1816: "Mispronunciation"

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Keyman
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Re: 1816: "Mispronunciation"

Postby Keyman » Mon Mar 27, 2017 8:11 pm UTC

Pfhorrest wrote:Reminds me of speculation I've long had about a line in the Aladdin song "Friend Like Me": the Genie sings "ya got me bonafide certified", pronounced "boh-nah-fee-day", while I suspect the writer of that line intended it to be (mis)pronounced as "boh-nah-fyd" to rhyme with "certified".

You mean it doesn't??

Although Robin Williams can probably not be used whenever there's a [citation needed].
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Re: 1816: "Mispronunciation"

Postby MRR » Mon Mar 27, 2017 8:25 pm UTC

Mikeski wrote:So, does anyone else have any words that they (mentally) pronounced incorrectly because they read them long before they heard them spoken?

Not me, but a friend of mine had one that was so good that I chose to adopt it into my general language.

Misled pronounced "MY-zelled"

I think is sounds much better; He hypnotized me, he bamboozled me, he misled me.

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Re: 1816: "Mispronunciation"

Postby gmalivuk » Mon Mar 27, 2017 8:40 pm UTC

ladycygnus wrote:
thunk wrote: I pronounce epitome "EPPY-tome", but EpiPen "uh-PIE-pen".


Heh, for years I had two words in my head, the spoken eh-pito-me and the written EPPY-tome-EH. They both meant the same thing, but I didn't associate them with one another. One day I was watching a video with subtitles on and read one word as another was spoken. Definitely a mind-blown moment.

To this day I still mentally "mispronounce" it the first time I read it.

I don't think I did that with epitome, but I did with foreign and aisle.
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Re: 1816: "Mispronunciation"

Postby Reka » Mon Mar 27, 2017 8:41 pm UTC

I always have trouble figuring out what syllable the stress goes on. In Hungarian, it's easy: the stress ALWAYS goes on the first syllable, absolutely no exceptions whatsoever. But in English, that leads to things like /THER-mo-MEET-er/, and people look at you funny if you say that. (Though my sister and I will often say it that way regardless, just to annoy the English language. Or something.)

Another one: I know that hyperbole is not supposed to rhyme with Super Bowl, but I still often pronounce it that way in my head.

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Re: 1816: "Mispronunciation"

Postby SuicideJunkie » Mon Mar 27, 2017 8:43 pm UTC

Zinho wrote:My favorite (missing from the Wiki) is pecan, with pronunciations of payCAHN and PEE-can. I've heard southerners talk each other into using the snootier-sounding payCAHN pronunciation by saying, "Yeah, I've got me a pee-can; I use it up in the hunting blind so I don't have to climb down to relieve myself."

Or the Captain Kirk style.
Peh-KHAAAAAAN!

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Re: 1816: "Mispronunciation"

Postby Soupspoon » Mon Mar 27, 2017 8:51 pm UTC

gmalivuk wrote:I don't think I did that with epitome, but I did with foreign and aisle.

Remember the mantra, passed down from mother to daughter as the latter is about to go through the ceremony of marriage... Just so she knows what to do.

"Aisle. Alter. Hymn"

Spoiler:
(The joke doesn't work when you know that brides don't generally go down the aisle of a church. But never mind.)

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Re: 1816: "Mispronunciation"

Postby Ken_g6 » Mon Mar 27, 2017 8:52 pm UTC

I pronounce "epitome" like e-pit o' me. And this would seem to be the e-pit o' Randall. ;)

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Re: 1816: "Mispronunciation"

Postby Pfhorrest » Mon Mar 27, 2017 9:01 pm UTC

Keyman wrote:You mean it doesn't??

Although Robin Williams can probably not be used whenever there's a [citation needed].

What doesn't what?
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Re: 1816: "Mispronunciation"

Postby chrisjwmartin » Mon Mar 27, 2017 9:04 pm UTC

Mikeski wrote:So, does anyone else have any words that they (mentally) pronounced incorrectly because they read them long before they heard them spoken?

I used to do this all the time as a bookish child. The best one was when I learned that the American tribe is not pronounced "Syowks".

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Re: 1816: "Mispronunciation"

Postby GlassHouses » Mon Mar 27, 2017 9:18 pm UTC

Weeks wrote:
Mikeski wrote:So, does anyone else have any words that they (mentally) pronounced incorrectly because they read them long before they heard them spoken?
I got (and expand) about 70% of my English vocabulary by reading it before hearing it, so I am already doomed

That reminds me of a fellow whom I heard mention in a discussion that he was learning German and was completely baffled by gender. Apparently he had been diligently cramming nouns without the articles, and that doesn't work: you have to memorize "das Haus," "der Garten," "die Küche," etc., not just "Haus," "Garten," "Küche," because there is no rule, you have to just know what each noun's gender is.

