Tag Archives: Usage

Latin Plurals: Nouns Ending In -um

  DESIDERATA Go placidly amid the noise and the haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence. As far as possible without surrender be on good terms with all persons. Those are the opening lines of Desiderata, by Max Ehrmann, originally written in 1927. The text has a rather complicated history of publication, and … Continue reading Latin Plurals: Nouns Ending In -um

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Latin Plurals: Nouns Ending In -a

First Latin scholar: Crispin, I have some fresh lime. Would you decline a tequila?Second Latin scholar: Certainly. Tequil-a, tequil-am, tequil-ae, tequil-ae, tequil-ā. Tequil-ae, tequil-ās, tequil-ārum, tequil-īs, tequil-īs. That’s a very old joke, referring to Latin first-declension feminine nouns. (My, what a laugh we used to have at the expense of those poor Classics students.) But … Continue reading Latin Plurals: Nouns Ending In -a

Bogus

ˈbəʊɡəs bogus (noun): a press for producing counterfeit coins; a counterfeit coin bogus (adjective): not real, counterfeit, existing in order to deceive bogus (adjective, 21st Century): bad, wrong, inappropriate  Bogus is a potentially expensive word. Back in 2008, the science writer Simon Singh wrote an opinion piece for The Guardian newspaper, entitled “Beware The Spinal … Continue reading Bogus

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Serendipity

sɛrɛnˈdɪpɪtɪ serendipity: The faculty of making happy and unexpected discoveries by accident. Also, the fact or an instance of such a discovery People like the word serendipity—there’s something cheerful and unexpected about that “-dipity” ending which makes them want to say it or write it, and so its original meaning has gradually eroded away. The … Continue reading Serendipity

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