Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Verbum Hodiernum: AD

Today's word is the preposition AD, meaning "to, towards," which always takes the accusative case. You can also see it compounded in verbs: admoneo, advoco, etc. As a result of being used in verbal compounds, you can also see ad- as a prefix in nouns and adjectives that are derived from those compound verbs: admonitio, advocatus, etc.

When ad- is being used in compounds, you need to be aware of assimilation. So, for example, ad-capio yields accipio, ad-fero yields affero, ad-ludo yields alludo, ad-peto yields appeto, ad-ripio yields arripio, and so on.

There are some Latin phrases using ad that are commonly used in English, such as ad hoc, ad lib (ad libitum), ad nauseam, ad absurdum, and ad infinitum.

The phrase ad hominem is commonly used, too, and is part of a long list of different types of fallacious arguments that you can read about at the Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy. My favorite is the argument ad baculum, in which you invoke the "stick" you could use to beat someone with if they don't agree with you!

Here are some examples of today's word in Latin sayings and proverbs; for more information, see the page at the Scala Sapientiae, which contains notes on some of the proverbs cited below, as well as additional proverbs:

Ne ignem ad ignem.

Ad maiora veniamus.

Sua cuique natura est ad vivendum dux.

Hominum tota vita nihil aliud quam ad mortem iter est.

Multi ad fatum venere suum, dum fata timent.

Cor ad cor loquitur.

Iter ad mortem durius quam ipsa mors.

Patientes estote ad omnes.

Ad mala facta malus socius socium trahit.

Nemo timendo ad summum pervenit locum.

Omnes viae ad Romam ferunt.

Mille viae ducunt hominem ad Romam.

Mille viae ducunt homines per saecula ad Romam.

Ad meliora vertamur.

Ab imo ad summum.

Ad finem fidelis.

Esto fidelis usque ad finem.

Nulli ad aliena respicienti sua placent.

Non omnes ad omnia natura apti sumus.

Dum tempus habemus, operemur bonum ad omnes.

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