The good news is that dictionaries have this information, and pronunciation, too, but you do have to make a habit of studying that every time there is reason for doubt... and with English pronunciation, there is always reason for doubt. :)

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Re: 1816: "Mispronunciation"

Postby Flumble » Mon Mar 27, 2017 9:30 pm UTC

Reka wrote:Another one: I know that hyperbole is not supposed to rhyme with Super Bowl, but I still often pronounce it that way in my head.

I did not know this... and I will not know this! (even if it means betraying the greek stressing of huPER) It's a kind of bowl, not a bully.

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Re: 1816: "Mispronunciation"

Postby jgh » Mon Mar 27, 2017 9:38 pm UTC

I can't remember what the story was, but in school I read out from a story about two sisters: Eve-Line and Peen-Lope.

Some years later I encountered what must have been their cousin, Percy-Fone.

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Re: 1816: "Mispronunciation"

Postby somitomi » Mon Mar 27, 2017 10:20 pm UTC

Reka wrote:Another one: I know that hyperbole is not supposed to rhyme with Super Bowl, but I still often pronounce it that way in my head.

Strangely enough, I just now learned hyperbole (exaggeration) and hyperbola (conic section) are in fact two words, and not one word with two meanings. At least they both come from the same Greek word, so at least in Greek I was right...
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Re: 1816: "Mispronunciation"

Postby gcgcgcgc » Mon Mar 27, 2017 10:57 pm UTC

Ken_g6 wrote:I pronounce "epitome" like e-pit o' me. And this would seem to be the e-pit o' Randall. ;)


Did you have an epiphany about epitome?

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Re: 1816: "Mispronunciation"

Postby da Doctah » Tue Mar 28, 2017 12:15 am UTC

Flumble wrote:I never know what to make of words like "tier", "caveat" and "inventory". Why pronounce them as tear, cavee-at, inVENtory, rather than tyre, caf-feet, INventory?


"Caf-feet"? Surely it's meant to be "cave-at".

The word I insist I'm pronouncing correctly despite what every person and reference book in the world insists otherwise is detritus. Should start the same way as detriment.

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Re: 1816: "Mispronunciation"

Postby Mikeski » Tue Mar 28, 2017 2:08 am UTC

jgh wrote:Peen-Lope.

I made the same mistake with "calliope", though I read about the steam-whistle instrument before the Greek myth that named it. Reading sure can make you dumb...

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Re: 1816: "Mispronunciation"

Postby Reka » Tue Mar 28, 2017 3:24 am UTC

Mikeski wrote:
jgh wrote:Peen-Lope.

I made the same mistake with "calliope"

Apparently, /CAL-lee-ope/ is the correct pronunciation of the musical instrument in some parts of the US.

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Re: 1816: "Mispronunciation"

Postby Steve the Pocket » Tue Mar 28, 2017 4:04 am UTC

In my experience the British pronunciation of "inventory" usually comes out as three syllables rather than four.

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Re: 1816: "Mispronunciation"

Postby severach » Tue Mar 28, 2017 4:07 am UTC

Many of the words I mispronounce in my head are because the pronunciation allows me to spell them. If I already knew the correct pronunciation then I maintain both for all time. Many correct pronunciations come along after.

My beef with the English language is that there should be no silent letters. "Clime-BUH (climb) up to that CUP-board and get me a come-BUH (comb)."

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Re: 1816: "Mispronunciation"

Postby CharonPDX » Tue Mar 28, 2017 4:11 am UTC

Knowing this was xkcd, for some reason I mispronounciated the words "properly" on first reading.

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Re: 1816: "Mispronunciation"

Postby Steve the Pocket » Tue Mar 28, 2017 4:11 am UTC

Also, relevant.
cephalopod9 wrote:Only on Xkcd can you start a topic involving Hitler and people spend the better part of half a dozen pages arguing about the quality of Operating Systems.

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Re: 1816: "Mispronunciation"

Postby wayne » Tue Mar 28, 2017 8:06 am UTC

Quick reference: If it's a noun, it's usually stressed on the first syllable. If it's a verb, it's stressed on the second. (Unless it's a one-syllable noun and its gerund. That would just sound weird.)

Not always reliable, but nothing ever is, with English.

