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Why is Latin America so called?

April 28, 2017 | Author: | Posted in Language

The countries in the New World to the south of the United States are called Latin America because the prevailing languages are of Latin origin. France, Spain, Italy and Portugal are called Latin countries from the fact that their languages were influenced more by Latin than were the languages of other countries. For the same …

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Why is “colonel” pronounced “kurnel”?

April 10, 2017 | Author: | Posted in Language

Colonel is merely the English form of Italian colonello, diminutive of colonna, “column,” and literally means “little column.” At first the little column or company at the head of a regiment was called colonello, which in the course of time was transferred to the leader or commander of the column or regiment. The term passed …

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Which is correct, “these” or “this” molasses?

February 20, 2017 | Author: | Posted in Language

Molasses is derived through Spanish from Latin mellaceus, “honey-like.” Since the singular and plural forms are spelled the same, the word is often construed as a plural when it should be construed as a singular. Molasses are, these molasses and those molasses are common expressions, especially in the South and West. They are incorrect except …

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What does “savvy” mean?

January 28, 2017 | Author: | Posted in Language

Savvy or savvey is an American corruption of Spanish sabe, a form of the verb saber, meaning “to know.” “Do you savvy?” is equivalent to Spanish “¿Sabe Usted?” Both mean, “Do you know?” Savvy was orig­inally acquired from the Mexicans by early ranchers in the Southwest who spelled and pronounced the word savvy rather than …

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