Newsflash! Latin phrases don't make your argument stronger.

I am not talking about* et al. *or et cetera or habeus corpus or ante bellum.

Second only to armchair experts (aka chronic Googlers), THIS irritates me:

  1. Logical fallacy + poor grammar + factual errors + “ad hominem” to prove your point that someone is arguing against you just because they don’t like you. Hey, jackass, sometimes you’re just wrong.

  2. Misuse of a common Latin term. Forgivable, but it’s just one of those “things” that bugs me…kind of like when people type “ya’ll” or say “irregardless”.

  3. Any Latin word (often italicized!) in a poorly written argument on a message board that has been thrown in to give you credence.


Tu quoque
reductio ad absurdum

ab origine - I saw this actually misused on another board recently.
Modus operandi - somehow saying “MO” incorrectly isn’t as annoying as spelling that shit out and using it as a noun.
non sequitur used as a tactic to irritate instead of debate
persona non grata when talking about socioeconomic status

I do use “ad nauseum” when I’m feeling sarcastic or trying to convey a certain feeling, but I’ve seen so many poor arguments infused with smatterings of Latin that I’m now afraid to use any of these terms I learned in my academic career. Sheesh. Talk about poisoning a language.

Since teh invenshun of teh intarwebs I’m more likely to say, “That is a logical fallacy” and then explain why.

I understand the use of foreign language is supposed to make you appear intelligent and educated, but I hate it when people use any old Latin term to sound “smarter”. And you know they’re Googling that shit.

I’m not a language jerk. I do teach English and I do study linguistics, but I’m really laid back when it comes to conversational English. I don’t know several languages. I’m just a baby in graduate school. I consulted my CMS manual all throughout undergrad and now it’s useless. This rant is about people who abuse and dilute the meaning of words borrowed from a dead language.

No, wait. One more thing. When talking about history, you don’t need to italicize words such as conquistadors,* mestizo*, or hacienda. This is not an eighth grade vocabulary lesson.

An italicized word can also imply an accent - something that is rarely used correctly. So unless you need to differentiate the English from the non-English, happen to be writing literature or are discussing a specific word, it’s not necessary.

Just…stop…stop hurting America, you ignoramus you.

Misuse of e.g., i.e., and in lieu of are not outright atrocities but you should always double-check when writing an academic paper. See also: affect/effect and lie/lay.

Pssst - is it octopuses, octopi, or octopodes?

[Ducks, runs :stuck_out_tongue: ]

au contrairum mon frerus


It’s all Greek to me.

Ya’ll newcomers seem to find and use the pit right quick these days. Irregardless ya’ll is more than welcome to sit and swing on the porch with us’ns and sip some lemonade.

Isthay antray is umbday.

This is the only post in the thread with no misused Latin nor logical fallacy-inspired humor.

I’m a riot at parties too.

If someone misuses a term, then correct them. Otherwise, it’s not a big deal. This language is part of the discourse for a reason. Remember, abūsus nōn tollit ūsum.

De gustibus non est disputandum. Or, in other words, Illegitimi non carborundum.

True enough, that. I seem to recall the last Dopefest you were at, a riot broke out. I blame you. Post hoc and all that.


Ya’ll come back now, y’hear?? :stuck_out_tongue:


“Gimme an octopus. And while you’re at it, give me another.”



Permission to use this as a sig? It’s just too right.

Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?

If you want – I just made a minor variation on an old joke that originally used “Mongoose”, so I don’t think I “own” it.

Use away.

Quidquid latine dictum sit, altum sonatur.

This thread inspired some googling that happened upon this website, which has a bunch of useful and amusing Latin phrases.
Quantum materiae materietur marmota monax si marmota monax materiam possit materiari? *

How much wood would a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood?

Carpe diem…let the buyer beware!

(I actually saw someone use this once on another board…and they couldn’t get why people were laughing so hard. This was before Google I suppose, so I guess they couldn’t look it up)


I just encountered this the other day on another forum. Someone was using argumentum ad majoram without having a clue what it meant.

Just because the majority think something is true does not make them wrong. I don’t quite agree with the OP, but I do think that, if you are going to use the Latin, know what it means. (And how to spell it).

It’s “ad nauseam”.

And what exactly is wrong with the word y’all? It’s simply the plural form of the second person pronoun. It’s less ambiguous than you; it’s conversational in tone. What have you against it?

Is there something innately superior in the Northern American way of speaking?