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Re: 1816: "Mispronunciation"

Postby azule » Tue Mar 28, 2017 8:44 am UTC

Not at the time having used the following words, I basically learned the correct pronunciation of "epitome" and "hyperbole" from the incorrect pronunciation made by comedian Brian Regan. Speaking of, I feel like the pronunciations of Reagan and Regan should be swapped. The world is just wrong.... :x

orthogon wrote:It's ironic that being better-read and more learned can actually make you seem more ignorant. I have a friend who's always been a voracious reader: at college his vocabulary far outstripped the rest of us (we tested him once by opening the dictionary at random and choosing obscure words - he got every single one right) but he'd often mispronounce things. We had a good laugh at his "Don Quick-sote"; but on the other hand his pronunciation of "Genghis Khan" turned out later to be a closer approximation of the Mongolian than the normal way British English speakers say it (with two hard g's).

Maybe he should have read the dictionary instead of novels. What a dumb-dumb.

How did he say "Genghis Khan"? Jangus?

gmalivuk wrote:Except that the pronunciation of "chimera" is also consistent with the spelling, just like "technology" and "mechanism" and "chemistry" and "charisma" and "chorus" and "chaos" are.

Except for chimichanga, which contains the first four letters. CHI-mer-a it is!

Pfhorrest wrote:Reminds me of speculation I've long had about a line in the Aladdin song "Friend Like Me": the Genie sings "ya got me bonafide certified", pronounced "boh-nah-fee-day", while I suspect the writer of that line intended it to be (mis)pronounced as "boh-nah-fyd" to rhyme with "certified".

I only pronounce it as the rhyme...... I speak English, not Latin, thank you very much. :)
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Re: 1816: "Mispronunciation"

Postby FOARP » Tue Mar 28, 2017 9:48 am UTC

The pronounciation of epitome is "Epitowm". Sheesh, it's not nucular physics!

My unjustifiable pet peeves:

  • Pronouncing Tortoise "tortoyse".
  • Sous vide "Sous Viday".
  • The American pronunciation of route. It just sounds so ugly next to the softer pronunication and straight-up ignores the softening vowel, as well as creating an ambiguity between whether you are talking about driving someone to retreat or taking a specific path.
  • Patent "pay-tent" when referring to the IP right. 99% of all people who work with patents say "pat-ent" regardless of where they are from and have for decades. Yes, it is not reasonable for people in the business to get angry at people outside for not knowing this, but on the flip-side I do get annoyed when people try to correct me or say that my pronunciation is American.

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Re: 1816: "Mispronunciation"

Postby da Doctah » Tue Mar 28, 2017 12:04 pm UTC

The one that bothers me most from other English-speaking people is they way they say karaoke. I'll grit my teeth at the usual manglings of Tokyo and Nissan, but hell, half of the K word is English and they still get it wrong.

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Re: 1816: "Mispronunciation"

Postby PinkShinyRose » Tue Mar 28, 2017 12:16 pm UTC

FOARP wrote:[*]Patent "pay-tent" when referring to the IP right. 99% of all people who work with patents say "pat-ent" regardless of where they are from and have for decades. Yes, it is not reasonable for people in the business to get angry at people outside for not knowing this, but on the flip-side I do get annoyed when people try to correct me or say that my pronunciation is American.[/list]

Yet, dictionaries seem to agree with those people. Have you considered that the common language of the patent industry may be American English? Like Latin in the sciences or French in diplomacy up to a century ago? Or English in both at the moment.
da Doctah wrote:The one that bothers me most from other English-speaking people is they way they say karaoke. I'll grit my teeth at the usual manglings of Tokyo and Nissan, but hell, half of the K word is English and they still get it wrong.

Karaorche also sounds weird though, and let's be honest: English loanwords fare worse in Japanese.

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Re: 1816: "Mispronunciation"

Postby Mutex » Tue Mar 28, 2017 12:26 pm UTC

da Doctah wrote:The one that bothers me most from other English-speaking people is they way they say karaoke. I'll grit my teeth at the usual manglings of Tokyo and Nissan, but hell, half of the K word is English and they still get it wrong.

Little known fact: Karaoke was invented by Steve Aoki's sister, Carrie.

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Re: 1816: "Mispronunciation"

Postby GlassHouses » Tue Mar 28, 2017 12:51 pm UTC

azule wrote:
gmalivuk wrote:Except that the pronunciation of "chimera" is also consistent with the spelling, just like "technology" and "mechanism" and "chemistry" and "charisma" and "chorus" and "chaos" are.

