The Latin term “per se” peppers many conversations though it is often used incorrectly.
The literal translation of per se is “by itself”; however, many Americans use it as a synonym for “quite” and “exactly”. The phrase is so misused that it has won an entry in Urban Dictionary. When utilized correctly the phrase pinpoints a single element of a larger thing, e.g., I didn’t enjoy the movie per se, but the cinematography was astounding.
© 5/25/2018 Heather M. Carr of Hunt & Associates, P.C. All rights reserved.