Foreign Phrases to Know…
Avoid that uncomfortable feeling of “What exactly does that mean?” by becoming familiar with these four foreign expressions commonly used in the business world:
- De facto: This means “actual” when used as an adjective, and “in practice” when used as an adverb.
- Example: Although her title was Executive Assistant, we considered her the de facto head of the office.
Vis-à-vis: This is used to mean “compared with” or “in relation to.”
- Example: The new supervisor made some negative remarks vis-à-vis: our informal dress code.
- Per se: This means “by itself” or “intrinsically.”
- Example: The problem is that we don’t really have a dress code per se.
Meanings can change
- Ad hoc: Used as an adjective, this means “formed or created with a specific purpose.” When it’s an adverb, it means “for the specific purpose or situation.”
- Example: Minor policy decisions are made through ad hoc committees.