Tag s | Humor

21 Latin Phrases Every Writer Should Know

21 Latin Phrases Every Writer Should Know

  1. Persona Non Grata
    “An unwelcome person” (lately defined, by some, as a literary agent).
  2. Habeas Corpus
    “You have the body” (the legal right to appear before a judge).
  3. Cogito Ergo Sum
    “I think, therefore I am.” For a writer it would be “Scribo ergo sum.”
  4. Deus Ex Machina
    “God from the Machine.” In a novel it basically means the author has written something too convenient to explain events, a plot device to solve the unsolvable problem.
  5. E Pluribus Unum
    “Out of many, one.” Would you dare use this phrase to describe a book: “Many words, one book”?
  6. Carpe Diem
    “Seize the day,” incorrectly used to describe a particular species of fish. Should not, if swapping the “a” and the “r,” be used to describe the nature of your day.
  7. Quid Pro Quo
    “This for that” or, in other words, “You scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours.”
  8. Non Sequitur
    “It does not follow,” a conclusion that is not connected to the statements leading up to it. For example, “Trees are made of wood. My pencil is made of wood. It’s time to finish typing my book.”
  9. Ad Hominem
    “To the man.” During an argument or discussion, one party attacks their opponent’s reputation or expertise, rather than sticking to the issue at hand. A daily practice on social media.
  10. Alter Ego
    Literally, “other self.” Incorrectly misspelled and then used to describe certain preachers.
  11. Soli Deo Gloria
    “Glory to God alone,” a motto of the Reformation. Johann Sebastian Bach would sign his compositions with the initials S.D.G.
  12. Caveat Emptor
    “Let the buyer beware” (before you use the “Buy Now” feature on any online site).
  13. Pro Bono
    “Done without charge,” incorrectly used by fans of U2.
  14. Memento Mori
    “Remember your mortality” (also the name of an album by the band Flyleaf).
  15. Caveat Lector
    “Let the reader beware” (be nice to your reading audience!).
  16. Sui Generis
    “Of its own kind” or “unique,” a key principle in copyright or intellectual property law.
  17. Alma Mater
    Literally, “Nourishing mother.” More often used when referring to the school you attended. But what if you went to Alma School?
  18. Veni, vidi, vici
    “I came, I saw, I conquered,” a message supposedly sent by Julius Caesar to the Roman Senate to describe a battle in 47 BC. For the writer? “Veni, vidi, scripsi” (I came, I saw, I wrote).
  19. Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam
    “For the Greater Glory of God.” See 1 Corinthians 10:31. Johann Sebastian Bach also used the initials A.M.D.G.
  20. Mea Culpa
    “By my fault,” or, in common language today, “My bad.”
  21. Per Diem
    “Per day.” A business may give an employee a set amount of money they can spend each day while taking a trip on behalf of the company. Also known as “I can only afford a bowl of hot water and some ketchup when I travel.”
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Singing the Slushpile Blues

by Steve Laube

The unsolicited pile of proposals in my office (aka “the slushpile) taunts me every day.

“Come over here!” it says, tantalizing me with immanent possibilities. I say to myself, “Maybe it will be the next one I look at. That will be ‘The One.'”

I’ve been told that many of you enjoy hearing some of the offbeat letters or intriguing proposals I see. Here is a sampling from the past few months [typos included but some info is deleted to protect the writer’s identity]:

“I am seeking representation for my First book: … I have 17 more. This book could very well Save the World.”

“… is a polyphonic composition in which anti-hero…inner conflicts are given voice, subjected to contrapuntal treatment, and developed into an intricate narrative marked by a stunning climax.”

“Maggot … my inspirational Christian Literature fiction book”

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Fun Fridays – January 24, 2020 – Puns for Lexophiles

No. These are not original. But they are delightful to read again!
Do you have any you can add?

A Little Bit of Fun for Lexophiles (Lover of Words)

I wondered why the baseball was getting bigger. Then it hit me.

Police were called to a day care where a three-year-old was resisting a rest.

Did you hear about the guy whose whole left side was cut off?
He’s all right now.

The roundest knight at King Arthur’s round table was Sir Cumference.

To write with a broken pencil is pointless.

When fish are in schools they sometimes take debate.

The short fortune teller who escaped from prison was a small medium at large.

A thief who stole a calendar got twelve months.

A thief fell and broke his leg in wet cement. He became a hardened criminal.

Thieves who steal corn from a garden could be charged with stalking.

We’ll never run out of math teachers because they always multiply.

When the smog lifts in Los Angeles, U.C.L.A.

The math professor went crazy with the blackboard. He did a number on it.

The professor discovered that her theory of earthquakes was on shaky ground.

The dead batteries were given out free of charge.

If you take a laptop for a run you could jog your memory.

A dentist and a manicurist fought tooth and nail.

A bicycle can’t stand alone; it is two tired.

A will is a dead giveaway.

Time flies like an arrow; fruit flies like a banana.

A backward poet writes inverse.

In a democracy it’s your vote that counts; in feudalism, it’s your Count that votes.

A chicken crossing the road: poultry in motion.

If you don’t pay your exorcist you can get repossessed.

With her marriage she got a new name and a dress.

Show me a piano falling down a mine shaft and I’ll show you A-flat miner.

When a clock is hungry it goes back four seconds.

The guy who fell onto an upholstery machine was fully recovered.

A grenade fell onto a kitchen floor in France, resulted in Linoleum Blownapart.

You are stuck with your debt if you can’t budge it.

Local Area Network in Australia: The LAN down under.

He broke into song because he couldn’t find the key.

A calendar’s days are numbered.

A lot of money is tainted: ‘Taint yours, and ‘taint mine.

A boiled egg is hard to beat.

He had a photographic memory which was never developed.

A plateau is a high form of flattery.

When you’ve seen one shopping center you’ve seen a mall.

If you jump off a Paris bridge, you are in Seine.

When she saw her first strands of gray hair, she thought she’d dye.

Bakers trade bread recipes on a knead to know basis.

Santa’s helpers are subordinate clauses.

Acupuncture: a jab well done.

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The Author’s Life in 39 Easy Steps

Someday I ought to write a book. Woohoo! I’ve just started writing a book! I deserve some ice cream. I’m so excited, things are going great. Writing is hard. No, writing is cool. I’m having the time of my life. Writing is hard. I should just give up. I’m almost …

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New Author Acronyms for The Oxford English Dictionary

Last week the Oxford English Dictionary (OED) added a bunch of new words to their august tome. What made news is that four of the words aren’t words at all but acronyms that have crept into our everyday communication via the Internet. “Words” like LOL, OMG, BFF, and IMHO.

In honor of this auspicious occasion I thought it would be fun to see if we can find other acronyms that should become part of our language, if for no other reason, because of their frequent use.

IHMM (I Hate My Manuscript) – A common cry of every writer while in the midst of the creative process. Self-doubt and lack of confidence create this acronym.

INMT (I Need More Time) – Deadlines should be carved in stone, but are often sketched in pencil. Ask any editor what frustrates them the most and missed deadlines will be in their top five.

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Exciting Developments In Book Publishing

As changes in the marketplace require publishers, authors, and agents adapt continually, a number of entirely new initiatives and companies are springing into action to serve various parts of an ever-evolving industry. Here are some of the most interesting new things to keep on your radar: Elf-Publishing – as books …

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The Twelve Statements Before Christmas

I pondered whether I should write this post in verse to the tune of The Twelve Days of Christmas, but since there would be a lot of copy/paste activity involved, I didn’t feel like readers would get their money’s worth. Instead, I’ll do this in simple list form, focusing on …

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