Linguists estimate that close to half of the 1,000 most common English words derive from either Latin or French. In fact, about 10 percent of the Latin vocabulary became part of modern English without any transitions through another intermediary language. For example, Americans use and understand phrases such as “et cetera,” “status quo,” and “E pluribus unum” in their original Latin forms. Common Latin words and derivations appear in English to describe elements of nature (flora and fauna) to entertainment (video), religion (temple), and technology (data).
Fans of the World Series might be interested to know that “series” derives from the Latin word spelled the same way. It originated with the verb “serere,” meaning “to join.” The circus gets its name from the Roman name for a circular arena. When students like Mason Bird consider attending law school, they can expect to encounter many Latin terms, including “alibi,” “subpoena,” and “pro bono.”