Calzephyr (calzephyr77) wrote in 1word1day,
Calzephyr
calzephyr77
1word1day

Wednesday Word: Mutatis mutandis

Mutatis mutandis - phrase.

I'm going back to school again this year and my fibre classes are bursting with new words and phrases to share. I actually had to look up the meaning of some of them, including mutatis mutandis.

This Latin based phrase from the middle ages generally means:

  • with things changed that should be changed

  • having changed what needs to be changed

  • once the necessary changes have been made


It is sometimes used as an adverb in legal documents, but it's use is not limited to one area.

Here is how it is used in the reading assigned for this week, from The Language of Ornament by James Trilling:


A preferred material suddenly becomes unavailable; a discovery in the small print of the building code forces last minute
changes that have nothing to do with either practical function or artistic preference; clients suddenly decide to economize in the middle of a project. Mutatis mutandis, these things can happen in any art or craft. Each eventuality demands a physical adjustment, which is judged by the standards of taste and skill when its real cause is long forgotten.
Tags: adverb, latin, m, middle english, wordsmith: calzephyr77
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