LATIN TAG. A LATIN phrase or other expression in English, such as obiter dictum (‘a saying by the way’) an incidental remark, pro tem (short for pro tempore) for the time being. Until the mid-20c, Latin TAGS were widely used, intentionally or otherwise, as a mark of EDUCATION, but in recent decades have grown less common (and often less understood) in educated circles, in which less common tags are often considered affected or unnecessary, even by those who know Latin. As a result, expressions like Tempus fugit are often loan-translated as ‘Time flies’. Many tags are, however, firmly entrenched in everyday usage, whether in full or as abbreviations: in law (de jure, habeas corpus, sub judice), in medicine (locum tenens, placebo, post mortem), in logic (argumentum ad hominem, non sequitur, reductio ad absurdum), in administration (ad hoc, quorum, sine die), in religion (Deo volente, Pax vobiscum, Requiescat in pace), as sayings (carpe diem, in vino veritas), as set phrases (mutatis mutandis, ne plus ultra), as mottoes (Nemo me impune lacessit, Semper fidelis), and as academic footnotes and endnotes (ibid., op. cit., passim). Some have passed into the language at large: as phrases (bona fides, magnum opus, modus operandi, per annum, prima facie, quid pro quo, sine qua non, terra firma, vade mecum), and as ABBREVIATIONS (a.m., c., cf., e.g., i.e., p.m., R.I.P.). See FOREIGNISM, NOTES AND REFERENCES.
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