“Ex cathedral” is a great photo caption

This post could be subtitled “Know your Latin phrases.”

The correct phrase is ex cathedra, literally “from the chair.” The pope is said to speak ex cathedra, meaning he speaks with authority vested in him by virtue of his office.  The phrase can be used for others as well; anyone who speaks from an authoritative position can be said to speak ex cathedra (even copyeditors).

Seeing this spelled with an -l is jarring, to say the least. As someone said to me when I mentioned it, “That’d make a great caption for a photo of a pile of rubble.”

Unintentional humor has it place, but I’m pretty sure the writer of this particular work wasn’t looking for a laugh. Oops.

 

 

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