Word for Wednesday: Ad hoc

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Our Word for Wednesday theme for September is Latin expressions used in English.

So far we’ve looked at the phrases et cetera and de facto. Today’s Latin expression is ad hoc.

Ad hoc translates to ‘for this’, and describes something that is created or done for a specific and immediate purpose. Something that is created ad hoc, by definition, usually cannot be planned for in advance, because it responds to unexpected needs

Here is ad hoc used in some example sentences:

  • The company hires new staff on an ad hoc basis.
  • Normally I work from home, but I do go into the office for ad hoc meetings.
  • They formed an ad hoc committee to discuss the problem.

Ad hoc has been used in English since the 1500s. It comes from the PIE root ‘ad-‘ meaning ‘to, near, or at’ and ‘hic’ meaning ‘this’.


21 Sep 2022
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