26 Latin phrases and expressions

You don’t have to read ancient Italian texts in order to speak this language. PR pros often borrow terms such as these.

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In a scene from my favorite TV show, “Freaks and Geeks, teenager Lindsay Weir has been caught skipping class.

In trying to justify her delinquency, she says, “Daddy, I skipped Latin.” He replies, “Oh. Well, I can understand why you wouldn’t want to learn about that. It’s only the building block of our language.”

Whether we realize it or not, Latin terms are everywhere in business and corporate communications.

Below are some common ones, along with their translations and definitions (definitions are from Merriam-Webster and Oxford Dictionaries):

1. A priori: from the former

Something that is known beforehand; something that is true without proof; deductive.

2. Ad hoc: to this

Formed for a specific purpose; improvised or impromptu.

3. Ad hominem: to the man

Attacking a person instead of his or her ideas or arguments.

4. Alma mater: nourishing mother

The school, college or university that one attended.

5. Bona fide: good faith

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