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Latin Phrase: Ad Nauseam

by Anonymous

Dear Latin Teacher,


I am wondering what the Latin phrase for "to the point of failure" or "to the point of crisis" is.

For example, I know that "ad nauseam" means "to the point of nausea," and I wonder if there is a similar construction that describes a process going and going until it fails (or boils over into crisis).

Thanks!


Dear Anonymous,

Keeping the stucture of ad nauseam, there are two Latin phrases that would mean "to the point of failure".

They are ad defectionem and ad defectum.

The problem with these two phrases is that they mean a failure of supply, as in a failure of grain supply or milk supply.

To get the idea of crisis, we can use the Latin phrase ad discrimen or ad discrimen extremum.

In Latin literature this phrase is used to describe a critical point of affairs, as in a crisis during war.

Hope this helps, and thanks for asking a Latin teacher.

Sincerely,

John

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