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July 01, 2016

Word of the Day

  • qua
  • audio pronunciation
  • \KWAH\
  • DEFINITION

preposition

: : in the capacity or character of : as

  • EXAMPLE

"Coben's novels have made him rich, but that's not what's important to him. It's sales qua sales-his statistical record-that motivates Coben, rather than the money his sales bring in." - Eric Konigsberg, The Atlantic, July/August 2007

"Sure, there have been other big pop music phenomena over the years … but the Beatles qua¬†phenomenon was due to a confluence of forces that defined a historical moment." - Candy Leonard, The Huffington Post, 18 Dec. 2014

  • DID YOU KNOW?

Which way? Who? No, we're not paraphrasing lines from the old Abbott and Costello routine "Who's on First?" We're referring to the etymology of qua, a term that comes to us from Latin. It can be translated as "which way" or "as," and it is a derivative of the Latin qui, meaning "who." Qua has been serving English in the capacity of a preposition since the 17th century. It's a learned but handy little word that led one 20th-century usage writer to comment: "Qua is sometimes thought affected or pretentious, but it does convey meaning economically."

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