Writing for Business - A Whatis.com Blog

Jul 7 2010   12:41PM GMT

infra dig

Ivy Wigmore Ivy Wigmore Profile: Ivy Wigmore

Which is correct?
The new employee was ________ to agree to the assignment, which she considered infra dig.
a. happy
b. reluctant


Answer: b.

Explanation:
Infra dig is derived from the Latin infra dignitatem meaning beneath (one’s) dignity.

I feel honor-bound to admit that I’ve never really known what that phrase meant. It came to me in Merriam-Webster’s Word of the Day newsletter — my favorite one (after our own Word of the Day, of course). Here’s their example sentence:

“Among artists lithography was infra dig by the 1870′s — because commercial illustrators had discovered it was a perfect printing medium for glaring posters.” (D. J. R. Bruckner,   The New York Times, December 20, 1998)

In the mood for a little more Latin fun?

See our handy Latin phrase cheat sheet resource.

Then, test your knowledge with our 10-question quiz for Latin lovers.

Follow us on Twitter @tao_of_grammar

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