Except for chimichanga, which contains the first four letters. CHI-mer-a it is!

The pronunciation of ch in English tends to depend on the origin of a word. The examples given by gmalivuk are all from Greek, and are pronounced k; chimichanga is Spanish and so its ch sounds like tsh; the odd pronunciation of Chicago and Michigan is because those spellings were established by French speakers, and French ch sounds like sh, hence also chef and machine.

So far, so good... My pet peeve is that English speakers mostly don't seem to know what Italian ch sounds like, so everybody mispronounces bruschetta.

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Re: 1816: "Mispronunciation"

Postby speising » Tue Mar 28, 2017 12:55 pm UTC

GlassHouses wrote:bruschetta

That's also a problem for german speakers, due to the trigraph 'sch'.

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Re: 1816: "Mispronunciation"

Postby somitomi » Tue Mar 28, 2017 2:23 pm UTC

speising wrote:
GlassHouses wrote:bruschetta

That's also a problem for german speakers, due to the trigraph 'sch'.

That reminds me of how me and all my siblings had trouble with the spelling of "school" after starting German. Somehow that "sch" started looking out of place in an English word.
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Re: 1816: "Mispronunciation"

Postby Keyman » Tue Mar 28, 2017 3:21 pm UTC

azule wrote:
Pfhorrest wrote:Reminds me of speculation I've long had about a line in the Aladdin song "Friend Like Me": the Genie sings "ya got me bonafide certified", pronounced "boh-nah-fee-day", while I suspect the writer of that line intended it to be (mis)pronounced as "boh-nah-fyd" to rhyme with "certified".

I only pronounce it as the rhyme...... I speak English, not Latin, thank you very much. :)

@Pfhorrest - this. Only time I've ever heard "boh-nah-fee-day" was in "O' Brother, Where Art Thou?" with George Clooney.
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Re: 1816: "Mispronunciation"

Postby Soupspoon » Tue Mar 28, 2017 3:47 pm UTC

For me, "boh-nah-fie-di" is the pronnciation I'm most used to. The trailing voiced vowel (less 'pretentious' than an 'æ'-like ending), but otherwise anglicised away from the "classical scholar" style of presumed1 Latin. And "Can I see your bonafides?" (i.e. identity documents) is "boh-na-fie-dz" (not "-fie-diz"), which may or may not be an intentional plebial degrading (like "can I 'elp you, ossifer?" to an officer of the law) that has just entered popular (non-intellectualised) usage.


1 There's enough arguments about whether "veni vedi vici" might even be doubleyou-alliterated, or not, and "vici" as in "wikipedia" or "Vichy France" or somewhere mixed, between or elsewhere.

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Re: 1816: "Mispronunciation"

Postby flicky1991 » Tue Mar 28, 2017 4:21 pm UTC

da Doctah wrote:The one that bothers me most from other English-speaking people is they way they say karaoke. I'll grit my teeth at the usual manglings of Tokyo and Nissan, but hell, half of the K word is English and they still get it wrong.

None of those are manglings, they're people speaking English! If someone was speaking Japanese and they pronounced any of those words the English way, then it would be wrong.

And people with rhotic accents wouldn't even pronounce the start of "orchestra" anything like "oke", so using the English word as a guide wouldn't help there.
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Re: 1816: "Mispronunciation"

Postby Quizatzhaderac » Tue Mar 28, 2017 4:22 pm UTC

I was really expecting the wrong pronuciation of "epitome" to be "Ee-pee, to me!"
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various wrote:...bonafide..
Is that even an idiom in Latin? I know it's not a word (it's two: bonā fidē ), but does it have the same idiomatic usage in any language other than English?
PinkShinyRose wrote: Have you considered that the common language of the patent industry may be American English?
Conversly, America has a petroleum industry and not a gasoline industry, even though non industry people always fill up at gas station. (also, in the Industry there're context were one might be talking about either natural gas or gasoline, the the word "gas" isn't as useful.)
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Re: 1816: "Mispronunciation"

Postby Pfhorrest » Tue Mar 28, 2017 4:28 pm UTC

I'm wondering if people are maybe missing the point of my comment. I wasn't saying (much) about the correct pronunciation of "bonafide", just noting that in the movie Robin Williams as Genie says "boh-nah-fee-day" in a place that seems to call for a rhyme with "certified", and so I suspect he was pronouncing it differently than the person who wrote that line intended.

