London is closely bound up with England's history. History's London is closely bound up with that of England. History's London is closely bound up with the history of England's. Our ...
-1
votes
2answers
462 views

How to reason the etymology - “to proscribe” [closed]

Would someone please explain the etymology behind this verb? I'm aware of the etymological fallacy, but still want to dredge below and ask not about its definition. Down below on that webpage, it'...