18 Mar 2010
What with the 2054th anniversary of the death of Julius Caesar this week (Et tu, Brute?) and London’s mayor Boris Johnson urging state schools to start teaching Latin again, the old language has been in the news saepius sepius (frequently).
Boris even went as far to say “I firmly believe that we must not starve the minds of students eager to embrace the great intellectual disciplines of Latin…There is simply no better way than to make young minds think in a logical and analytical way.”
But how useful is Latin? It’s a dead language right? I mean, when do we ever use it?
Well, if you’re a lawyer, a gardener or a medicus (doctor) you probably use Latin all the time. But even if you’re not you probably use Latin every day.
Here are a pauca sed bona (few, but good) Latin phrases and words.
|Ad hoc: to this particular purpose||Magnum opus: the greatest piece of work|
|Ad infinitum: going on forever||Memorabilia: memorable things|
|Ad nauseam: continuing to the point of nausea||Modus operandi (m.o.): way of operating|
|Ante meridiem (a.m.): before noon||Nota bene (n.b.): note it well|
|Agenda: things to be done||Per annum: yearly|
|Alias: otherwise||Per capita: per head (per person)|
|Alibi: elsewhere||Per cent: per hundred|
|Census: count of citizens||Per diem: daily|
|Carpe diem: Seize the day||Per se: by itself|
|Circa (ca.): around or approximately||Post meridiem (p.m.): after noon|
|E.g. (exempli gratia): for example||Post mortem: after death|
|Et al. (et alii): and others||Post partum: after childbirth|
|Etc. (et cetera): and the rest of such things||Post scriptum (p.s.): postscript|
|Ergo: therefore in conclusion||Quid pro quo: something for something|
|Facsimile: make a similar one||Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?: Who will guard the guardians?|
|I.e. (id est): that is or in other words||Quo vadis: where are you going?|
|In memoriam: in memory (of)||Referendum: something to be referred|
|Interim: meanwhile||Rigor mortis: the rigidity of death|
|In vino veritas: In wine is truth||Sic: thus|
|Ipso facto: by the fact itself||Status quo: the state in which|
|Terra firma: solid ground|
|Via: by way of|
|Veni, vidi, vici: I came, I saw, I conquered.|
|Vice versa: position being reversed|