Grammar Guerilla: Versus v. Verse

The Heidelblog | 1/3/2018 | Staff
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Words are frequently learned aurally. After all, children learn their native language aurally until they learn to read. Even after we learn to read, however, we continue to collect new words through hearing them. I suspect that fact may account for the phenomenon of the substitution of verse for versus. These two words, despite their apparent similarity and their common origins, are quite different in meaning. Both words have roots in the Latin word versus, the perfect passive participle of verto, to turn around, change, or to destroy. The Latin noun versus is a verse or a line of poetry. As an adverb, however, it means toward or in the direction of. In English usage, however, the sense of verse and versus are distinct. In English, a verse may refer to poetry or song. “She was moved to break into verse.” Texts are marked with verses: “Please look at 1 Corinthians 1 verses 20 through...
(Excerpt) Read more at: The Heidelblog
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