The writer thought "boh-nah-fyd cer-tah-fyd",
wrote "bonafide certified",
and got "boh-nah-fee-day cer-tah-fyd" from the actor.
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Re: 1816: "Mispronunciation"

Postby Zinho » Tue Mar 28, 2017 4:39 pm UTC

Soupspoon wrote:For me, "boh-nah-fie-di" is the pronnciation I'm most used to. The trailing voiced vowel (less 'pretentious' than an 'æ'-like ending), but otherwise anglicised away from the "classical scholar" style of presumed1 Latin. And "Can I see your bonafides?" (i.e. identity documents) is "boh-na-fie-dz" (not "-fie-diz"), which may or may not be an intentional plebial degrading (like "can I 'elp you, ossifer?" to an officer of the law) that has just entered popular (non-intellectualised) usage.
I've been in a professional setting where the word bonafides was used regularly, and was taught to pronounce it "boh-nah-fee-dees" or "boh-nah-fee-days" in that context. Your mileage may vary.

chrisjwmartin wrote:The best one was when I learned that the American tribe is not pronounced "Syowks".
Um, what? I can't decode that into a tribe name I'm familiar with.

GlassHouses wrote:My pet peeve is that English speakers mostly don't seem to know what Italian ch sounds like, so everybody mispronounces bruschetta.
Ditto. I once had to correct my college professor's pronunciation of chiaroscuro:he wanted to pronounce it as "CHEER-o-SKOO-row" instead of "key-YAR-row-SKOO-row". He finally got it when I pulled out my room key and told him the first syllable sounds like this noun; until that point he literally couldn't figure out what sound I wanted him to make, or that we somehow weren't saying the same thing. Freaky.


PS - Anyone have a clue on the second novel I'm trying to remember?

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Re: 1816: "Mispronunciation"

Postby Mutex » Tue Mar 28, 2017 4:45 pm UTC

Zinho wrote:
chrisjwmartin wrote:The best one was when I learned that the American tribe is not pronounced "Syowks".
Um, what? I can't decode that into a tribe name I'm familiar with.

Sioux? Apparently pronounced "soo" - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sioux

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Re: 1816: "Mispronunciation"

Postby JohnTheWysard » Tue Mar 28, 2017 4:57 pm UTC

Mikeski wrote:So, does anyone else have any words that they (mentally) pronounced incorrectly because they read them long before they heard them spoken?


I remember a conversation with my parents (fifty-five years ago!); mom asked me what I thought of some book, and I replied that I thought it was me-dik-o-ree. I'd SEEN the word mediocre but never heard it. Mom and dad both laughed about my mediocre effort.

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Re: 1816: "Mispronunciation"

Postby airdrik » Tue Mar 28, 2017 5:40 pm UTC

For the longest time I'd heard used this word Fe-CEE-shus which I never had to spell. Later I came across the word facetious in writing, which of course should be pronounced as though describing a gem with many facets. It took quite a while for me to figure out that they were the same word.
P.s. I only just now discovered the i, as this is the first I've ever used it in my own writing, which actually would have helped in figuring out the correct pronunciation of the written version had I noticed it before.

I also have a long list of words with dual for-spelling/for-speaking pronunciations, mainly to include/exclude silent letters or to make explicit the vowels contributing to a given sound, but also including things like: friend, column, chaos, gauge, guard, business, build.
There's also ampersand, which after learning that it is a shortening of "and-per-se-and", I tend to un-shorten it in my head, which doesn't help with anything other than reminding me of where it came from.

Muswell
Posts: 44
Joined: Sat Oct 12, 2013 2:33 pm UTC

Re: 1816: "Mispronunciation"

Postby Muswell » Tue Mar 28, 2017 5:48 pm UTC

Quizatzhaderac wrote:
various wrote:...bonafide..
Is that even an idiom in Latin? I know it's not a word (it's two: bonā fidē ), but does it have the same idiomatic usage in any language other than English?


It turns up quite a bit in Cicero's legal speeches.

Cicero's my go-to guy for stuff that turns up in modern usage and a lot of people assume the Romans never used. The word "indicia" turns up a lot in tax work at the moment (Americans, one day you will pay for what your Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act has done to the world) and a lot of people are convinced it's a fake modern word.

I was having a discussion about this with a client who was absolutely certain it was an invented word and I told her it wasn't. She said her brother was a Latin teacher and found it amusing how such an obviously fake word was now being so widely used; she got a tad patronising about it (this is not a safe attitude to take about Latin with a Classics graduate). She was somewhat humbled when I pulled up one of Cicero's works on my phone and highlighted the thirteen times the word appeared.


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