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Aug 13, 2012
This week's theme
Latin terms in English

This week's words
corpus delicti
ex officio
ne plus ultra
ex post facto
cui bono

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A.Word.A.Day
with Anu Garg

Latin is the preferred language of the Vatican, but don't hold it against the language. It had no say in the matter.

A language never hurt little kids, if you don't count all the schoolchildren who had to memorize all those "amo amas amat" conjugations.

Latin is often perceived as an ancient or dead language, something for stuffy old people. But many Latin terms can sum up in just a few letters a whole concept that would otherwise take many words or sentences to describe fully.

Many Latin terms are part of the English language and are especially used in fields such as law and medicine. This week we'll see five terms from Latin that are now part of the English language.

corpus delicti

PRONUNCIATION:
(KOR-puhs di-LIK-ty, -tee)

MEANING:
noun: The concrete evidence that shows that a crime has been committed, for example, the body of the victim in the case of a murder.

ETYMOLOGY:
From Latin, literally body of crime. Earliest documented use: 1705.

USAGE:
"The fact that the State was unable to produce a corpus delicti was a very strong point in favor of the defendants."
Sidney Sheldon; The Other Side of Midnight; HarperCollins; 1973.

See more usage examples of corpus delicti in Vocabulary.com's dictionary.

A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:
Let me never fall into the vulgar mistake of dreaming that I am persecuted whenever I am contradicted. -Ralph Waldo Emerson, writer and philosopher (1803-1882)

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