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Jan 20, 2020
This week’s theme
Adjectives used postpositively

This week’s words
ad litem
errant
aforethought
immemorial
laureate

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Previous week’s theme
Adverbs
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A.Word.A.Day
with Anu Garg

What does a bride-to-be have in common with a president elect? Both are waiting for their big day, but that’s not what we have in mind here. It’s how we use the adjectives to describe their transient states. In both cases, we put the adjectives after the nouns, not in front as is typical in the English language.

Welcome to postpositives! The term may look unfamiliar, but if you know what a preposition is you can guess a postposition or a postpositive. Unlike a preposition, which goes before a word, postpositives go after.

Enjoy this treasure trove of postpositive adjectives we have collected in this week’s A.Word.A.Day.

ad litem

PRONUNCIATION:
(AD LYT-uhm)

MEANING:
adjective: Appointed by a court to represent someone, such as a child, who is considered incapable of representing themselves in a lawsuit.

ETYMOLOGY:
From Latin ad litem (literally, for the lawsuit), from ad (toward) + litigare (to go to law), from lis (dispute) + agere (to drive). Earliest documented use: 1683.

USAGE:
“‘And what does Kiley want?’ The judge directed his question to the guardian ad litem.
‘Your Honor, she’s not even three years old,’ Diane said.
‘I didn’t ask if she wanted to run off and live with Santa Claus. I’m simply asking a question of our assigned guardian ad litem, since presumably she needs to justify her public-interest salary here today.’”
Lee Child; Vengeance; Mulholland Books; 2012.

A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:
Is it [hunting] really a sport if you have all the equipment and your opponent doesn't know a game is going on? -Bill Maher, comedian, actor, and writer (b. 20 Jan 1956)

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