May 25, 2018
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 … Read more
May 18, 2018
The terms “et al.”, “etc.” and “inter alia” are similar, though different in meaning.
Et al. is an abbreviation for et alia (neutral), et alii (masculine) or et aliae (feminine). When translated from Latin, it means “and others”. Etc. is an abbreviation for et cetera (commonly written without the space in English), translated from Latin as “and the rest”. The literal Latin translation for inter alia is “among other things”.
Et al. is used at … Read more
May 1, 2018
A Latin legal term that pops up in headlines fairly frequently is “habeas corpus”.
Habeas corpus is a legal procedure to keep the government from indefinitely detaining someone without showing cause. The literal Latin translation for habeas corpus is you shall have the body.
Any person can petition the court to issue a writ of habeas corpus ordering the detainer to present the detainee in court along with proof justifying why the detainee should continue … Read more
Apr 17, 2018
You may have heard the Latin terms “pro se” and/or “pro per” tossed about when discussing who someone is legally represented by.
Pro se is a term utilized in the court system to refer to someone who has opted to represent himself. Translated from Latin it means on one’s own behalf. Pro per is used in the courtroom interchangeably with pro se and is an abbreviation for the Latin term “in propria persona” which means … Read more
Apr 5, 2018
The legal world still hangs on tight to their archaic Latin terms and some terms have even become part of our modern lexicon such as “subpoena” and “subpoena duces tecum”.
A subpoena is a writ ordering someone to attend a court proceeding. The word subpoena originated in Latin as “sub poena” which means under penalty – words still utilized in subpoenas issued today.
A subpoena duces tecum is a writ ordering someone to attend a … Read more