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Jan 27, 2009
This week's theme
Latin terms in English

This week's words
ex libris
in medias res
dramatis personae
lares and penates
ex parte

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A.Word.A.Day
with Anu Garg

in medias res

PRONUNCIATION:
(in MAY-dee-uhs rays, in MEE-dee-uhs REEZ, in MAY-dee-as RAYS)

MEANING:
adverb: In or into the middle of things.

ETYMOLOGY:
From Latin in medias res, from in (in, into) + medius (middle) + res (thing). A related term is ab ovo (from the beginning, literally, from the egg). Both come from Horace's Ars Poetica (Art of Poetry), where the Roman poet advises that an epic poem ought to begin in the middle of the action rather than at the beginning. The story is then told by flashbacks.

USAGE:
"The story begins in medias res, with Shay dead and Hano and Katie on the run after an unspecified but obviously grave crime."
Terrence Rafferty; New Dubliners; The New York Times; Apr 20, 2008.

A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:
The world is mud-luscious and puddle-wonderful. -E.E. Cummings, poet (1894-1962)

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