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A.Word.A.Day--de novo

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According to a story, probably apocryphal, former US Vice President Dan Quayle once said, "I was recently on a tour of Latin America, and the only regret I have is that I didn't study Latin harder in school so I could converse with those people."

Latin is a dead language. No people speak it as their everyday language. The area south of the US is called Latin America because most of the people down there speak Spanish or Portuguese, both derived from Latin.

Latin took its name from Latium, a region in ancient Italy. Various dialects of Latin eventually blossomed into the Romance languages: French, Italian, Portuguese, Romanian, and Spanish, while Latin itself faded away.

Fortunately, you don't have to travel to Latin America to use this week's terms from Latin. They have been borrowed into English and are now part of the language.

de novo (day NO-vo) adverb

Anew; from the beginning.

[From Latin de novo (from new).]

See more usage examples of de novo in Vocabulary.com's dictionary.

-Anu Garg (words at wordsmith.org)

"Living things were not created de novo, but evolved." David P. Barash; Does God Have Back Problems Too?; Los Angeles Times; Jun 27, 2005.


Lots of times you have to pretend to join a parade in which you're not really interested in order to get where you're going. -Christopher Morley, writer (1890-1957)

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