[That Word This Saturday] Mea Culpa

My word of the day that my dictionary app (Merriam-Webster) suggested:

mea culpa (\may-uh-KOOL-puh\) noun. a formal acknowledgement of personal fault or error.

Example: The mayor’s public mea culpa didn’t satisfy his critics.

Right, so what’s my initial reaction after reading my word of the day: “Hmmm, basically, mea culpa is a synonym of a confession” followed by “so a confession is not formal?” Yup, that’s how I reacted. Well it is the first time that I encountered this word and I’m not gonna pretend otherwise; I refuse to pretend, am putting that on my New Year’s Resolution.

Further information about the word of the day (source: Merriam-Webster App for iPhone):

“Mea culpa” which means “through my fault” in Latin, comes from a prayer of confession in the Catholic Church. Said by itself, it’s an exclamation of apology or remorse that is used to mean “It was my fault” or “I apologize.” “Mea culpa” is also a noun, however. A newspaper might issue a mea culpa for printing inaccurate information, or a politician might give a speech making mea culpas for past wrongdoings. “Mea culpa” is one of many English terms that derive from the Latin “culpa” meaning “guilt.” Some other examples are “culpable” (“meriting condemnation or blame especially as wrong or harmful”) and culprit (“one guilty of a crime or a fault”).

That’s another word added to my word bank and I think I went a bit overboard copying everything; mea culpa. Yes, I sneaked that in so I get to use my word of the day because what good is adding another word to my word bank if I can’t use it, am I right?


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